UNI goes 1-2 in against Mo. State in MVC opener



After dropping the first two games of their weekend series against Missouri State by one run. UNI took the rubber match 7-6 on Sunday.

COLIN HORNING, Sports Editor

The UNI softball team began their conference slate of games this past weekend during a three-game series in Springfield, MO against the Missouri State Bears. The Panthers were coming into the weekend series with a record of 9-10 so far on the 2020-21 season, while their opponents were 9-8 on the year. The evenly-matched records suggested that the three games would be tight, and that’s exactly how the series played out. Missouri State won the first two games by the score of 2-1 and 4-3, while UNI took the final game 7-6.

UNI struck first in game one of the doubleheader on Saturday off of a third inning solo home run over the left field wall from left fielder Kamryn Shaffer. The Bears answered back in the sixth from a two-run homer by first baseman Madison Hunsaker, taking the lead of 2-1. The UNI bats remained quiet for the rest of the game as the Bears shut the door, taking the 2-1 victory. The Panthers out-hit their opponents 5-4 in the game; however they could only muster one run in the game. Pitcher Steffany Dickerson took the victory for the Bears while UNI’s Erica Oler took the loss on the mound.

In game two on Saturday the Panther’s bats came alive, but it would not be enough. Shaffer again got UNI on the board first, with a solo home run in the second inning. A costly fielding error by UNI center fielder Madison allowed two Missouri State runners to come across in the fifth inning, but UNI’s offense kept swinging. A solo home run from Daryn Lamprecht in the sixth and another solo homer from Sammey Bunch in the seventh gave the Panthers a 3-2 lead heading into the final frame. However, UNI’s defense proved to be costly again, as Bunch committed a fielding error at shortstop, allowing the tying run to score for the Bears. The game went into extra innings until an RBI single from Missouri State’s Daphne Plummer plated the winning run in the 11th inning, giving the Bears a 4-3 win.

Game three on Sunday was underway with a fast start on both sides. The Panthers got the scoring started in the top of the first. A two-run single from UNI’s Brooke Snider with the bases loaded brought in two Panthers and gave the visitors a 2-0 lead right out of the gates. The Bears came back with three runs of their own in the bottom of the first, all on separate hits, and they took a 3-2 lead off of UNI pitcher Erica Oler.

The MSU lead held until the fifth when the Panther’s got things going. They plated four runs in the top half of the fifth and swung the lead back in their favor, 6-3. In typical fashion, Missouri State battled back in the bottom of the fifth, capped off by a two-run homer from Alex Boze to tie the score at 6 apiece.

Left fielder Daryn Lamprecht drove in Emmy Wells in the top of the sixth for UNI to put them back on top 7-6, which proved to be the final score as the Panthers took the rubber match of the three game series. The Panther women move to 10-12 on the year and 1-2 in conference play. They will travel to Terra Haute, Ind. next weekend to play a three game series against Indiana State, with a doubleheader on Saturday, March 27 and the rubber match scheduled for Sunday, March 28.