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Courtesy ESU Athletics

The Emporia State softball ended the abbreviated 2021 season with a double header sweep at Northeastern State on Saturday in Tahlequah, Okla. The Hornets won the matinee 4-2 and then took the nightcap 2-1.

Game 1

Abbey Ward and Gabby Biondo opened the game with back-to-back hits before Kelsey Phillips provided an RBI ground out to give Emporia State a 1-0 lead.

Northeastern State tied it with a two-out RBI double by Rhomie Bradshaw in the third inning.

The Hornets answered in the top of the fourth. Brittanie Shepherd led off with a walk, Rachel Kauss hit a slow roller past the pitcher and Destiny Ojigoh reached on a pop up bunt that the pitcher could not reach to load the bases. Cassidy Beem followed with a sac fly to put Emporia State up 2-1.

The RiverHawks tied it back up in the bottom of the inning. With runners on second and third, Alyssia Crick hit a grounder to second and Cameron Conrad was able to beat Biondo’s throw home to make it 2-2.

Emporia State got the lead back when Ward homered to left field to lead off the fifth and she would give the Hornets an insurance run with a sac fly in the top of the sixth for the final 4-2 score.

Ward went 2-for-3 with a double, a homer, two RBIs and two runs scored to lead the Hornet offense while Ojigoh was 2-for-2 with a run scored. Kerrigan Dixon went the distance in the circle, scattering six hits and allowing just two runs.

Game 2

In her final game in an Emporia State uniform, Kelsey Phillips got the win in the circle and what proved to be the game winning RBI in the second game.

After both teams went scoreless in the first two innings, Abbey Ward reached on a one out single and stole second in the third inning. Gabby Biondo followed with an RBI single up the middle and went to second as Ward scored. Biondo went to third on a ground out and Phillips singled her home to make it 2-0.

Rhomie Bradshaw cut the lead in half with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the fifth but that would be the only run for the RiverHawks in the second game.

Phillips and Biondo both went 2-for-3 with an RBI while Biondo added a run scored. Phillips scattered seven hits over seven innings with three walks and three strikeouts and allowed just the one run to pick up her 11th win of the season.

Emporia State finished the season 21-23 overall with an 11-15 record in the MIAA. Nine of its losses were by two runs or less.

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