At this point, the game had featured six home runs through 6½ innings.
So Abby Krieser decided to join the home run party and make it seven.
The Lincoln North Star freshman launched a ball high into the sky to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning. When it landed beyond the left-field fence, the No. 9 Navigators began celebrating a walk-off, 11-10 win against No. 4 Lincoln East on Tuesday at Doris Bair Complex.
North Star's hot bats carried over from a 9-1, five-inning win in the first game. The nightcap victory also marked the Navigators' third win over the Spartans in four days. North Star won 10-8 on Addison Barrow's walk-off homer during the Heartland Athletic Conference Tournament on Saturday.
"This is where they want to be at the end of the season," North Star coach Brittany Hansen said. "When push comes to shove, they win ballgames. I think that when we're put in those tough situations early on, when we get there later on in the season, it just makes it easier."
In the second game, North Star (15-6) got homers from Krieser, Patia Wolfe, Barrow and two from Halie Gibson.
Barrow, Wolfe and Gibson hit consecutive homers in the fourth inning to give North Star a 10-2 lead.
East (14-5) was an out away from a run-ruled loss in the fifth, but Chace Swanson extended the game with a three-run shot to left field.
Then Rachel Weber added a three-run homer to center in the sixth to cut the North Star lead to 10-8. East tied it at 10-10 in the top of the seventh when Olivia Hatten put a ball in play in the infield, scoring a run.
But Krieser made sure this one didn't slip away with her blast -- her first as a high school player -- to lead off the seventh. Was Krieser just trying to follow her teammates' lead in the home run parade?
"Yeah, pretty much," she said.
Gibson, meanwhile snapped out a hitting slump by crushing a three-run homer in the third inning.
"I was just so excited, because I've been getting down on myself," Gibson said. "Hitting it, I was like, 'Finally, got the feeling back.'"
Myah Erickson and Hanna Roth hit homers in North Star's 9-1 victory, and North Star used a five-run fifth inning to put the game away.
"We definitely have players capable of doing it," Hansen said of North Star's power run. "I'm surprised it hasn't come out earlier this season, so I'm proud of them."
Alana Krieser won both games. She limited a potent Spartan lineup to three hits in the first game.
East coach Lance Kingery said he was happy to see his team battle back from a 10-2 deficit.
"We're just searching for combinations," he said. "We've got to get sharper. We're allowing way too many runs, and it's hard when we continue to play from behind."
Photos: North Star mashes some taters to sweep Lincoln East
The No. 9 Gators mashed seven total home runs in a 9-11, 1-10 doubleheader sweep, including a walk-off in game two, of the No. 4 Spartans on Tuesday at Doris Bair Complex in a rated prep softball tussle. Photos by Kayla Wolf, Journal Star.
LINCOLN NORTH STAR 9, LINCOLN EAST 1
W--Krieser. L--Elliott. 2B--LNS, Barrow. HR--LNS, Erickson, Roth.
LINCOLN NORTH STAR 11, LINCOLN EAST 10
W--Erickson. L--Prai. 2B--LE, Bliemeister, Lockhart, Svoboda, Swanson; LNS, Dembowski 2, Roth, Wolfe. HR--LE, Swanson, Weber; LNS, Krieser, Barrow, Gibson 2, Wolfe.
Hawks sweep Knights
No. 2 Lincoln Southwest continued its torrid run with 11-1 and 10-0, four-inning victories against Lincoln Southeast.
McKenzie Steiner homered and Carson Fischer went 3-for-3 with two runs in the 11-1 victory. Steiner also won the first game in the circle.
Steiner also homered in the second game. Fischer blasted a three-run homer and Emma Kauf homered, too.
Britny Davis limited the Knights to three hits in picking up the win in the second game.
Rylan Ewoldt homered for the Knights in the first game.
LINCOLN SOUTHWEST 11, LINCOLN SOUTHEAST
W--Steiner. L--. 2B--LSW, Squier, Storer, Thompson. HR--LSW, Steiner.
LINCOLN SOUTHWEST 10, LINCOLN SOUTHEAST 0, 4 INN.
W--Davis. L--n/a. 2B--LSW, Storer. HR--LSW, Fischer, Kauf, Steiner.