Posted by: Sports
A two-out, inside-the-park home run from freshman Kiki Stokes in the top of the seventh inning lifted the 22nd-ranked Nebraska softball team to a 3-1 victory in the first game of a doubleheader at Wichita State on Saturday night.
Junior Taylor Edwards gave Nebraska a 1-0 lead three batters into the game with a two-out solo home run in the top of the first inning. But the Husker bats went silent from there, and Wichita State tied the game at 1-1 with a two-out, RBI double in the bottom of the sixth inning.
That set the stage for Stokes, who came up with nobody on and two outs in the top of the seventh. Stokes lined a 1-0 pitch to the gap in left center and the ball rolled all the way to the wall. Stokes, Nebraska's fastest player, easily made it to third on the play, and she was able to come home when Shocker center fielder Layne Greenlee injured her ankle in pursuit of the ball. Left fielder Laura Vickers quickly got to the ball in Greenlee's place, but the relay throw to home was late, as Stokes complete her inside-the-park home run.
Nebraska added an insurance run after Gabby Banda singled, stole second, advanced to third on an error and scored on an RBI single from Taylor Edwards.
Leading 3-1, freshman right-hander Emily Lockman closed out another impressive performance by retiring the Shockers 1-2-3 in the bottom of the seventh. Lockman did not allow a hit until the fifth inning, firing a three-hitter and allowing just one run. Lockman added a career-high 11 strikeouts, while walking only one.
Offensively, Taylor Edwards and Gabby Banda had two hits apiece, as the Huskers out-hit Wichita State, 7-3. Edwards added her fourth home run of the year and drove in two. Stokes' lone hit was her first career home run, and the first inside-the-park home run by a Husker in at least 10 years.
While Nebraska won its fourth straight game and improved to 15-5 on the year, Wichita State dropped its second straight game to fall to 9-10. Katie Armagost (3-7) pitched well in a losing effort, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits in a complete-game effort.