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The Antelope

Lopers end nine game skid in win over Emporia State

Alyssa Fortik backhands a ground ball during UNK’s series against Washburn. Photo by Traeton Harimon / Antelope Staff

UNK softball got back on track Friday at Patriot Park, winning the second of two games against Emporia State. The 8-6 victory over the Hornets snapped a nine-game losing streak for the Lopers.

UNK head coach Katie Ackermann said he was pleased with sophomore Madeline Janssen’s performance on the mound and the Lopers’ offensive execution in game two.

“MJ threw a really good game,” Ackermann said. “She struggled with the strike zone a bit but ended up trusting her spin and trying to get bat on ball. She give our defense opportunities to make plays.”

Janssen allowed nine hits and five runs over 6.2 innings but earned the win for the Lopers.

UNK established a 3-0 advantage after one inning and scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth to secure the victory. Sophomore infielder Mary Chvatal tallied one hit, a walk and scored two runs to lead the Lopers

UNK also got out to a quick start in game one, leading 3-1 after three innings thanks to a two-run home run by junior infielder Rylyn Nelson. Before this game, the Lopers were scoreless in their last 22 innings of play.

“It felt good to finally come out and score runs right away,” Ackermann said. “Any time you have the lead it just builds the momentum. All gas, no breaks. That’s something we need to continue to get better at.”

The Hornets used a three-run fifth inning in game one to take a 4-3 lead. UNK was able to load the bases in the bottom of the seventh inning with only one out, but saw their last two batters strike out swinging.

On Thursday, UNK dropped a pair of games to No. 24 Washburn. The Lopers lost 0-8 in five innings in game one and dropped game two 0-3.

“The final three games this weekend we completed well,” Ackermann said. “When you’re on a losing streak, it’s demoralizing and makes you question yourself. In game two versus Washburn, we competed in the circle, threw strikes, and took outs when we needed to. That carried over to game one today (4-3 loss) and then we really figured ourselves out in the second game.”

UNK is scheduled for four more home games next week with doubleheaders against Central Missouri (Friday) and Lincoln (Saturday).

Photos by Traeton Harimon / Antelope Staff

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