Andrews sisters power Husker softball past Rutgers
Brooke hit the first two home runs of her career Friday and produced her first career multi-hit and multi-RBI game, finishing 2-for-3 with three runs scored and five RBIs. Billie Andrews was 4-for-5 with a double, two RBIs and one run scored, recording her fifth straight multi-hit game and setting a career high with her four hits.
LINCOLN, Neb. (Husker Athletics) — It was a sister act for the Nebraska softball team Friday, as the Andrews siblings powered the Huskers to a 12-3 six-inning victory over Rutgers in game one of a four-game series in Piscataway, N.J.
Brooke Andrews enjoyed a career game while starting at third base in place of freshman Sydney Gray, who suffered a season-ending injury in Nebraska’s last game. Brooke hit the first two home runs of her career Friday and produced her first career multi-hit and multi-RBI game, finishing 2-for-3 with three runs scored and five RBIs. Billie Andrews was 4-for-5 with a double, two RBIs and one run scored, recording her fifth straight multi-hit game and setting a career high with her four hits. Together, the Andrews sisters combined to go 6-for-8 with three extra-base hits, four runs scored and seven RBIs.
Nebraska (10-6), which scored at least five runs for the fifth straight game, set season highs with 12 runs and 13 hits. Junior Courtney Wallace was 1-for-3 with a three-run homer to tie her career high in RBIs, while seniors Olivia Ferrell and Cam Ybarra each finished with two hits. Classmate Tristen Edwards came to the plate four times and reached base each time, drawing a career-high-tying three walks while also being hit by a pitch.
The offensive support was more than enough for Ferrell (6-5), who earned the complete-game win. Ferrell allowed three runs in 6.0 innings, snapping her streak of five consecutive starts allowing one earned run or less. She tied her season high with seven strikeouts despite the game ending early.
Izzy Berouty (2-6) took the loss for Rutgers, which fell to 3-14. Berouty started and gave up two runs without getting out of the first inning. She re-entered the game in the fourth and allowed six runs in 2.2 total innings.
Nebraska jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Senior Rylie Unzicker led off with a single and stole second. She moved to third on a ground out and after Edwards was hit by a pitch, Unzicker scored the game’s first run on a double steal. Ybarra followed with a single to put runners on the corners with one out for junior Peyton Glatter, who drove in Edwards with an RBI single. Rutgers then went to the bullpen and Ashley Hitchcock walked Wallace to load the bases but Hitchcock escaped further damage with a foul out and a strikeout.
Rutgers got a run back in the bottom of the first on a one-out solo home run from Gabrielle Callaway.
Both teams had a pair of two-out base runners in the second inning but were unable to score.
Nebraska started another two-out rally in the third and cashed in this time to take a 5-1 lead. Ferrell doubled and junior Anni Raley was hit by a pitch. That set the stage for Brooke Andrews, who fouled off six two-strike pitches during a 12-pitch at bat before blasting a three-run homer to center.
Unzicker kept the lead at four in the bottom of the third when she made a leaping grab at the fence to rob a potential two-run homer.
In the top of the fourth, Billie Andrews led off with a single for her second hit of the game before Edwards walked on four pitches. The next two Huskers were quickly retired before Wallace launched a deep three-run homer to left to push the lead to 8-1.
Rutgers made it 8-2 in the bottom of the fourth on a two-out solo home run from Megan Herka. Nebraska got the run back in the top of the fifth when Brooke Andrews drew a leadoff walk and scored on a one-out RBI single from her sister Billie.
In the bottom of the fifth a triple and a double plated another run for Rutgers, trimming the Husker lead to 9-3. But Nebraska answered with a three-run sixth inning. It was the Andrews sisters once again doing the damage as Brooke hit a two-run homer and Billie had an RBI double to close out the game.
Nebraska and Rutgers continue their four-game series with a Saturday doubleheader at Noon (Central).