NU Softball Upsets No. 10 Tennessee

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Story Courtesy: Nebraska Athletics

Cathedral City, Calif. – Kiki Stokes slugged two home runs, including a key two-run homer in the top of the seventh inning, to power the Nebraska softball team to 5-2 upset of 10th-ranked Tennessee on Saturday afternoon in Cathedral City, Calif.

Stokes began the game with a leadoff home run, then turned a 3-2 advantage into the final 5-2 margin with her two-run homer in the final inning. Stokes went 3-for-4 with two runs and three RBIs against the Volunteers. She homered twice against a Tennessee pitching staff that had surrendered only one home run in its first 13 games.

Stokes, who went 6-for-7 with four RBIs in Nebraska’s two games Saturday, powered a Husker offense that out-hit Tennessee, 9-5. Junior Mattie Fowler and sophomore MJ Knighten each produced two hits, with Fowler adding an RBI and freshman Laura Barrow accounting for the Huskers’ other RBI.

Stokes’ power stole the show in the upset victory, but Nebraska received outstanding performances in the circle from right-handers Emily Lockman and Cassie McClure. Lockman started and earned the victory, allowing two runs in 4.1 innings. In picking up her fourth career victory over a top-10 team, Lockman (3-3) surrendered four hits and struck out five. McClure pitched the final 2.2 innings, allowing only one hit and one walk to earn her first save as a Husker. McClure made two relief appearances on Saturday, allowing just two base runners in 7.0 scoreless innings.

With the win, Nebraska improved to 2-1 on the weekend and 6-7 on the season. Gretchen Aucoin (5-2) took the loss for Tennessee, which fell to 11-3 on the year. Aucoin allowed three runs in 3.0 innings.

Stokes gave Nebraska an immediate 1-0 lead when she sent the fifth pitch of the game over the fence in center for a leadoff home run.

Tennessee then loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the first before Scarlet McSwain won a 10-pitch at bat by lining an RBI single to center that tied the game. But Lockman bounced back and prevented further damage with back-to-back strikeouts.

After a scoreless second inning, Fowler began the top of the third with a single. She moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt from freshman Gina Metzler before Stokes reached on an infield single to put Huskers on first and second. But a strikeout and a terrific defensive play from shortstop Meghan Gregg ended the threat.

The Huskers then loaded the bases with none out in the top of the fourth on three consecutive singles from McClure, senior Kylee Muir and Knighten. Barrow then gave Nebraska with a 2-1 lead with a ground ball to the second baseman that scored sophomore pinch runner Kat Woolman. Barrow wound up safe at first on an error as the Huskers kept the bases loaded before Fowler grounded an 0-2 pitch through the left side for an RBI single that pushed Nebraska’s lead to 3-1. The Huskers had a chance to extend the lead with the bases still loaded, but Tennessee reliever Erin Gabriel coaxed two ground outs and an infield pop up.

Tennessee immediately got one run back when McSwain led off the bottom of the fourth with a home run.

Nebraska still held a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the fifth. An error and a sacrifice bunt gave Tennessee the tying runner at second base with one out and brought McClure into the circle for her second relief outing of the day. McClure got a big strikeout then worked around a two-out walk to get a foul out to end the inning.

Clinging to a one-run lead, Metzler drew a leadoff walk in the top of the seventh. Tennessee then changed pitchers in the middle of Stokes’ at bat, but Stokes was unfazed, drilling a two-run homer to right to give Nebraska a 5-2 lead.

The Volunteers got a leadoff single in the bottom of the seventh, but a double play and a fly out secured the upset.

Nebraska concludes its stay in Cathedral City, Calif., with a pair of games against Oregon State and No. 12 UCLA on Sunday.

Box Score

2015 Nebraska Softball

Nebraska vs #10 Tennessee

Feb 21, 2015 at Cathedral City, CA (Big League Dreams)

Nebraska 5 (6-7)

Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB

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Stokes, Kiki cf………. 4 2 3 3 0 0 0 0 0

Armstrong, Alicia ss….. 4 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 3

Pasquale, Steph c…….. 3 0 0 0 0 0 7 0 2

Unzicker, Madi c…….. 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0

McClure, Cassie dp……. 4 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0

Woolman, Kat pr……… 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Muir, Kylee rf……….. 4 1 1 0 0 0 4 0 1

Knighten, MJ 3b………. 3 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 0

Barrow, Laura 2b……… 3 0 0 1 0 1 2 2 0

Fowler, Mattie 1b…….. 3 0 2 1 0 0 5 0 0

Otte, Taylor pr……… 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Metzler, Gina lf……… 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0

Jablonski, Kaylan ph…. 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Lockman, Emily p……… 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Totals………………. 29 5 9 5 2 3 21 5 6

Tennessee 2 (11-3)

Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB

——————————————————

Rainey Gaffin rf……… 4 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0

Megan Geer 2b………… 3 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0

Annie Aldrete c………. 3 0 0 0 1 1 4 1 0

Taylor Koenig 1b……… 2 0 1 0 1 0 10 0 0

Hannah Devotie pr……. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Scarlet McSwain dp……. 3 1 2 2 0 0 0 1 2

Meghan Gregg ss………. 3 0 0 0 0 3 3 4 0

Gretchen Aucoin p…….. 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 3

Erin Gabriel p………. 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0

Lexi Overstreet 3b……. 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0

Shaliyah Geathers lf….. 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

Shianne Ybarra ph……. 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

Tory Lewis cf………… 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0

Totals………………. 25 2 5 2 3 7 21 10 7

Score by Innings R H E

—————————————–

Nebraska………… 100 200 2 – 5 9 1

Tennessee……….. 100 100 0 – 2 5 1

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E – Knighten(2); M. Geer. DP – Huskers 1. LOB – Huskers 6; Vols 7. HR –

Stokes 2(6); S. McSwain. HBP – L.Overstreet. SH – Metzler(2); M. Geer. CS –

Knighten(1).

Nebraska IP H R ER BB SO AB BF NP

————————————————–

Lockman, Emily…… 4.1 4 2 2 2 5 17 20 95

McClure, Cassie….. 2.2 1 0 0 1 2 8 10 51

Tennessee IP H R ER BB SO AB BF NP

————————————————–

Gretchen Aucoin….. 3.0 5 3 3 0 1 13 14 44

Rainey Gaffin……. 1.0 3 1 1 1 1 7 8 36

Erin Gabriel…….. 3.0 1 1 1 1 1 9 10 27

Win – Lockman (3-3). Loss – G. Aucoin (5-2). Save – McClure (1).

WP – R. Gaffin. HBP – by McClure (L.Overstreet). Pitches/strikes: Lockman 95/61;

McClure 51/32; G. Aucoin 44/33; R. Gaffin 36/22; E. Gabriel 27/18.

Umpires – HP: Bubba Ewald 1B: Reed Clayton 3B: Anthony Lewis

Start: 2:30 pm Time: 2:31 Attendance: 225

Game: livegame