Seventh-Inning Rally Spoils Husker Upset Bid - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Seventh-Inning Rally Spoils Husker Upset Bid

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Ninth-ranked Michigan scored four times in the top of the seventh inning to rally for a 5-3 victory over No. 16 Nebraska on Saturday afternoon in front of 1,840 fans at Bowlin Stadium, the third-largest crowd in stadium history.

The Wolverines drew three walks, recorded two infield singles and hit only one ball out of the infield in the decisive seventh-inning rally. Nebraska had been 18-0 this season when leading after six innings of play, before Michigan's rally on Saturday. With the win, the Wolverines evened the series at 1-1 and improved to 41-8 on the year and 17-1 in Big Ten Conference play. Nebraska fell to 36-11 overall and 13-5 in conference action.

Junior right-hander Tatum Edwards (22-8) suffered the first home loss of her career, losing for the first time in 17 career decisions at Bowlin Stadium. Edwards entered the game with the tying runners on base and no outs in the top of the seventh inning, allowing two runs on three hits in 1.0 inning of work. Freshman right-hander Emily Lockman earned the start and went 6.0-plus innings, allowing three runs on four hits.

Left-hander Haylie Wagner (17-1) earned the win for Michigan, allowing three runs on seven hits.

Nebraska grabbed an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second. Senior Courtney Breault led off with a single that was followed by a bunt single from sophomore Mattie Fowler. Freshman Hailey Decker then squared around to bunt twice, taking a ball each time before swinging away and lining a 2-0 pitch into the gap in right center for an RBI double. With runners on second and third and no outs, a ground out and a hard line out marked the first two outs. Freshman Alicia Armstrong then came through with a clutch two-out, RBI single to left field on a 2-2 pitch.

In the top of the third, a leadoff single and a one-out error put Wolverines on first and second. Lockman then got Sierra Romero, the Big Ten home run and RBI leader, to fly out to shallow center before a ground out ended the threat.

Michigan stranded two more runners in the top of the fourth following a leadoff walk and a two-out single.

The Huskers then took a 3-0 lead with a two-out rally in the bottom of the fifth. Junior Taylor Edwards reached on a two-out double before senior Brooke Thomason delivered a two-out, RBI single through the right side.

Caitlin Blanchard led off the top of the sixth with a double, before Nebraska failed to get an out on a ground ball to third. The next two batters were retired on two pitches to leave runners on first and second before Lauren Sweet doubled down the right field line to cut the lead to 3-1. The Huskers then intentionally walked Sara Driesenga to load the bases with two outs before Lockman struck out pinch-hitter Taylor Hasselbach to end the inning.

Trailing 3-1, Michigan brought the top of the order to the plate in the top of the seventh. A leadoff walk brought Romero the plate, and the Huskers intentionally walked her after falling behind in the count 3-0. Tatum Edwards then entered the game and walked Blanchard on four pitches to load the bases. An infield single off Edwards' glove brought Michigan to within 3-2. Another infield single tied the game, before Sweet delivered her third hit of the game and second run-scoring hit, a two-run single up the middle that gave Michigan its first lead of the series at 5-3.

The Huskers then turned a double play to get out of the inning and senior Gabby Banda was hit by a one-out pitch in the bottom of the seventh inning. Taylor Edwards and Thomason came to the plate as the tying runs, but both of the top-five home-run hitters in school history were retired.

Breault led Nebraska with two hits, her second straight multi-hit game. Armstrong, Decker and Thomason drove in the Huskers' three runs.

The Huskers and Wolverines wrap up their three-game series on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. The game will air on the Big Ten Network at 2 p.m.

Source: UNL Sports Information Department

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