Husker softball falls to Wisconsin in series opener
Wisconsin scored three runs in the top of the first inning and held off a few Nebraska rallies in a 6-4 victory over the Husker softball team Friday night at Bowlin Stadium.
LINCOLN, Neb. (Husker Athletics/KLKN) — Wisconsin scored three runs in the top of the first inning and held off a few Nebraska rallies in a 6-4 victory over the Husker softball team Friday night at Bowlin Stadium.
The Badgers (12-16) led 3-1 after one inning and got out of a bases-loaded jam with no outs in the bottom of the second. Wisconsin added two unearned runs in the fourth before Nebraska (15-14) came back with two unearned runs in the fifth. Both teams then got a solo home run in the seventh inning as Nebraska was never able to catch up to the Badgers.
Junior right-hander Courtney Wallace (7-6) went the distance and pitched well despite the loss. She walked only one and three of the runs she allowed were unearned, as Nebraska committed two errors and a passed ball.
Offensively, senior Rylie Unzicker and junior Peyton Glatter each had solo home runs for the Big Red. Wallace, senior Cam Ybarra, junior Anni Raley and freshman Kaylin Kinney also had one hit for Nebraska.
Maddie Schwartz (7-9) earned the win for Wisconsin. In a complete-game effort, Schwartz allowed four runs (two earned) and struck out four while walking two. The two home runs she gave up matched her season total over 103.2 innings entering the game.
Wisconsin jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first. The rally started with a one-out double that glanced off Tristen Edwards’s glove in right field. An RBI single up the middle scored the game’s first run, before an error put runners on first and second with one out. Another RBI single made it 2-0 before Wallace fielded a high chopper back to the circle, but her throw home was late as the Badgers extended the lead to 3-0. Nebraska got out of the inning without any further damage on a double play on a strikeout and an out on the basepaths.
Unzicker immediately put Nebraska on the board with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first, cutting the lead to 3-1.
Nebraska missed a golden scoring chance in the bottom of the second. Sophomore Brooke Andrews walked, Wallace followed with a bunt single and Raley blooped a single to right. But with the bases loaded and no outs, a strikeout and a double play ended the inning.
Wisconsin added two unearned runs in an unconventional way in the top of the fourth. After the first two batters were retired, back-to-back singles put Badgers on first and second with two outs. Wallace then struck out the next batter, but the pitch got away from Raley and her throw to first to complete the out was late, and both base runners scored.
Nebraska had another bases loaded opportunity in the bottom of the fifth. Kinney reached a one-out infield single before Glatter walked. After a ground out advanced the runners, freshman Billie Andrews was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Edwards then grounded a ball up the middle that was misplayed by the shortstop, allowing freshman pinch runner Camyl Armendariz and senior pinch runner Sarah Yocom to score, cutting the Wisconsin lead to 5-3.
Wisconsin tacked on an insurance run when Megan Donahue hit a two-out solo home run in the top of the seventh.
Trailing 6-3, the Huskers pulled within one on a one-out solo home from Glatter in the bottom of the seventh, but Nebraska could get no closer.
Nebraska and Wisconsin continue their four-game series with a doubleheader at Noon on Saturday.