Senior Nicole Warren and the Omaha softball team takes on Western Illinois this weekend.
Courtesy: Mark Kuhlmann

Omaha Set for Weekend Series with Western Illinois

Omaha Athletics | March 29, 2017

Leading Off

Omaha returns to action Saturday, April 1, opening a three-game Summit League series against Western Illinois.  Saturday’s doubleheader begins at noon, followed by game two at 2 p.m. and Sunday’s game is set for 11 a.m.  All games will be played at Bowlin Stadium in Lincoln, Neb.  Links to live stats will be available on OMavs.com.

Location Change for the Weekend

This weekend’s home series with Western Illinois has been adjusted due to field conditions at Westside Field at Westbrook.  The two teams will now play their three-game Summit League series at Bowlin Stadium in Lincoln, Neb.

Quick Hits

  • Omaha is 9-20 (0-0 Summit League) overall after dropping a road contest at Nebraska on Wednesday, March 21, 15-11.
  • Last weekend, the Mavericks had their first Summit League series of the season rained out.
  • UNO played three nationally rated teams during tournament play this season, going 1-2. The Mavericks defeated No. 16 Utah but lost a doubleheader to No. 9/10 Oklahoma and a single game to No. 16/17 LSU.
  • The Mavericks are hitting .438 over their last two games, including three home runs and four doubles with 16 RBI.
  • Six different Omaha players hit .500 or better over the past two games led by senior Lia Mancuso’s .556 average.
  • Senior Lizzie Noble is hitting .500 with a double, a home run and three RBI during that span.
  • Freshman Hailey Bartz hit her first career home run against Nebraska.
  • Mancuso leads the team with 11 stolen bases and nine multiple hit games. She has also reached base in nine straight games.
  • Junior Kelly Pattison and freshman Kaitlynn Hunt each have a team-best six-game hitting streak.
  • Pattison leads the team with six multiple-RBI games and has eight multi-hit games.
  • DJ Sanchez is in her first year leading the Omaha softball program.
  • The Mavericks opened the year with 27 straight road games.
  • UNO returns seven letter winners, including four position starters: Mancuso, Noble, Pattison and senior Nicole Warren. Senior Abbie Clanton and sophomore Laura Roecker return to the circle this season for the Mavericks.
  • Three All-Summit selections highlight the Mavericks’ returning corps: Mancuso, Roecker and Warren.
  • Omaha was picked second in the Summit League preseason Coaches’ Poll.

Scouting the Western Illinois Leathernecks

Western Illinois enters this weekend’s series with an 11-20 (2-1 Summit League) record after defeating South Dakota Sunday, 9-8.  Payton Abbott went 3-for-4 with a home run, three RBI and two runs scored.

Kelsey Marlow leads the team with a .301 average with seven doubles, three triples, two home runs and 20 RBI.  Holly Hoelting has a team-best six homers and 20 RBI.  In the circle, Emily Ira is 5-10 with a 2.27 ERA with 119 strikeouts.  Abbott is 2-5 with a 4.45 ERA, while Brooke Stulga is 3.5 with a 5.60 ERA.

Head coach Holly Van Vlymen is in her 13th year at Western Illinois with a 249-302-2 record.  Saturday marks the 17th all-time meeting between Omaha and Western Illinois.  UNO holds an 11-5 series edge but dropped the last meeting 14-8 in Macomb, Ill. on April 17, 2016.

Looking Back

Rain forced the cancellation of last weekend’s Summit League series with Fort Wayne.  UNO lost a pair of games to New Mexico State (March 21) and Nebraska (March 22).  The Mavericks fell 14-6 in six innings to the Aggies in its home opener.  Lia Mancuso finished the game 2-for-4 with two stolen bases, and Lizzie Noble went 2-for-4 with a double and drove in a run.  Kaitlynn Hunt finished 2-for-2 with a triple and two runs scored, while Hailey Bartz went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI.  Kelly Pattison knocked out her fourth home run with a solo shot in the fifth.

Then, UNO dropped a 15-11 decision to instate foe Nebraska.  Bartz finished 2-for-5 on the day, hitting a home run and driving in four.  Noble went 2-for-4 with a solo homer, two runs scored and two RBI.  Mancuso and Pattison each finished with three hits.

Success in Summit League Openers

Omaha has won four straight Summit League openers since joining the league in 2012-13, having outscored its opponents a combined 13-5 in those four games.  UNO has not lost an opening series during that span, going 10-1 in those games.

Next Up

Omaha returns to action on Saturday, April 8, opening a three-game Summit League road series against South Dakota.  First pitch is set for noon at Nygaard Field in Vermillion, S.D., and links to live stats are available on OMavs.com.

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