Huskers softball wins on walk off against Louisville

Posted by: Sports

Courtesy: NU Media Relations

Raleigh, N.C. – All-American Kiki Stokes delivered a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift the Nebraska softball team to a 4-3 win over Louisville on Saturday in the first of two games for the Huskers at the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

Stokes’ single improved Nebraska to 7-0 this season. The Huskers will aim to match the best start in school history later Saturday when Nebraska faces host North Carolina State at approximately 4 p.m. (Central).

Louisville struck first, grabbing a 1-0 in the top of the fourth when Maryssa Becker sent the first pitch of the inning over the wall in center.

Nebraska answered back in the bottom of the frame. Junior MJ Knighten led off with a single which was followed by an infield single from senior Alicia Armstrong. A sacrifice bunt from senior Dawna Tyson moved both runners into scoring position before senior Mattie Fowler gave the Huskers a 2-1 lead with a two-run double to center. Junior Lotte Sjulin ran for Fowler at second and scored on an RBI single from sophomore Madi Unizicker to stretch the lead to 3-1.

The Cardinals got a run back in the top of the fifth. Morgan Hart greeted junior reliever Cassie McClure with a double off the wall in left. McClure bounced back to retire the next two hitters before a passed ball allowed trimmed the lead to 3-2.

The Huskers were then one out away from victory in the top of the seventh before Hart hit a game-tying solo home run to knot the score at 3-3.

That set the stage for Stokes’ walk-off victory. Unzicker got the rally started with a double off the wall in left. She moved up to third on a single from classmate Gina Metzler. With runners on first and third and one out, Becker appeared to be pitching around Stokes as she fell behind 3-0. She then delivered a strike before Stokes chased a pitch out of the strike zone for strike two. Becker then left her 3-2 pitch over the outside corner and Stokes lined a single over the center fielder’s head that scored Unzicker with the winning run.

McClure (4-0) earned the win despite allowing her first run of the year. In 3.0 innings, McClure surrendered two runs (one earned). Sophomore Kaylan Jablonski earned the start and recorded another strong outing, allowing one run on only two hits over the first 4.0 innings.

Offensively, Stokes, Armstrong and Unzicker all had two hits apiece for the Huskers, while Fowler drove in two runs.