Edwards Northwestern 4.5.19

Tristen Edwards (24) rounds the bases during the Cornhusker's match against Northwestern at Bowlin Stadium on Friday, April 5, 2019, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Nebraska softball saw both sides of a blowout on Saturday. The Huskers beat Purdue 8-1 in the first game of a doubleheader, and fell 7-0 in the second matchup in Leesburg, Florida.

Senior pitcher Olivia Ferrell got the start for the Huskers in the first game. Ferrell had one of her most dominant performances of the season so far, pitching six innings and allowing only one run off two hits with five strikeouts.

The Husker bats were similarly dominant. Nebraska produced season-highs in both hits and runs in the first game. The offense was led by senior infielder Cam Ybarra, who posted a career-high with four RBIs off of two doubles.

The scoring got started early for Nebraska. After a leadoff walk by senior outfielder Rylie Unzicker, senior outfielder Tristen Edwards got the first hit of the game and drove Unzicker home on a double to right field. Ybarra earned her first RBI of the game by scoring Edwards on a double, and the Huskers exited the opening frame up 2-0.

The early Husker lead got bigger in the second inning. Freshman utility Caitlynn Neal reached base after an error, Unzicker doubled, and Edwards walked to load the bases for Ybarra. Ybarra then smacked her second double of the day into right field, scoring Neal and Unzicker to give the Huskers a 4-0 lead.

Purdue got its only run of the game in the bottom of the second inning. Junior utility Rylee Platusic got the first hit of the game for the Boilermakers with a single, and scored on a double by senior first baseman Sydney Bates to cut the Husker lead to 4-1.

Nebraska answered back in the top of the third with a sacrifice fly by freshman infielder Billie Andrews, which scored freshman infielder Abbie Squier and extended the lead to 5-1.

A big fifth inning produced the last three runs of the game for the Huskers. Riley and Andrews both reached base on singles, and a double steal by Riley’s pinch-runner, freshman infielder Camyl Armendariz, and Andrews put two runs in scoring position. Neal hit a double to right field, scoring both Armendariz and Andrews. A sacrifice fly by Ybarra then scored Neal to cap off the inning and give Nebraska an 8-1 lead. 

Freshman pitcher Kaylin Kinney recorded the final three outs to secure the win for the Huskers.

Bates was the starter for the Boilermakers in the second half of the doubleheader, and pitched her first shutout of the season. Bates pitched all seven innings, and allowed just four hits with three strikeouts.

The Boilermakers struck first in the top of the opening inning on an RBI single by Platusic, scoring sophomore utility Cora Bassett, who reached base after drawing a walk. 

Purdue extended its lead after a high-scoring third inning. A walk by junior infielder Rachel Becker and a single by freshman catcher Kiley Goff put Becker in scoring position. A single by Bassett scored Becker to extend the lead to 2-1. Then, a groundout by Bates scored Goff, and a single by Platusic in the following at-bat plated Bassett, giving the Boilermakers a 4-0 lead after three. 

Purdue cushioned its lead in the top of the fifth inning. Becker drew a lead-off walk, and scored after a line drive triple by Goff. Bassett’s single to centerfield scored Becker, and Purdue extended its lead to 6-0.

The final runs for Purdue came in the seventh, with a sacrifice bunt by Becker scoring freshman outfielder Kiara Dillon. 

The Huskers will finish the series against Purdue on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. in Leesburg, Florida.