Struggles continue for softball

Taking a break from conference play, the UND softball team headed on the road to face the Omaha Mavericks in a doubleheader Tuesday.

The afternoon series unfortunately ended early, as the Hawks fell to the Mavericks in both games to lose the series.

Looking at the history between these teams, Omaha leads the series against UND 50-4.  In last season’s doubleheader, the Mavericks swept the Fighting Hawks 8-0 in five innings in game one and 7-6 in game two.

Since, UND transitioned into Division I play, UNO has silenced them by adding two wins on Tuesday.

This series proved to be like any other against UNO, as UND held tight but ultimately broke down.

Redshirt sophomore pitcher Kaylin VanDomelen, who leads the Big Sky with 118 strikeouts and ranks fourth in the conference with a 2.82 ERA, started in game one for the Hawks and struggled to find her zone. She walked 10 batters and allowed six hits in her 5.2 innings pitched.

UNO jumped on the board early, as Mavericks shortstop Nicole Warren slammed a solo homerun to right field for the 1-0 lead.

UND was able to respond at the top of the second with an RBI single from Autumn Cervantez but the Mavericks were not done yet.

With two on base and Warren’s bat still hot from the first inning, she hit another home run to bring in three runs and increase their lead to 4-1.

The top of the third would see the last run for UND, as VanDomelen would score on a throwing error.

Both sides remained quiet until the bottom of the sixth inning when UNO solidified the win. VanDomelen walked her sixth batter of the night before intentionally walking the Mavericks powerhouse, Warren, to place two on base when UND switched pitching to Kyra Lenzi.

Lenzi’s first and only batter faced, Sydney Hames, tripled down the right field line and batted in two runs.

VanDomelen would come back into the game to pitch and allow four more runs to end the game at a 10-2 final score because of the eight-run ruling.

“Although we played solid defense today, it wasn’t a very good day for us overall,” UND coach Jordan Stevens said. “We’ve got to bounce back quickly and fix what happened today.”

Hannah Bergh took the mound for game two, hopeful for different results. Unfortunately, UNO knocked her off the mound after 3.2 innings. She allowed five runs on four hits and walked three batters.

UND managed to get on the board first, leading 4-0 after three innings, but in the same route as game one took, the Mavericks bats heated up in the fourth for 10 runs on three of UND’s pitchers.

The Fighting Hawks were unable to climb out of their deficit. They allowed three more runs in the bottom of the fifth to reach the eight-run mercy rule and end the game after five innings.

After the doubleheader, the Hawks record now sits 15-26 overall. UND is back on home turf this weekend to host a conference series against Weber State. Game one’s first pitch is set to start at 2 p.m.

Allyson Bento is a sports writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]