Posted by: Sports
The 19th-ranked Nebraska softball team rallied for its sixth win its final at bat, scoring five times in the top of the seventh inning to complete a 6-2, come-from-behind victory over Illinois in game one of a Saturday doubleheader at Eichelberger Field.
Illinois scored a pair of unearned run in the bottom of the first inning, holding a 2-0 lead until the top of the sixth. Nebraska, which was frustrated through the first six inning by Illinois right-hander Pepper Gay, broke through for its first run in the top of the sixth, when junior Taylor Edwards was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force in a run.
The Huskers, who stranded 13 runners in the game, left the bases loaded in the sixth inning and trailed 2-1 heading into the seventh and final inning. A hit batter and a Tatum Edwards' double put runners on second and third with one out in the top of the seventh. Senior Courtney Breault then came on to pinch hit and delivered Nebraska's first hit with a runner in scoring position in eight tries with a game-tying, RBI single to right field.
After fighting back to tie the game, the Huskers loaded the bases on a walk to freshman Alicia Armstrong. Classmate Kiki Stokes then worked a bases-loaded walk to give Nebraska a 3-2 lead. With two outs, Taylor Edwards capped the five-run inning and gave the Huskers a cushion with a bases-clearing, three-run double off the top of the wall in center field.
Tatum Edwards then retired three of the four batters she faced in the bottom of the seventh to wrap up the victory. The Huskers, who improved to 24-6 on the year and 3-0 in Big Ten Conference play, have produced the winning run in their final at bat six times this season. For Edwards, the rally allowed her to win her eighth straight game while improving to 15-4 on the year. Edwards, who did not allow an earned run for the sixth time in her last seven starts, fired a four-hitter and struck out nine, while not allowing an earned run.
Offensively, Tatum's twin sister Taylor reached base safely in all five of her plate appearances. She doubled in her only official at bat, producing four RBIs to go along with one walk and three hit-by-pitches. Armstrong went 2-for-3 and scored a game-high two runs, while Breault and Stokes produced Nebraska's other two RBIs.
Gay (6-10) took the loss for Illinois, which fell to 10-16 on the year and 0-4 in conference play. Gay allowed only five hits, but issued 10 walks and hit four batters, leading to the six earned runs she allowed. The 10 walks marked the first game with 10-or-more walks for the Huskers since 2009.
Nebraska and Illinois wrap up their Saturday doubleheader with game two.
Source: UNL Sports Information Department