ST. GEORGE, Utah – The Omaha softball team won a pair of games Saturday afternoon at the Red Desert Classic, defeating Southern Utah 11-0 in five innings before downing No. 16 Utah 5-1 in game two. With the wins, the Mavericks improved to 7-10 (0-0 Summit League) overall.
The victory over Utah was the second win over a top 25 opponent in Omaha history. UNO’s win over the No. 16 Utes is the highest ranked team defeated by the Mavericks. The last win over a ranked opponent was a 3-2 victory over No. 19 Nebraska on April 8, 2014.
Game 1 – Omaha 11, Southern Utah 0 (5 innings)
Seniors Lizzie Noble and Lia Mancuso led the Maverick attack in the opener. Noble went 3-for-3 at the plate with an RBI and two runs scored, while Mancuso was 3-for-4 with three runs scored. Junior Kelly Pattison went 2-for-2 with two runs scored and three RBI, while freshmen Vicky Kinney and Emma Dargy each had two RBI.
Sophomore right-hander Laura Roecker (4-4) pitched 3.0 innings to earn the victory, allowing just one hit. Senior Abbie Clanton pitched the final 2.0 innings allowing one hit. Cheyenne Cudahy (0-2) took the loss, going 4.0 innings allowing nine runs – seven earned – on 13 hits and a walk with two strikeouts. Haley Wall pitched the final inning allowing two runs on three hits and a walk with a strikeout.
Back-to-back hits to open the game led to Omaha’s first two runs of the contest. Pattison drew a one-out walk to load the bases. Kinney then hit a sac fly to center to score Noble, followed by an RBI single by freshman Emily Klosterman. Dargy laced a two-run single through to right side to cap the Mavericks’ scoring.
The Mavericks increased their lead to 5-0 in the top of the second on two hits and a Thunderbird error.
UNO put together another big inning in the top of the fourth as five of the Mavericks’ first six hitters reached base, which was capped off by Pattison’s two-run single through the right side. Omaha tacked on another run off a Southern Utah error, and its final run of the inning came on a Kinney double to right center, putting UNO ahead 9-0.
Omaha added two more runs in the top of the fifth. After freshman Kaitlynn Hunt was hit by a pitch and a single by sophomore Natalie Mostek, Noble hit an RBI single through the left side. Two batters later, Warren roped a 3-2 pitch to center field for an RBI single for an 11-0 advantage.
Laura Roecker (5-4) dominated in the circle, limiting Utah to one run in seven innings of work. The Elkhorn, Neb., native allowed an unearned run on three hits and a walk with two strikeouts. Katie Donovan (7-4) took the loss for Utah, giving up five runs on five hits and a walk over 1.1 innings. Hailey Hilburn allowed three hits with two walks and two strikeouts over the final 4.2 innings.
The Mavericks jumped out to a three-run lead in the bottom of the first inning. Noble opened with a single followed by a Mancuso walk. The pair moved up a base on a Warren sacrifice bunt. With two outs and runners in scoring position, Kinney roped a double to right scoring both runners. Klosterman knocked in Kinney with a double to left field, moving the Mavericks ahead 3-0.
Roecker saw Utah put runners on first and second with one out in the top of the second, but induced a double play to end the threat.
UNO carried its momentum into the bottom of the second as freshman Hailey Bartz singled and Noble doubled with one out. Following a pitching change by the Utes, Mancuso hit an RBI single through the left side. Warren then brought home Noble with an infield hit making the score 5-0.
Omaha kept Utah in check until the top of the fourth when Hannah Flipped hit an RBI double to put the Utes on the board. Rocker allowed only one Utah batter to reach base the final three innings to clinch the 5-1 victory.