Published Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 10:09 pm / Updated at 10:21 pm
softball
Mav keeps streak alive in grand way

Amber Lutmer didn’t even realize the streak was still alive.

She was sure glad she was able to get on base for the 42nd straight game, though, since it earned the University of Nebraska at Omaha an 11-7 win over Western Illinois last weekend.

Lutmer, a senior from Millard West, hit a grand slam in the top of the eighth inning that helped the Mavs earn a sweep on the final day of the Tiger Invitational.

“That game had been a battle the whole way through. I knew I needed to do something for my team the last at-bat,’’ Lutmer said. “I hadn’t been producing the whole game. Finally, I did something. I corrected my swing. I did what I needed to.’’

Lutmer said she’s been trying to get back in a groove during the early part of the season. It’s been a bit of a struggle, but even if she didn’t hit, she was able to walk to get on base.

She tried not to think about any of that when she stepped up to bat, or even that the bases were loaded last weekend. That took a lot of mental preparation that she’s acquired over the years.

“When I put pressure on myself, that’s when I don’t succeed,’’ she said. “It never works in my favor.’’

Lutmer now has 37 career home runs, eight short of breaking Leslie Svoboda’s school record of 44. She has 142 career RBIs and needs 51 to break Svoboda’s mark of 192. Lutmer is sitting at 86 walks and with five more would break Svoboda’s record of 90.

Although the 6-3 Mavs didn’t beat Auburn like they wanted to last weekend, Lutmer said they improved in every category.

They hope to continue heading in that direction this weekend when they go to San Antonio for the UTSA Mid-Major Classic. UNO opens against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at 9 a.m. Friday, followed by a 4:30 p.m. game against UTSA. On Saturday, the Mavs again face Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at 9 a.m. and then meet Bryant at 11:30 a.m. The Mavs wrap up play against host UTSA at 11:30 a.m. Sunday.

“I think this tournament will be the next step in preparing us for Florida,’’ Lutmer said.

The Mavs are scheduled to play Maryland, Syracuse, Illinois State, Fordham and Notre Dame in the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic in Orlando from Feb. 28 to March 2.

Contact the writer: Marjie Ducey

marjie.ducey@owh.com    |   402-444-1034

Marjie Ducey covers state colleges, women's sports, high schools, select sports, outdoors, holes in one, soccer, running and any other type of interesting story. She also puts out the metro edition and does some updating on Omaha.com.

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