Homers Power Huskers Past Buckeyes
A pair of four-run innings powered the Nebraska softball team to an 11-2 victory over Ohio State at a chilly Buckeye Field in the first of two games Saturday night.
The Husker offense tied its season high with four home runs in the win, while producing 14 hits, its most in Big Ten Conference play. Nebraska's 11 runs also tied its highest run output in a conference game this season.
Sophomore twins Tatum and Taylor Edwards and junior Brooke Thomason each homered in the win, with Tatum Edwards homering twice, including teaming up with Thomason for back-to-back shots in the top of the fourth inning to give Nebraska the lead for good. Tatum's' two home runs gave her 21 for her career, as she joined her twin sister and Thomason to give Nebraska three players with 20 career home runs in the same lineup for the first time in school history.
Five Huskers produced multiple hits in the win, led by Tatum Edwards, who finished 3-for-4 with two RBIs. Junior Gabby Banda, who moved to the No. 3 spot in the lineup, went 2-for-5 with three RBIs. Seniors Madison Drake and Nikki Haget, along with junior Courtney Breault each added two hits. Taylor Edwards also added a pair of RBIs, while finishing 1-for-3 with a home run and a walk.
Ashley Hagemann was the beneficiary of the offensive outburst and won her 20th game of the season, improving to 20-13 on the year. In a complete-game effort, Hagemann scattered eight hits and struck out seven, while walking only one.
With the win, Nebraska improved to 28-16 on the year and 9-4 in Big Ten Conference play. Ohio State fell to 26-17 on the season and dropped to 6-7 in league play.
Nebraska plated the game's first run in the top of the third. Haget reached on a two-out infield single before Banda lined an 0-2 pitch over the right fielder's head for an RBI double.
Ohio State tied the game in similar fashion in the bottom of the frame, using an infield single and a one-out double. Then with two outs, Evelyn Carrillo ripped an RBI single through the right side to give the Buckeyes a 2-1 lead.
The Huskers answered in a big way in the top of the fourth. Thomason began the inning by blasting a 3-2 pitch to right center for a solo home run that tied the game. Tatum Edwards followed with another home run to give Nebraska a 3-2 lead. Then with two outs, Taylor Edwards blasted a two-run homer to right center to score senior Madison Drake, who reached on a one-out bunt single.
Nebraska led 5-2 until adding to its lead in the sixth. Tatum Edwards and junior Courtney Breault began the inning with back-to-back singles. With one out, a Buckeye error allowed a run to score before Taylor Edwards walked to load the bases. Then with two outs, Banda produced a two-run single to left and senior Ashley Guile followed with an RBI single to center to give the Huskers a 9-2 lead.
Tatum Edwards then blasted the first pitch of the top of the seventh inning over the wall in left for her second solo home run of the game. Singles from Breault and Drake and an intentional walk to Taylor Edwards then loaded the bases with one out. Haget followed by working a five-pitch walk that brought Breault home and gave the Huskers an 11-2 lead.
Nebraska and Ohio State wrap up a chilly Saturday of softball with game two of the doubleheader.