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The Antelope

Weekend warriors battle it out Alexis Howe, a sophomore majoring in pre-nursing from Papillion, looks to make contact with the pitch.

Loper Softball picks up eight victories in last 12 games
By Ryan Boyd

March 16 was the beginning of break for students, but it was the start of putting in extra work for the softball team. The climb to an 8-8 record in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association got stronger against the Lindenwood Lions in what originally was supposed to be played in Kearney. However, the competition had to be moved to Hays, Kansas, due to strong winds and potential snow.

In two games both played on March 16, the first at 2 p.m. and the second at 4 p.m., the Lopers easily throttled the Lions for two easy victories. The first was a 9-0 victory and the second was a 12-3 victory, both of which were five inning duels.

The games were very one-sided as senior advertising/public relations major Meg Housholder and the Lopers combined for 22 hits in the two wins. Housholder, from Parker, Colorado, threw a no-hitter against the Lions in her 90th career game.

In similar fashion on March 17, UNK took on the Lincoln University Blue Tigers in a Saturday doubleheader. The Lopers gained two more easy wins in a 12-4 victory that started at noon and then another game at 2p.m. which ended up as an 8-3 win. UNK handed Lincoln University their 11th and 12th straight losses, and the 4-0 weekend for the Lopers helped Housholder grab conference player of the week honors.

Finally, back at home, UNK went up to bat against the Southwest Baptist Bearcats on March 23. These games would be split at one win apiece for each team. The Bearcats won the first game 4-2 in seven innings. The next game started right away at 3p.m. and quickly turned into a slugfest.

UNK caught momentum at the bottom of the fourth inning with a phenomenal eight run outing. The game belonged to the Lopers after that, as they would go on to win 14-11 against the Bearcats. UNK brought Southwest Baptist down to 12-15 on their season.

Returning to Hays, Kansas, UNK took on the Central Missouri Jennies in a Sunday doubleheader on March 25. The first game, which started at 1 p.m., went to the Lopers from the start, as UNK started out hot with a 6-1 first inning. UNK held on to win that game 7-4.

The Lopers lost their hitting momentum in the second game, as they had no luck against Central Missouri, and the Jennies were able to win 7-0 over UNK. Central Missouri left Kansas with a 17-15 record.

Up next on the slate was the Pittsburg State Gorillas, who have always been a tough conference opponent for UNK. These games were played in Pittsburg, Kansas, as the Lopers faced off in yet another doubleheader. Housholder kept the Gorillas from scoring in the final five innings and only allowed one earned run in the first game of the afternoon.

UNK would take the first game 5-2 after seven long innings. In game two, Pittsburg State put up a strong six-run third inning that made a large deficit, one thatproved to be too much for UNK. The Gorillas were able to close out the game 7-5 over UNK.

In their most recent doubleheader, UNK took on the Missouri Southern State Lions on March 30 in Joplin, Missouri. In a lower scoring first game, the Lopers took the game to extra innings as it was all tied up after seven with a 5-5 score. The Lions were able clinch a run in the eighth inning to win the first game 6-5.

UNK came roaring back in game two, all cylinders firing. A strong team effort resulted in a dominant 14-4 victory over the Lions. UNK improved their record to 12-21 and will play their next games in a doubleheader on April 6 against the Washburn Ichabods. This game will be played in Kearney at Dryden Park.

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