Errors Cost Huskers in 6-4 Loss
The Nebraska softball team rallied from a four-run deficit, but a pair of errors led to five unearned runs, as the Husker comeback effort fell short in a 6-4 loss at Iowa on Sunday afternoon.
With the victory, Iowa won the series with Nebraska after scoring twice in the bottom of the seventh inning on Saturday and twice in the bottom of the sixth inning on Sunday. Iowa improved to 17-21 with the win and moved to 7-5 in Big Ten Conference play. The Huskers fell to 26-16 with their second straight loss, and dropped to 8-4 in league play.
Chelsea Lyon (9-12) earned the win, allowing four runs on six hits in a complete-game effort. Senior right-hander Ashley Hagemann (18-13) took the loss for Nebraska, although she did not allow an earned run in her 2.0 innings of relief. Sophomore right-hander Tatum Edwards earned the start and allowed only one earned run in 4.0 innings.
Iowa jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. A leadoff walk cost Nebraska once again, as a one-out double converted the walk into the game's first run. Two more walks loaded the bases with two outs, before a ground out prevented further damage.
Nebraska's first scoring chance came in the top of the fourth. Sophomore Taylor Edwards reached on a one-out walk and was at second with two outs. Her twin sister Tatum joined her with a two-out walk of her own, but the twins were stranded on the basepaths following a strikeout.
More walks and a crucial error helped the Hawkeyes score three times with two outs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 4-0 lead. A one-out walk was followed by a hit batter to put runners at first and second with one out. After recording an out, an error allowed two runners to score before a hit batter and an RBI single gave Iowa a four-run lead.
The Huskers did not have a hit through the first four innings, but strung together four hits in a four-run fourth inning to tie the game. Junior Courtney Breault began the inning with a single before senior Madison Drake was hit by a pitch. The runners moved to second and third with one out on a ground out from freshman Mattie Fowler, before senior Nikki Haget drove in freshman pinch runner Jordan Bettiol with an infield single. Junior Gabby Banda then chopped a single over the head of the third baseman to score Drake and cut the lead to 4-2. With runners on first and second, Taylor Edwards quickly fell behind in the count 0-2 before fouling off three two-strike pitches and lining a 1-2 changeup into the gap in left center for a game-tying, two-run double.
After tying the game, Edwards walked the leadoff batter in the bottom of the fifth and then hit the next batter to mark the end of her day. Hagemann came on in relief and retired the next three hitters without allowing a run to score.
Hagemann didn't fare as well in the sixth. After retiring two of the first three hitters, a two-out error and a two-out, RBI single gave Iowa a 6-4 lead.
Nebraska threatened in the top of the seventh but came up short. Banda and Guile both singled in the inning to put the tying runners on base with two outs before Tatum Edwards lined out to second to end the game.
Taylor Edwards led Nebraska with two walks and two RBIs on the day, while Banda went 2-for-4. Overall, the top three hitters in the Husker lineup combined for four of Nebraska six hits and all four RBIs.
Nebraska continues an eight-game road trip with a midweek trip to UNO on Wednesday.