Softball rewrites record book in Maryland blowout

Posted By: Sports

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Story Courtesy: Nebraska Athletics

College Park, Md. – The Nebraska softball team handed head coach Rhonda Revelle a milestone victory in record fashion Sunday, as the Huskers clinched a series victory with a 26-4 five-inning win over Maryland.

Nebraska set school records for runs (26), RBIs (23) and combined runs (30) to highlight Revelle’s 900th victory as Husker head coach. Nebraska scored in every inning, including an 11-run second inning followed by an eight-run third. The Huskers pounded out 21 hits – one shy of the school record which was set in a seven-inning win against Creighton in 1996 – while also drawing 10 walks.

With the win, Nebraska evened its Big Ten Conference record at 3-3, while improving to 22-12 overall. Sophomore Kaylan Jablonski (3-3) tossed a complete game and allowed four runs (three earned) on only five hits.

Offensively, seven Huskers produced multiple hits, including six players with three hits each. Each of Nebraska’s first four hitters in the lineup – senior Kiki Stokes, junior MJ Knighten, Jablonski and junior Cassie McClure – tallied three hits, while combining for 17 RBIs and 12 runs. Stokes set a school record with five runs scored, finishing 3-for-4 with a double, a triple, two walks and four RBIs. Knighten was 3-for-5 with a double and a career-high-tying five RBIs, while Jablonski was 3-for-6 with three RBIs, setting career highs in hits and RBIs.

McClure was arguably the star of the offensive outburst, slugging two home runs while going 3-for-6 with five RBIs. Sophomore Austen Urness was 3-for-4 with three RBIs, notching her first multi-hit game of the season. Classmate Laura Barrow had two hits and also scored a career-high four runs.

Nebraska jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Stokes began the game with a double before Knighten walked. With one out, McClure hit a hard ground ball that the third baseman was unable to handle and the ball deflected off her and down the left field line to score Stokes. Knighten moved up to third on the error and she made a delayed break for home and scored on nice base running on a ground ball off the bat of freshman Alyvia Simmons.

Maryland then loaded the bases on a single and two walks in the bottom of the frame before a third walk forced in a run. Jablonski then fell behind the next batter 3-0 but recovered to coax an inning-ending pop out to short.

The Huskers answered back with their biggest inning of the year in the top of the second, sending 16 batters to the plate and scoring 11 runs. Senior Dawna Tyson walked, Barrow singled and Stokes walked to load the bases with one out. Knighten then lined a three-run double to right to put the Huskers on top 5-1.

Trailing 5-1, Maryland recorded the second out of the inning before the Huskers scored six two-out runs as nine consecutive batters reached base. McClure ignited the two-out rally by launching a two-run homer to right center to stretch the lead to 7-1. NU loaded the bases on a walk to Simmons, a single from senior Mattie Fowler and a hit-by-pitch to Tyson. Urness then grounded a two-run single up the middle to push the lead to 9-1. Barrow followed with another single to load the bases and Stokes drew her second walk of the game to force in the Huskers’ 10th run of the game. Knighten added her second hit of the inning with an RBI single to right that made it 11-1 before Maryland was unable to handle a ground ball off Jablonski’s bat, committing an error that led to the final two runs of the inning.

A two-out Husker error led to a Maryland run in the bottom of the second.

The Huskers kept hitting in the top of the third, scoring eight more runs. Simmons began the inning with a walk and Fowler followed with a single. Urness then produced an RBI single to push the lead to 14-2. Three consecutive RBI singles from Stokes, Knighten and Jablonski made it 17-2 before McClure blasted a three-run homer to give the Huskers 20 runs. A two-out, RBI double from Fowler capped the eight-run inning and stretched Nebraska’s lead to 21-2.

Maryland got two runs back on a two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the third.

The Huskers added four more runs in the top of the fifth to make it 25-4. Urness singled and Barrow walked to begin the inning before Stokes hit a two-run triple. Stokes then scored her record fifth run on an RBI single from Jablonski. Junior pinch-hitter Lotte Sjulin capped the inning with an RBI single of her own.

Nebraska added a final run in the top of the fifth when sophomore Gina Metzler walked to begin the inning and scored on a two-out, RBI single from Jablonski.

In the circle, Jablonski kept Maryland off the scoreboard in the final two innings, as the Terrapins fell to 8-25 on the season and 1-5 in league play.

Nebraska returns home for a busy week at Bowlin Stadium. The Huskers will host Iowa in a Wednesday doubleheader at 4 p.m. before taking on No. 2 Michigan in a three-game series on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Admission into Saturday’s game is free as part of the World’s Largest Softball Tailgate, which is also a free event and begins at 10 a.m. in the parking lot behind the left field fence of Bowlin Stadium.