Mavs softball snags walk-off and mercy rule in sweep
March 19th, 2015
Omaha, NE – The University of Nebraska at Omaha softball team started the 2015 home schedule with two games against the Bears of the University of Northern Colorado.[audio:http://www.kvnonews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/0319-final.mp3]
Heading into Tuesday’s games, the Mavericks were 1-3 in the Jayhawk Invitational, including a 1-0 win against Saint Louis. The Slow start on the year is something Head Coach Jeanne Scarpello has addressed the team about.
“We needed something positive to happen; we didn’t have an outstanding week last weekend,” Scarpello said. “We just talked about that this is the start of the second half of our season. So we wanted to come out and try to get things going.”
Tuesday’s opening game started off nicely for UNO on the mound. Senior pitcher Kat Barrow held the Bears hitless through three innings, getting four strikeouts in that time. The UNO offense started off just as hot, with lead-off hits to start the 2nd, 3rd and 4th innings, but they were unable to capitalize.
Scoreless at 0-0 heading to the sixth, UNC’s Melissa Marcovecchio hit a solo home-run to put the Bears up 1-0. UNO’s Lia Mancuso responded in the bottom half of the inning in a big way, tripling to start the inning. A fielder’s choice, batter being hit-by-pitch and sacrifice bunt scored two Mav runs and UNO led 2-1 after the sixth. UNC would come back to tie it in the 7th to send it to extra innings. UNO’s Campbell Ditto’s walk-off two-run home-run in the 8th secured victory for the Mavs. Scarpello lauded the work Barrow (5-4) did on the mound, which included a win, eight innings, six hits, two runs and eight strikeouts.
“One comment I made to our team is ‘we need ballplayers’ and we didn’t see players that were ballplayers anymore,” Scarpello said. “She took that to heart she told me, after one of the recent games she told me she didn’t like that comment. She wanted the ball and she’s proved me wrong ever since then.”
In the 2nd game, UNO again came out swinging scoring a run in the 1st inning and five runs off of five hits in the big third inning. An additional run in the 5th and 6th gave UNO the 8-0 mercy rule victory. Freshman Jaylee Hinrichs (5-4) got the win and pitched brilliantly, throwing six innings allowing one hit and no runs while striking out five. Campbell Ditto went 3-for-5 with 3 RBI in the double-header wins for UNO. Scarpello said the most impressive part of Tuesday was in the first game.
“The fact that UNC scored so late in the sixth, the fact that we answered back right away,” Scarpello said. “Sometimes we’ve been sitting back on that with the fear of the losses we’ve had, we didn’t want them to think ‘oh here we go again’, they answered back right away it was a good win to get us going into this and I think it shows they can keep doing it.”
Scarpello said winning the first two home games is important, but it’s also the next step in the process.
“We’re moving forward,” Scarpello said. “I know we’ve been saying that all year long, it just hasn’t been the year we have come to expect from our players. Just the slow start in a lot of areas, but it’s started to come together as a team. I think we can get on a roll with something like this. That is something we’ve been looking for is just some positive things and today was just that, a step forward.“
UNO (12-13 overall, 0-0 Summit) has a string of six more home games in the next ten days, starting with a three game series this weekend against Summit League foe Fort Wayne at Westside Field at Westbrook.
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