Posted by: Sports
Courtesy: UNL Athletic Communications
Madison, Wis. - The Nebraska softball team completed a three-game road sweep of No. 22 Wisconsin with a 9-4 victory in Sunday's series finale at Goodman Diamond.
Nebraska (11-20 overall, 3-3 Big Ten) used a similar formula to win the finale that it utilized in winning the first two games of the series. The Huskers fell behind in the first inning of all three games - including 1-0 on Sunday - before turning to junior right-hander Kaylan Jablonski to settle the defense down.
On Sunday, Jablonski earned the win with 6.0 innings of relief, allowing three runs and working around eight walks. In the series, Jablonski went 3-0 in three relief appearances totaling 20.0 innings, throwing 342 total pitches.
Jablonski also contributed offensively all series, finishing 6-for-11 in the three games with three doubles, one homer and four RBIs. On Sunday, Jablonski was one of three Huskers to produce multiple hits, finishing 2-for-4 and scoring a pair of runs. Junior Laura Barrow was also 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs, while freshman Lexey Kneib was 2-for-3 with a double, a run and an RBI, producing her first career multi-hit game. Kneib, classmate Rindy Bryant and junior Austen Urness all delivered pinch hits for the Huskers, with Urness driving in two runs and Bryant adding one RBI. Junior Taylor Otte also added two RBIs for the Big Red.
Nebraska was 6-for-13 with runners in scoring position on Sunday and finished the series 13-for-29 with runners in scoring position. Kaitlyn Menz (14-4) took the loss for Wisconsin, which fell to 23-6 overall and 2-4 in league play.
Just as they did in the first two games of the series, the Badgers scored in the first inning to take an early lead. A leadoff walk came home to score on a one-out RBI double from Brooke Wyderski. A second walk gave the Badgers a pair of base runners with only one out before McLeod retired the next two innings to keep the deficit at 1-0.
Nebraska then used timely hitting and a pair of Wisconsin errors to grab a 4-1 lead in the top of the second. Jablonski led off with a double before the Badgers dropped a fly ball off the bat of freshman Alexis Perry. With runners at second and third and none out, junior Taylor Otte grounded an RBI single through the right side to tie the game at 1-1. Barrow then gave the Huskers the lead with an RBI single and a throwing error following the single allowed Otte to score and Barrow to advance to third. Barrow then scored the Huskers' fourth run of the inning on a pinch-hit, RBI single up the middle from Bryant.
In the bottom of the second, freshman Sydney McLeod - who allowed one run in 1.0 inning - issued a leadoff walk before Jablonski took over in the circle. Jablonski promptly recorded a strikeout before hitting a batter and walking another to load the bases with one out. But Jablonski bounced back to strike out Chloe Miller - the nation's batting average leader - before a foul out ended the threat.
The Huskers then loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the third on walk to freshman Tristen Edwards, a single from Jablonski and a walk to Perry. Otte scored Edwards with a sacrifice fly to give Nebraska a 5-1 lead. Then with two outs, Urness came off the bench to deliver a two-out, two-run single to stretch the lead to 7-1.
Wisconsin battled back into the game with a three-run fourth inning. A single and back-to-back walks loaded the bases with one out before Brooke Wyderski lined a 1-2 pitch into left field for an RBI single. A two-run single then trimmed the lead to 7-4 before Nebraska recorded the second out of the inning at home plate following a ground ball to Barrow at second base.
Nebraska got two runs back with a two-out rally in the top of the fifth. Barrow doubled with one out and was at second base with two outs when Kneib brought her home with an RBI double down the right field line. Sophomore Alyvia Simmons then walked and senior MJ Knighten singled to load the bases. The Huskers stretched their lead to 9-4 when Edwards walked for the third time in the game, scoring Kneib from third base.
Wisconsin threatened to answer in the bottom of the frame with runner on first and second and two outs. Miller then reached on an infield single but on the play, Kelly Welsh tried to score from second base and she was thrown out by Perry.
Nebraska held its 9-4 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh. A leadoff walk, a one-out walk and a two-out walk loaded the bases before Perry caught a foul out near the Husker dugout to wrap up the sweep.
Following its series sweep at Wisconsin, Nebraska returns home to host Iowa State in a Wednesday doubleheader before returning to the road for a three-game series at Rutgers next weekend.