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American soldier's return headlines a Loper softball split

Sgt. Thomas Shupe and his sister, Katy Shupe, hug before game two of the UNK softball game with Northwest Missouri State, April 14, 2017, at Kearney's Dryden Park (NTV News)

UNK was able to split its series with Northwest Missouri State on Friday with a 3-1 win over the Bearcats in game one, but softball seemed secondary on this day.

Prior to the start of game two, Sgt. Thomas Shupe sprinted in from center field and surprised his little sister, Loper shortstop Katy Shupe, after serving in Kuwait for the last seven months. This was the first time Katy had seen her brother since September.

Junior Meg Housholder tossed a complete game eight-hitter in the first meeting for the Lopers.

She got out of a dangerous situation in the top of the sixth inning. Three straight singles by the Bearcats loaded the bases with no outs, yet Housholder was able to get back-to-back strikeouts before inducing a soft grounder back to her, throwing it home for the force out to escape without allowing a run.

The Bearcats won by the same score as UNK in the rematch as Holly Posegate threw a complete-game five hitter. NWMSU is now 23-15 (12-6) while UNK is 8-40 (5-17).

Housholder came back in the second game and blanked the 'Cats over the final three innings. She recorded three more K's and helped frustrate an NW attack that stranded 11 base runners.

However, the 'Cats scored once in the third and twice in the fourth to give Posegate (9-6) all the support she needed. The younger sister of former Loper pitcher Drew Posegate, the right hander fanned six, walked one and gave up four singles and a double.

UNK hosts Missouri Western Saturday beginning at noon.

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