Husker Softball Wins Home Opener

Courtesy: Nebraska Athletics

Lincoln – Three home runs in the fourth inning and a grand slam in the fifth powered the 15th-ranked Nebraska softball team to a 10-3 victory over Iowa State in the Huskers' home opener Wednesday at Bowlin Stadium.

After being no-hit through the first three innings, the Huskers exploded for a six-run fourth. Senior twins Tatum and Taylor Edwards and freshman MJ Knighten each homered in the inning, while sophomore Alicia Armstrong tripled and classmate Hailey Decker doubled. The Edwards twins homered in the same game for the 10th time in their careers, while Knighten and Taylor Edwards recorded Nebraska's first back-to-back home runs of the season.

Tatum Edwards led off the inning with her second home run of the season. Armstrong then tripled to right field and came home on an RBI single from classmate Kiki Stokes. Sophomore Dawna Tyson followed with a single before Knighten blasted a three-run homer to right center push the lead to 5-0. Taylor Edwards made it back-to-back homers with a blast off the scoreboard in left field. Decker then greeted new pitcher Paris Imholz with a double, marking Nebraska's fifth extra-base hit of the frame.

After Iowa State scored three runs courtesy of three Husker errors in the top of the fifth, Nebraska hit its fourth home run of the game in the bottom of the frame. Armstrong and Tyson both walked, while Stokes was hit by a pitch to load the bases with none out. That set the stage for junior Kylee Muir, who hit a towering grand slam off the roof of the Alex Gordon Training Complex beyond the right-field fence. The homer was Muir's second of the season and her first career grand slam.

Muir finished with a career-high four RBIs in the win, while Knighten tied her career high with three RBIs. It was a team effort, as eight Huskers recorded a hit in the win, while Armstrong produced the lone multi-hit effort with a double and a triple. Tyson and Taylor Edwards also drew a pair of walks. Nebraska drew a season-high eight walks in the win, while also producing season-high totals of four home runs and six extra-base hits.

The offensive explosion made a winner of Tatum Edwards, who improved to 9-5 on the year. Edwards did not allow an earned run and surrendered just four hits in 5.0 innings. She improved to 19-0 in 19 career starts at Bowlin Stadium. Sophomore right-hander Emily Lockman relieved Edwards in the sixth and pitched a pair of perfect innings with two strikeouts.

Nebraska picked up its fourth straight win to improve to 19-8 this spring. The Huskers won their home opener for the ninth straight season and were victorious at Bowlin Stadium for the 40th time in their last 46 games.

Katie Johnson (15-9) took the loss for Iowa State, which fell to 16-10 with its third straight loss. Johnson allowed six runs on six hits in 3.2 innings.

Nebraska opens its Big Ten Conference this season by hosting No. 16 Minnesota on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Bowlin Stadium.