Softball takes WSU series with Sunday win

Posted By: Sports

Story Courtesy: Nebraska Athletics

Lincoln, Neb. – The Nebraska softball team hit three home runs and scored in every inning but one, as the Huskers secured a series victory over Wichita State on Sunday with a 10-5 victory at Bowlin Stadium.

Nebraska scored four times in the first and added two runs in the second and third innings before plating single runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Junior MJ Knighten hit her 11th home run of the season, while sophomore Madi Unzicker hit her second home run of the season and classmate Austen Urness hit her first homer of the year.

The Huskers out-hit Wichita State, 11-4, while scoring double-digit runs for the second time this season. With the win, Nebraska improved to 12-4 on the year.

Senior right-hander Emily Lockman (4-0) earned the win in relief, allowing only one hit and no runs in 4.2 innings. Junior right-hander Cassie McClure got the start and allowed a season-high five runs (four earned) in 2.1 innings, as she walked four.

The game got off to a rough start for the Huskers. A leadoff walk came around to score on a one-out RBI single from Brittany Fortner. An error then extended the inning before Cacy Williams blooped a ball down the left field that fell for a hit. Left fielder Gina Metzler fielded the hop and threw a strike to home plate where Fortner was tagged out by catcher Madi Unzicker, as Fortner slid but never made it to home plate. But Unzicker was called for obstruction, allowing Fortner to score and give Wichita State a 2-0 lead.

Nebraska responded with its biggest first inning of the year in the bottom of the frame. Knighten was hit by a pitch before sophomore Kaylan Jablonski singled. Senior Alicia Armstrong then scored Knighten with an RBI single. A walk to McClure loaded the bases before senior Mattie Fowler lined a two-run single to right center to give Nebraska a 3-2 lead. Unzicker then capped the four-run inning with a two-out RBI double.

The Huskers added two more runs in the bottom of the second when sophomore Laura Barrow drew a leadoff walk and scored on a two-run homer from Knighten that just barely cleared the center field fence and was nearly robbed by Ashley Johnson, who had the ball tick off her glove.

Nebraska helped the Shockers out again in the top of the third. McClure walked three of the first four batters in the inning to load the bases with one out. Lockman entered the game and gave up an RBI single to the first batter she faced for the only hit she would allow. A wild pitch allowed another run to score, before an RBI ground out cut the lead to 6-5. Wichita State plated three runs in the inning on only one single.

Neither team scored in the fourth inning, but Urness hit her first home run of the season with one out in the bottom of the fifth to stretch Nebraska’s lead to 9-5.

The Huskers closed out the scoring in the bottom of the sixth, when junior Lotte Sjulin picked up her first career hit with an RBI double that scored Knighten.

Knighten finished 2-for-3 with three runs and a pair of RBIs, while Unzicker was 2-for-2 with a double, a homer and two RBIs.

Ashlynne Neil (1-1) took the loss for Wichita State, which fell to 9-8. Neil did not record an out, facing four batters in the first inning and allowing two hits, one walk and three runs.

Nebraska hits the road again next weekend, when the Huskers take on three ranked teams in a five-game schedule at the Easton Tournament, hosted by Arizona State.