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Late inning rallies down UNK softball

UNK softball drops home doubleheader Pittsburg State
Published: Apr. 3, 2021 at 8:15 PM CDT
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KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - The Pittsburg State Gorillas scored six runs in the top of the ninth inning in game one and scored a run in the top of the seventh in game two to take a double header from Nebraska-Kearney, 7-1 and 6-5, Saturday afternoon at Patriot Park.

The Gorillas (12-18) get to 6-6 in league play while the Lopers fall to 10-18 (1-11). This weekend homestand was UNK’s first since March 2019.

Now 3-5 in one-run games, the Lopers tied up the early contest in dramatic fashion as Blair sophomore catcher Katie Gosker belted a one-out homer to left center in the bottom of the seventh. The no-doubter was her fifth dinger of the spring. Neither team threatened in the eighth but Pitt erupted for six in its half of the ninth. The big inning featured six hits and one error with a one-out double to left by sophomore center fielder Keelah Griffith being the game-winner.

California junior Hannah Ice was the tough luck loser as she allowed just two earned in 7.1 innings of relief work. She fanned two and didn’t walk a batter over 103 pitches. Overall, only two of Pitt’s runs were of the earned variety.

In the other circle, Pitt senior Kaylee Burns (5-7) tossed a four-hit complete game. She struck out nine Lopers and didn’t issue a walk over 116 pitches. Finally, three Gorillas had two hits apiece.

The nightcap featured 11 runs on 17 hits, six errors and five walks. UNK was up 4-2 after three complete thanks to a two-run triple by Lincoln freshman designated player Carly Dembowski in the third.

Pitt scored three runs over the next two innings with UNK tying things up at five thanks to a sac fly from Kearney junior catcher Avery Wood in the fifth. However, the Lopers left the bases loaded as Pitt senior reliever Kaylee Burns got a fly out to left.

The Gorillas won the game after junior first baseman and cleanup hitter Kami Zimmerman laced a two-out single to left in the seventh. Sophomore catcher Madison Szymanski then lofted a ball to the outfield that wasn’t corralled, allowing Zimmerman to score.

Burns moved to 5-7 by allowing just one hit over the final 2.2 innings with Zimmerman one of four Gorillas to have two hits. UNK was paced by Lincoln junior shortstop and leadoff hitter Abbie Vodicka (3 for 4, two runs) with Colorado freshman southpaw Madison Rosenthal allowing no earned runs over the final 3.1 innings.

The Lopers are at Fort Hays State (13-13, 7-3) next Saturday for its only games of the week.

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