Freed-Hardeman 60, Vanguard 49
FRANKFORT, Ky. — Junior guard Nicole Ballestero scored 23 points to lead the Lions in the quarterfinals of the NAIA Championships on Saturday at the Frankfort Convention Center.
Ballestero was nine for 24 form the field while carrying the offensive load, as fellow All-Golden State Athletic Conference performer Esther Timmermans was limited to two points and four rebounds before fouling out in 31 minutes.
Senior Chelsea Alfafara had 14 points, including four-of-six shooting from three-point range for the Lions, who finish their season 25-4.
Tennessee-based Freed-Hardeman (34-1) won the rebounding battle, 44-30, and had the edge in turnovers, 14-10. But it's biggest edge may have come at the foul line. Freed made 15 of 17 free throws, while Vanguard was a mere three for six from the stripe.
Vanguard shot 40.8% from the field and 46.25 from three-point territory (six for 13), well better than the winners, who connected on 32.3% from the field and just 25% from three-point range.
Freed-Hardeman will face GSAC regular-season champion Westmont in one semifinal on Monday.
Nebraska 4, UC Irvine 1
IRVINE — Sophomore Taylor Sparks homered to lead off the UC Irvine ninth inning and the Anteaters then loaded the bases with three walks on Saturday.
But Nebraska reliever Josh Roeder induced a popup, a strikeout and a flyout to retire the side and earn the save.
Sparks' homer, his second of the season, was one of four hits for the hosts (14-5), who will play the rubber game of the three-game nonconference series on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Matt Whitehouse allowed two earned runs on six hits in seven innings for UCI. He struck out five and did not issue a walk.
Nebraska is 6-10.