Husker softball splits doubleheader with Iowa

Courtesy: Nebraska Athletics

Game One: Huskers rally to top Hawkeyes

The Nebraska softball team (17-27, 5-11 Big Ten) topped Iowa (17-25, 3-13 Big Ten) on Wednesday in game one of a doubleheader by a score of 7-5.

Regan Mergele improved to 3-6 on the season. She pitched 3.0 scoreless innings of relief and gave up just two hits. Courtney Wallace started the game for Nebraska. She pitched 4.0 innings and gave up five runs – four unearned – on four hits. Wallace also had three strikeouts and three walks. 

Iowa’s Sarah Lehman (1-5) pitched 5.2 innings. She gave up six runs on five hits and had eight strikeouts.

Nebraska had six hits. Alyvia Simmons led the Huskers going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run. Tristen Edwards had a three-run homer, while Samantha Owen, Bri Cassidy and Lexey Kneib each had one hit. 

After two quiet innings for both teams, the Huskers got rolling in the third. Madi Unzicker drew a walk and Simmons singled to put a pair of runners on. After a double steal, Edwards homered to give Nebraska a 3-0 lead. Iowa responded in the bottom of the inning scoring one run on one hit.

The Huskers extended their lead in the fourth. Cassidy drew a walk and Kneib doubled to score her. In the bottom of the inning, the Hawkeyes took a 5-4 lead, scoring four unearned runs off three hits and two Husker errors.

Nebraska went up 6-5 in the sixth to regain the lead. Wallace drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a ground out. Then Cassidy singled to score her and tie the game at 5-5. Cassidy also reached second on the play after an Iowa fielding error. Anni Raley pinch ran for Cassidy and Madi Unzicker was hit by a pitch to put another runner on base. Simmons singled up the middle to score Raley and Edwards was intentionally walked to load the bases with two outs. However, Iowa avoided giving up any more runs by getting a strikeout and leaving three Huskers on base. 

In the seventh, the Huskers added an insurance run. Owen hit a leadoff single and Sarah Yocom pinch ran for her. Yocom stole second and Boruff reached on a Hawkeye error. With one out and runners on the corners, Cassidy drew a walk to load the bases. A strikeout gave Iowa its second out of the inning, but Madi Unzicker drew a walk to score Yocom and extend the lead to 7-5. Another strikeout left three Huskers on base.

Game Two: Iowa quiets Nebraska bats in 3-1 win

The Nebraska softball team (17-28, 5-12 Big Ten) recorded more hits than Iowa (18-25, 4-13 Big Ten) but was haunted by a pair of errors, as the Huskers gave up three unearned runs in a 3-1 loss to the Hawkeyes. With the loss, the Huskers split the doubleheader after winning game one earlier on Wednesday. 

Nebraska had seven hits, while Iowa only had five. Tristen Edwards and Samantha Owen each had two, while Alyvia Simmons, Bri Cassidy and Madi Unzicker each had one. 

Regan Mergele dropped to 3-7 on the season. She pitched 1.0 inning of relief. She gave up one unearned run on two hits and had two strikeouts. Lindsey Walljasper started the game and pitched 5.0 innings. She gave up two unearned runs on three hits and recorded five strikeouts.

Iowa’s Allison Doocy (14-13) pitched a complete 7.0 innings. She gave up one run on seven hits and had six strikeouts.

The teams played four scoreless innings before Nebraska took a 1-0 lead in the fifth. Cassidy singled and Rylie Unzicker ran for her. Unzicker moved to second on Lexey Kneib’s sac bunt. Ally Riley pinch hit and moved Unzicker to third with a grounder and Simmons singled to score a run. In the bottom of the inning, Iowa scored two unearned runs to take the lead. The Hawkeyes drew a leadoff walk to put the tying run on base with no outs. A sac bunt moved her to second and she scored a dropped fly ball. With a runner on second, an infield single scored the go-ahead run.

The Hawkeyes scored another unearned run in the sixth after two hits and a Husker error. 

In the seventh, Madi Unzicker hit a leadoff single, but Iowa would get three straight outs to end the game. 

Nebraska returns home this weekend for a three-game series against Maryland. First pitch is set for Friday at 5:30 p.m.