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Locked In: RiverHawks clinch postseason berth with sweep of Pitt State

Published 4/20/18

TAHLEQUAH – Northeastern State's bats carried them to a postseason berth on Friday afternoon with a doubleheader sweep of Pittsburg State.
 
Sierra Crick hit a walk-off double to beat the Gorillas (21-31, 11-13 MIAA) 8-7 in the opener and Haley Acrey had a six-RBI game in a 10-0 run-ruled contest for the RiverHawks who go to 28-23 overall and 14-10 in MIAA action.
 
The postseason berth is the tenth for NSU during its NCAA Division II era and fourth appearance in the MIAA Tournament that starts on April 26 at the ASA Hall of Fame Complex in Oklahoma City.
 
Northeastern State looked to have the opening game in the bag with a 6-1 lead after two innings.  Following a scoreless third, the Gorillas hung a three on the scoreboard the next two times they went up to bat and took a 7-6 lead. 
 
Trailing in the sixth, NSU opened the inning with a pair of singles, and Acrey tied the game on the first pitch she saw. 
 
The Gorillas would leave a runner on in the seventh before NSU got a leadoff single from Kaleigh Hinkle.  A sac bunt moved her to scoring position but the next RiverHawks batter would record the second out.  Crick stepped into the box with three hits and three runs scored already and on the third pitch, the sophomore doubled in the winning run.
 
Northeastern State had 17 hits, their most since the 2015 season with Acrey going 3-for-3, and Crick having a four hit contest; Gail Young (13-13) struck out four batters for the win.
 
In the nightcap, the RiverHawks did all their damage in the first three innings.  Acrey had continued her hot day with a two-RBI single in the second and later hitting a grand slam in the following inning to put NSU ten runs.
 
Northeastern State batted for 13 hits against the Gorillas pitching staff and Acrey had her second career six RBI game.  Sydney Balderrama (14-7) spun a complete game three hit shutout.
 
Weather permitting; NSU is scheduled to play Missouri Southern on Saturday starting a 9 a.m., senior day festivities will commence following the first game.

Northeastern State 8, Pittsburg State 7 (Apr 20, 2018 at Tahlequah, Okla.) (Game 1) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Pittsburg State..... 100 330 0 - 7 10 0 (21-31, 11-12 MIAA) Northeastern State.. 150 001 1 - 8 17 1 (27-23, 13-10 MIAA) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Pitchers: Pittsburg State - Cornett,B. and Holder,K.. Northeastern State - Young,Gail and Ibarra,Kyla. Win-Young,Gail(13-13) Loss-Cornett,B.(9-16) T-1:33 A-100 HR PSU - VanHoosen,K. 2 (14). HR NSU - Hinkle,Kaleigh (8). Weather: Sunny & 62. Wind SE 10
Northeastern State 10, Pittsburg State 0 (Apr 20, 2018 at Tahlequah, Okla.) (Game 2) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Pittsburg State..... 000 00 - 0 3 2 (21-32, 11-13 MIAA) Northeastern State.. 145 0X - 10 13 0 (28-23, 14-10 MIAA) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Pitchers: Pittsburg State - Simbeck,B. and Holder,K.. Northeastern State - Balderrama,Sydney and Ibarra,Kyla. Win-Balderrama,Sydney(14-7) Loss-Simbeck,B.(11-16) T-1:16 A-100 HR NSU - Acrey,Haley (7). Weather: Sunny & 66. Wind ESE 15

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