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The Antelope

Softball star slugging through spectacular senior season


Katie Gosker is making her senior season of college softball count for the Lopers. Gosker has taken a leadership role as UNK has won five of their last seven games. 

“As a senior this year I knew Coach Ackermann was looking to me more with the young roster we have,” Gosker said. “I take that role very seriously.”

Gosker is batting .352 on the year and has already racked up six home runs and two doubles on 25 hits. She also leads the team with 22 RBIs. 

Gosker’s motivation at the plate stems from taking pressure off the Loper pitchers. 

“When our pitchers are on their game it’s important that our offense steps up and helps them out,” Gosker said. “In those moments we want to give them a cushion as they go out to the mound for the next innings.”

Gosker has felt comfortable in the Kearney area since choosing to become a Loper, which allows her play to excel on the diamond. 

“When I came on a visit, I really fell in love with the Kearney community and what the Loper softball team stood for,” Gosker said. “The community reminded me a lot of home and that was a big factor for me.” 

The Lopers had a great opening weekend in the conference, going 3-1. UNK swept Northwest Missouri State by the scores of 16-12 and 10-2. Gosker went 1-3 from the plate in the first win and 2-3 in the second win of the weekend. 

The next afternoon, the Lopers split with the Griffons from Missouri Western State. UNK won the first game, 2-1, before dropping the second game of the doubleheader, 4-2. Gosker was 2-4 in the first game while tallying an RBI. She was 1-4 in the second contest. 

With the early success, the energy is building around UNK softball. 

“It’s exciting to see when our offense exploded,” Gosker said. “Loper fans can expect to see a team that hits very well and likes to use the long ball.”

Last year, Gosker led the Lopers in home runs with 13 and RBIs with 35. She also posted a .973 fielding percentage while playing 41 of 47 games at the catcher position. In 12 games last season, she was responsible for at least two RBIs. 

Last year’s success didn’t stop Gosker from improving in the offseason. 

“Our goal in the offseason is to go in and hit once a day, even outside of practice time,” Gosker said. “We break down our swings and focus on one thing each day. It has made an impact on all of us offensively.”

The Lopers’ next home series is on March 31 as the team welcomes Missouri Southern to town. First pitch is set for 2 pm at Patriot Park.

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