Softball finishes long season with four home losses


Avery Wood hit a RBI triple in game one vs No. 8 Rodgers State. Shelby Berglund / Antelope Staff

Grant Tighe

The Loper softball team honored their three seniors Avery Wood, Katie Gosker and Stacy Bott before Saturday’s doubleheader against Northeastern State. They would look to honor them even more with a victory over the Riverhawks and No. 8 Rogers State on Sunday. 

The Lopers were unable to secure a win on the weekend going 0-4. UNK lost to Northeastern State, 3-2 and 4-1 then turned around and lost to defending national champion Rogers State, 14-6 and 4-0.

The Lopers competed in game two against Rogers State but were unable to capitalize leaving nine runners on base.

“Unfortunately we just left a lot of runners on base and didn’t get that timely hit,” said UNK coach Katie Ackermann. “That was kind of our M.O. all weekend just getting runners in scoring position, and we couldn’t find a way to score them. It’s too bad, but it’s nice to see us try to compete with a really good team to wrap up our season.”

Each senior had their own moment to shine in the weekend’s games. With the Lopers trailing 14-0 in the first game, Wood got the scoring going with an RBI triple in the third inning. She would finish with two RBIs in the game.

Bott came in relief to pitch in game one against Rogers State and threw two strikeouts while giving up only two hits. Gosker also contributed by hitting a double in the sixth inning of game two against the Hillcats. 

“All three seniors I think overall had a pretty successful day,” Ackermann said. “They had some clutch hits and put ourselves in a position that they should feel really, really proud to end their season on.”

UNK originally tried to play the games on Wednesday and Thursday to beat the impending rainy weather on Friday and windy weather over the weekend. Even though all coaches involved agreed to play early, the league did not with the games affecting the records going into the MIAA tournament. Rogers State was already on the road when they got the call to turn around. 

The windy weather proved to be a factor both days at Patriot Park. Fly balls hit toward left field would end up being caught in right field. 

“I think Wednesday and Thursday would’ve been awesome, but it is what it is,” Ackermann said. “It’s always windy down here. It’s just something we have to live with. There’s no getting away from the wind at Patriot Park.”

This was only the third home weekend for UNK this year. They traveled over 7,500 miles on the road this season and are trying to find ways to improve their schedule in future years. Thirty-eight of UNK’s 50 games this year were on the road.

UNK finishes their season with a record of 16-34 and 7-19 in MIAA play. This was the least amount of wins in a full season of play under Ackermann since she started coaching the Lopers in 2020.

Stacy Bott had six strikeouts in 7.2 innings pitched this weekend. Shelby Berglund / Antelope Staff