OMAHA, Neb. - Nebraska-Omaha split a doubleheader with No. 18 Emporia State on Friday at Claussen-Westgate Field, winning game one, 2-0, before falling 3-2 in game two.
With the split, No. 7 UNO (39-7 overall and 16-2 in the MIAA) maintained a one-game lead over the Hornets (37-12 overall, 16-4 in conference play) in the MIAA heading into Saturday’s doubleheader with third-place Missouri Western.
UNO has four conference games remaining because of a make-up series at Truman on Monday, while the Hornets have just two games with Northwest Missouri State on Saturday to close the regular season.
Beth Haley led UNO to the game one win with a two-hit shutout. Haley struck out five and walked three in the dominating performance.
Haley got run support on a second-inning RBI single by Emma Wright to score Lindsey Slocum. The Mavs tacked on another run in the fourth when Slocum hit a blast to right center into a strong wind for her eighth home run of the season. The homer gave Slocum 151 career RBIs, leaving her just eight shy of breaking the school record of 158. She finished 3-for-3 in the game with an RBI and both runs scored.
Kaitlin Martin came up with both hits for the Hornets going two for two in the game. Karley Schmelzer pitched six inning and allowed only seven hits while striking out three to fall to 15-5 on the season.
In game two, Emporia State came out strong with two runs off Slocum in the first inning and another in the second for a 3-0 lead. UNO answered with a run in the bottom of the second on an Ashley Lynch single that scored Katelyn Hinton.
However, Hornets’ starter Jennifer Heerey (11-5) earned the win by keeping the Mavs’ bats quiet for the most part. Heerey allowed only two runs, just one of them earned while striking out six. UNO threatened in the bottom of the seventh when Amber Lutmer hit a double off the wall in centerfield to score Hinton to make it 3-2 with only one out. But Heerey retired the final two hitters to earn the series split.
Katie Huffman went 1-for-3 with a home run in the second. Amanda Self tripled in a run and Abby Smith added an RBI single in the first inning for Emporia State.
Slocum took the loss in the second game. She threw seven innings, allowing three runs on four hits and two walks with six strikeouts.