Posted by: Sports
Courtesy: UNL Athletic Communications
Madison, Wis. - The Nebraska softball team overcame a slow start Saturday, rallying for a series-clinching 8-3 victory over No. 22 Wisconsin at Goodman Diamond.
The Huskers clinched a series victory behind another impressive relief outing from junior right-hander Kaylan Jablonski. After earning the win with 7.0 innings of relief in Friday's series opener, Jablonski recorded the win with 7.0 more innings of relief on Saturday. Jablonski (5-10) entered the game with Nebraska trailing 1-0 with the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the first inning after freshman starter Sydney McLeod issued three walks and a hit batter to the only four batters she faced. Jablonski limited the damage in the first inning and finished the game allowing only one run on five hits in her 7.0 innings.
Jablonski also contributed offensively, producing two RBIs for the second straight game. Freshman Tristen Edwards was 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs, while junior Laura Barrow reached base in each of her three plate appearances, finishing 2-for-2 with a walk, a run and an RBI. Junior Taylor Otte also added a pair of hits, as the Huskers out-hit the Badgers, 10-5, and exploded for five runs in the fifth inning and three more in the sixth to erase a 2-0 deficit.
With the win, Nebraska (10-20) clinched a series win over the 22nd-ranked Badgers while improving to 2-3 in conference play, with all five games against ranked teams. Wisconsin fell to 23-5 overall and 2-3 in league play, as Kirsten Stevens (8-2) suffered just her second loss of the season in a complete-game effort.
Things didn't begin well for the Huskers, as Wisconsin took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. The Badgers began the game with three consecutive walks before a hit batter forced in the game's first run. Jablonski then entered the game with the bases loaded and no outs and did a terrific job limiting the damage, allowing only one additional run to score on a sacrifice fly.
The Huskers finally got the bats going with a five-run fifth inning. sending 10 batters to the plate. Otte got the rally started with a one-out single as she became the first of seven consecutive Huskers to reach base. Freshman Lexey Kneib followed Otte's single with a pinch-hit single before Barrow won a nine-pitch at bat by drawing a walk which loaded the bases with one out. A Wisconsin error allowed Otte to score Nebraska's first run of the game before senior MJ Knighten reached on an RBI infield single that scored classmate Rachel Arthur with the tying run. Edwards then gave Nebraska a 3-2 lead with an RBI single up the middle before Jablonski helped herself with a two-run double that put the Huskers on top 5-2.
In the sixth, Otte led off with a single before Arthur reached on an error to put Huskers on first and second with no outs. Barrow then won an 11-pitch at bat, producing an RBI single to right center after fouling off six two-strike pitches. Leading 6-2, junior pinch runner Gina Metzler stole second base and a throwing error allowed Arthur to score from third. Simmons walked and Knighten was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs. Edwards then lined the first pitch she saw into center for an RBI single that made it 8-2. The Huskers still had the bases loaded with no outs for Jablonski, who lined a ball right to the third baseman, who turned it into a double play by tagging out Simmons. A fly out to left then ended the inning.
In the bottom of the sixth, a two-out single and a Husker error extended the inning before a line out preserved Nebraska's 8-2 lead.
Wisconsin mounted one last rally in the bottom of the seventh. A leadoff walk and a single put Badgers on first and third with no outs before a fielder's choice allowed a run to score. A second walk gave Wisconsin runners at first and second with one out before Jablonski retired the final two hitters.
The Huskers and Badgers wrap up their three-game series on Sunday at Noon.