Huskers Fall to Ninth-Ranked Oregon - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Huskers Fall to Ninth-Ranked Oregon

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A sloppy performance by the Huskers and strong hitting from Oregon spoiled any chance the Nebraska softball team had of upsetting ninth-ranked Ducks on Saturday, as Nebraska fell 11-2 in six innings.

NU committed two errors in the game, leading to four unearned runs, while also walking five batters and hitting a sixth. When Nebraska wasn't hurting itself, Kaylan Howard did plenty of damage herself, finishing 3-for-3 with a walk and four RBIs. Kailee Cuico and Janie Takeda added two-run homers for the Ducks (11-3). The offense supported a complete-game effort from All-American Jessica Moore, who allowed only two hits in 5.0 innings to improve to 6-2 on the year.

With the loss, the Huskers fell to 10-3 on the season. All three losses have come to top-20 opponents, after Nebraska lost 1-0 at No. 16 Arizona last weekend and 2-0 vs. top-ranked Oklahoma on Friday. Junior right-hander Tatum Edwards (6-3) suffered the loss, allowing nine runs (five earned) on just six hits in 5.0 innings.

Oregon jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Howard reached on a two-out, bloop single before Cuico belted a two-run homer to right center.

The Ducks then scored four times in the top of the second, with the help of two costly Husker errors. A hit batter, a walk and an infield bunt single where no one covered first loaded the bases with no outs. The next batter fouled out before a wild throw home erased an out and allowed a runner to score. The error proved more costly two batters later as Howard lined a two-run single to left after the inning should have been over. And on the two-run single, a throwing error allowed another run to score, as the four unearned runs in the inning stretched the Ducks' lead to 6-0.

Nebraska continued to hurt itself in the top of the fourth, as Tatum Edwards walked the first three batters of the inning to load the bases with no outs. After recording a force out at home, Howard came through again with a bloop single to right field, scoring two to put Oregon on top 8-0. A wild pitch allowed another run to score to cap the three-run inning.

Freshman Kiki Stokes delivered Nebraska's first hit with a bunt single in the bottom of the fourth, and she scored on a two-out, two-run homer by senior Brooke Thomason, a blast that trimmed the lead to 9-2.

Freshman right-hander Danica Bishop came on in relief to pitch the top of the fifth inning, and retired the Ducks in order for the first time in the game.

Oregon put the run-rule into effect on the strength of a two-run homer from Takeda in the top of the sixth, marking the first runs Bishop had allowed in 5.1 career innings. In 2.0 innings of work on Saturday, Bishop allowed just the two runs while striking out a career-high three batters.

Nebraska wraps up play at the Mary Nutter College Classic on Sunday, with a pair of games against No. 23 Florida State and eighth-ranked Cal.

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