A three-run home run and a solid start in the circle by freshman pitcher Lindsey Walljasper led the Huskers to a 9-2 victory over the South Dakota Coyotes on Tuesday.
Walljasper played well in both the circle and at the plate. She pitched five innings and allowed two runs on seven hits and struck out five. In the batter’s box, Walljasper went 2-3 and recorded four RBIs.
“I thought it was great start for this week and weekend,” Walljasper said.
Senior outfielder Alyvia Simmons also hit a home run and drew a walk for the Huskers as part of her 1-3, three-RBI performance. Junior infielder Tristen Edwards hit a pair of doubles and finished the game with two RBIs.
“I thought we came out really strong offensively,” head coach Rhonda Revelle said. “That was really great to see because it took some momentum away from [South Dakota].”
Walljasper got into a little trouble early in the game. She allowed two hits and had runners on first and second with one out. Walljasper stood her ground, though, earning a strikeout and a fly out to end the inning without any damage.
After stopping the Coyote threat in the top of the first inning, Walljasper helped her cause in the bottom of the first inning. With Edwards on second and freshman outfielder Peyton Glatter on first, Walljasper hit an RBI single to give Nebraska a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
The freshman pitcher settled down in the top of the second for the Huskers. Walljasper struck out two batters and retired the side in order.
Nebraska blew the game open in the bottom of the second inning. Two walks put a pair of runners on base for Simmons with two outs. She kept the inning alive in the loudest way possible, hitting a three-run home run to left field bringing the score to 4-0.
The Huskers kept the two-out rally going as Edwards hit a double off the wall in right field and Glatter drew a walk. Then, not to be outdone by Simmons, Walljasper hit a home run to right field that capped off a six-run second inning and gave Nebraska a 7-0 lead.
The Coyotes responded in the top of the third inning by getting a pair of runs back. South Dakota loaded the bases with no outs and senior infielder Alyssa Fernandez and sophomore catcher Skylar Arellano both hit RBI singles to get the Coyotes on the board to make it 7-2.
Both team’s offenses went quiet after the third inning. The Huskers were retired in order in the bottom of the third inning and South Dakota failed to produce a base runner in the top of the fourth inning. In the bottom of the fourth inning, Simmons led off by drawing a walk, but a double play quickly erased any threat the Coyotes faced.
South Dakota managed to get two runners on with two outs in the top of the fifth inning after a hit by pitch and single. Walljasper shut down the scoring chance by striking out the last batter she faced.
Freshman pitcher Courtney Wallace replaced Walljasper in the circle in the top of the sixth inning with the Huskers still on top 7-2. Wallace struck out the first batter she saw on her way to a three-up, three-down sixth inning.
Nebraska tacked on a couple more runs in the bottom half of the sixth inning. After singles by both senior infielder Madi Unzicker and sophomore outfielder Rylie Unzicker, Edwards hit a double to left center field, scoring the Unzicker sisters and making the score 9-2.
The Coyotes got a walk to start the top of the seventh inning, but two fielder’s choices and a strikeout from Wallace ended the game.
“I’m proud of both of our pitchers,” Revelle said. “That was a really good combo pitching effort.”
This was the first of six games this week for Nebraska. The Huskers got on a bus after the win to head to Iowa City where they will play a double-header against the Iowa Hawkeyes on Wednesday. The games are scheduled for 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. and both will air on BTN.