Posted by: Sports
The 20th-ranked Nebraska softball team rallied from a four-run deficit to open its Big Ten Conference season with a 5-4, eight-inning victory over Northwestern in game one of a chilly doubleheader at Bowlin Stadium on Friday.
Northwestern jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the second inning thanks to a pair of two-out, two-run hits from Kristin Scharkey and Mari Majam. The runs snapped Tatum Edwards' streak of 33.2 innings without allowing an earned run. But the junior right-hander settled down from there, allowing only one hit over the six innings.
With Tatum Edwards keeping the potent Wildcat offense at bay, the Huskers chipped away at the lead by scoring twice in the bottom of the fourth. Junior Taylor Edwards was hit by a pitch to start the inning before senior Brooke Thomason singled, recording Nebraska's first hit of the game. Freshman Dawna Tyson was then hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs. Tatum Edwards helped herself with a two-run double to left center that trimmed the deficit to 4-2. The Huskers had runners at second and third but were unable to add any additional runs, as a shallow fly out, a fielder's choice and a foul out ended the inning.
After stranding runners at second and third in the fifth, the Huskers tied the game in the bottom of the sixth. Tatum Edwards began the frame with a hard-hit double that was just fair down the left-field line. Sophomore Mattie Fowler then blasted the first pitch she saw to left for a game-tying two-run homer.
Nebraska stranded the winning run at second in the bottom of the seventh, before plating the winning run in the eighth. In the bottom of the eighth, Fowler drew a leadoff walk. A one-out walk to freshman Alicia Armstrong and a two-out walk to senior Gabby Banda loaded the bases for Taylor Edwards. Edwards was then hit by a 1-0 pitch, bringing Fowler home from third with the winning run.
Fowler finished 1-for-2 with two RBIs and two runs scored in the victory. She also continued her extra-inning success as a Husker. Nebraska has played five extra-inning games in Fowler's career, winning all five games in eight innings. Fowler has driven in the game-winning run in three of those victories - including Tuesday against UNO - while scoring the game-winning run in Nebraska's other two victories.
Tatum Edwards produced Nebraska's lone multi-hit day, as the Huskers were out-hit, 5-4. Edwards was 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles, two RBIs and a run scored. In the circle, Edwards (14-4) fired a five hitter, allowing four runs to win her seventh straight game. She tossed a career-high 8.0 innings, while striking out a career-high 13 batters. Edwards' effort helped Nebraska improve to 21-6 on the season and 1-0 in Big Ten play.
Northwestern fell to 14-11 and 0-1 in league action. Amy Letourneau (8-7) went the distance for the Wildcats, allowing five runs on four hits. She struck out nine, but also walked nine and hit four batters.
The Huskers and Wildcats wrap up Friday's doubleheader with game two.
Source: UNL Sports Information Department