Northwestern softball’s five second inning runs were the difference in its 6-1 victory over the Huskers on Friday.
All-American Northwestern junior pitcher Danielle Williams starred in the Wildcat victory. Williams allowed only four hits, and struck out a season-high 13.
The scoring started early, with senior utility Morgan Newport leading off the second inning with a solo home run.
Northwestern did not wait long for its next homer of the game, with sophomore left fielder Angela Zedak hitting a two-run shot three batters later, extending the lead to 3-0.
Junior center fielder Skyler Shellmyer continued the offensive burst with an RBI single, driving in senior outfielder Emma Bartz. Shellmyer immediately advanced into scoring position, stealing second base and reaching third on a wild pitch.
Northwestern took advantage of the opportunity with a single by senior second baseman Rachel Lewis, plating Shellmyer to give the Wildcats a commanding 5-0 lead.
Nebraska started a rally in the top of the fourth inning. Senior right fielder Tristen Edwards led off the inning by drawing a walk. Junior pitcher Courtney Wallace then advanced Edwards and reached base herself after a Northwestern fielding error, giving the Huskers two base runners for the first time in the game.
The rally was thwarted by an unconventional play during junior left fielder Peyton Glatter’s at-bat. Glatter hit a hard ground ball right into the path of Edwards, who was hit by the ball while she was running. Edwards was called out for offensive interference, putting Nebraska’s backs against the wall with two outs.
Williams struck out the following batter, ending the frame.
Northwestern extended the lead after getting off to a slow start in the bottom of the fourth. Northwestern led off the inning with a single, but junior first baseman Nikki Cuchran grounded into a double play in the subsequent at-bat.
With two outs in the inning, Northwestern held tough and hit its third homer of the game. Senior third baseman Mac Dunlap hit a solo shot to right field, her first round tripper of the season, giving the Wildcats a 6-0 lead.
Nebraska broke the shutout in the top of the sixth. Edwards led off the inning with a solo home run, her sixth of the season.
Edwards had an excellent performance at the plate, reaching base in all three of her plate appearances.
The Huskers were unable to get another baserunner for the remainder of the game, with Williams retiring the final six batters. The complete game was the eleventh of the season for Williams, improving her record to 16-5 on the season.
Wallace earned the loss for the Huskers. She struck out four batters over six innings, and allowed 10 hits with six earned runs. The loss drops her record to 10-8 on the season.
Nebraska looks to bounce back with a doubleheader tomorrow beginning at 1 p. m.