Nebraska Softball 4.1 No. 2

Nebraska’s Billie Andrews (6) prepares to leave first base during their game against Rutgers at Bowlin Stadium on Friday, April 1, 2022, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Nebraska continued its impressive season on Sunday by winning both games of a doubleheader over Michigan State.

The first game of the day was a back-and-forth battle that went into extra innings. Senior pitcher Olivia Ferrell got the win in the circle, and she also hit the game-winning home run.

The Huskers had their first scoring opportunity in the top of the first inning. After two walks and a double from senior second baseman Cam Ybarra, Nebraska had the bases loaded. A strikeout ended the inning, stranding three runners on base.

After Nebraska failed to capitalize, Michigan State scored first in the bottom of the inning. Senior outfielder Courtney Callahan started the inning for the Spartans with a double. Sophomore third baseman Alexis Barroso brought her home with a single, giving Michigan State the early 1-0 lead.

Nebraska responded in the top of the second inning. Sophomore utility Caitlynn Neal hit a double to start the inning. She scored on a single from senior pitcher Courtney Wallace. After advancing to third, Wallace scored on a single from sophomore third baseman Sydney Gray to give the Huskers a 2-1 lead.

In the top of the fourth inning, the Huskers added to their lead. Neal walked and then advanced to third on a Michigan State fielding error. She scored on a sacrifice fly to center field, extending the Nebraska lead to 3-1.

Michigan State scored a run of its own in the bottom of the fourth. Back-to-back doubles for the Spartans narrowed the Husker advantage to 3-2. An incredible double play at home by the Husker infield ended the inning.

In the bottom of the fifth, Michigan State retook the lead. Two singles started the inning, putting two runners on base with no outs. Callahan brought both home with a double into left-center field, giving the Spartans a 4-3 lead.

The back-and-forth affair continued as Nebraska took back its lead in the top of the sixth. Two Husker singles and a walk loaded the bases with just one out. Junior first baseman Mya Felder brought two runners home with an RBI single up the middle. The Huskers would carry a 5-4 lead into the seventh inning.

With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Nebraska was one out away from victory. Spartan senior outfielder Jessica Mabrey had other plans. She tied up the game with a clutch solo home run into left field. The inning ended a 5-5 tie, sending the game to extra innings.

After a scoreless eighth inning, Nebraska took the lead in the top of the ninth. With one runner on base, Ferrell hit a home run over the left-field fence. The two-run blast gave the Huskers a 7-5 lead.

In the circle, Ferrell finished off the Spartans in the bottom of the ninth without allowing another run. The nine-inning game came to a close with a 7-5 Nebraska victory.

In the second game of the afternoon, sophomore pitcher Kaylin Kinney got the win in the circle. She pitched four innings and allowed three runs before she was relieved by Ferrell.

After two scoreless innings, the Spartans struck first in the bottom of the third. With one runner on, Barroso doubled to bring a run home. Another Michigan State run scored when a runner stole home, giving the Spartans an early 2-0 lead.

In the top of the fourth, Ferrell tied the game with one swing of the bat. With one runner on, she hit her second home run of the day. Michigan State recaptured its lead in the bottom of the inning. A Mabrey sacrifice fly gave the Spartans a 3-2 advantage.

The Huskers responded in the top of the fifth. With one runner on, sophomore shortstop Billie Andrews doubled down the right-field line that drove in a run. Andrews scored on a Felder single to give Nebraska a 4-3 lead.

Andrews got her second RBI of the game in the top of the sixth. With two runners on Andrews knocked a single into right field, extending the Husker lead to 5-3.

Michigan State scored one final run in the bottom of the sixth. Sophomore second baseman Zaquai Dumas hit a leadoff home run to narrow the Husker lead to 5-4. However, the Spartans were unable to score again and the score held.

The win marked the Huskers' 13th in a row as they remain undefeated in Big Ten play. The team has one day off before hosting Iowa for a doubleheader on Tuesday, April 12. The games are scheduled at 4:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. respectively and can be watched on Big Ten Plus.

sports@dailynebraskan.com