Softball Sweeps Michigan State

Posted By: Sports

Story Courtesy: Nebraska Athletics

Lincoln – Alicia Armstrong broke a sixth-inning tie with a three-run home run, helping the Nebraska softball team complete a three-game sweep of Michigan State with a 7-5 victory in Sunday’s series finale.

The game was tied 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth when Armstrong smacked her fifth home run of the season to secure the sweep. Nebraska improved to 15-12 overall and 3-0 in Big Ten Conference play with its 14th consecutive home victory and 13th straight home conference win.

Five of Nebraska’s eight hits in the game went for extra-bases, and the Huskers also benefited from three Michigan State errors. Senior Kylee Muir was the only Husker besides Armstrong to drive in a run, while sophomores MJ Knighten and Cassie McClure had two hits apiece, including a triple from Knighten and a pair of doubles by McClure.

Junior right-hander Emily Lockman (8-7) earned the win in the circle, allowing only two earned runs in 6.1 innings. McClure came on in the top of the seventh and recorded the final two outs to pick up her third save of the season.

Kristina Zalewski (11-7) took the loss for Michigan State, which fell to 15-15 on the season and 0-3 in conference play.

Nebraska jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Knighten tripled with one out and then scored the game’s first run on a wild pitch.

A pair of errors then helped the Huskers take a 3-0 lead with two more runs in the bottom of the second. Muir drew a leadoff walk before junior Mattie Fowler was hit by a two-out pitch. Freshman Laura Barrow then reached on an error to load the bases with one out. With two outs, Knighten hit a ground ball to second, but a throwing error allowed Muir and Fowler to score.

Michigan State trimmed the lead to 3-1 in the top of the third. A leadoff walk and a fielder’s choice where no out was recorded put Spartans at first and second with no outs. The next two batters were retired before McKenzie Long delivered an RBI single through the right side.

The Huskers got the run back in the bottom of the frame. McClure led off with her second double of the game. Then with one out, Muir doubled down the right field line to score freshman pinch runner Taylor Otte and give Nebraska a 4-1 lead.

Michigan State pulled even at 4-4 with three unearned runs in the top of the fifth. The ball never left the infield in the inning but an error, an infield single and a fielder’s choice where no out was recorded set the stage for Long’s game-tying two-out, two-run infield single.

In the decisive sixth inning, Barrow and Knighten singled in front of Armstrong’s winning home run.

Kassidy Kujawa led off the top of the seventh with a home run and Long doubled with one out, but McClure retired the final two hitters to save the win.

Nebraska returns to action on Tuesday, when the Huskers travel to Iowa for a doubleheader with the Hawkeyes. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. and both games will be televised live on the Big Ten Network.