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Stephenson Powers Stanislaus Over UNO

NCAA Division II Softball Championship 

Casey Stephenson homered twice to help lead Cal State Stanislaus to a 3-0 win over Nebraska-Omaha Thursday night in its debut at the NCAA Division II Softball Championship. 

Stevenson went 2-for-2 at the plate with two RBIs and two more runs scored as the Warriors improved to 50-18 and advance to face SIU-Edwardsville Friday at 7:30 p.m. EDT at Firestone Stadium in Akron, Ohio. 

“Our team looks at it as playing softball,” Stanislaus head coach Jan Schefkowicz said. “I don’t think anyone is intimidated. We have just come from two postseason tournaments that are very tough. That has put us in the mode of just playing softball. We’re here to play.” 

Stevenson kicked off the scoring in the bottom of the second as she launched Melissa Negrete’s pitch over the left field fence to put Stanislaus on top 1-0. 

That home run, her fifth of the season, would prove to be enough offense as Jessica Gaumnitz moved to 26-4 on the year with a six-hit shutout in which she struck out three and walked one. 

“She pitched corners the entire time,” Stephenson said. “The two pitches I hit must have been mistakes because they looked like they were coming right down the middle. I feel like on cloud nine. It doesn’t feel like I’m here.” 

The Warriors provided added insurance in the bottom of the fourth as Meghan Franksen led off the frame with a double, advanced to second on a sacrifice, and then to third on an illegal pitch by Cheris Kuster. Franksen scored on another illegal pitch to put Stanislaus on top 2-0. 

Stephenson added her second home run in the sixth as she blasted a two-out shot over the left field wall. 

Negrete suffered the loss and fell to 14-9 as she surrendered two runs on four hits over three and one-third innings.