After a thrilling 7-6 win in extra innings over Wisconsin on Friday, Nebraska fell apart in the seventh inning on Saturday, losing 4-3 to the Badgers.
Junior pitcher Sarah Harness picked up the loss, moving to 10-5 on the season. After allowing just one run through the first six innings in the game, she gave up three runs in the seventh inning to give the Badgers their first lead of the game.
“I felt like I was hitting the spots coach Revelle was calling,” Harness said postgame of the first six innings.
The Huskers recorded a hit in every inning besides the seventh, keeping pressure on Wisconsin’s defense throughout the game, but it wasn’t enough. While Nebraska recorded nine hits in the contest, the same number as Wisconsin, the Huskers couldn’t string them together, coming up empty handed in too many innings.
Neither team scored in the first three innings, although Nebraska came very close in the bottom of the third. The Huskers’ first three batters of the inning recorded two singles and a walk to load the bases with no outs, but they couldn’t capitalize. Senior first baseman Mya Felder hit a nice ball down the third base line with bases loaded, which would have scored two runs for the Huskers, but in a controversial call, the umpires ruled it foul.
With the game scoreless heading into the fourth, Nebraska took its first lead in the bottom of the inning, capitalizing on two Wisconsin errors. Sophomore catcher Ava Bredwell singled down the left field line with one out to start the action off for the Huskers. Freshman designated hitter Alina Felix, who hit the walkoff single in Friday’s outing, then reached first on an error which also advanced Bredwell to third. Felix later went to steal second base, and another error on Wisconsin brought Bredwell home, giving Nebraska a 1-0 advantage.
The top of the fourth saw the most scoring, as the Badgers tied the game up before the Huskers retook the lead. The top of the inning started off strong for Nebraska. Harness popped up the first two Wisconsin batters for two quick outs. The Badgers responded with a two-out rally for their first score of the game. Junior third baseman Skylar Sirdashney singled for Wisconsin before senior catcher Katie Keller doubled, scoring Sirdashney to tie the game 1-1
In the bottom of the inning, freshman second baseman Katelyn Caneda singled to deep right field to start the inning before junior third baseman Sydney Gray was walked. Two batters later, junior center fielder Brooke Andrews took advantage, smashing a triple to score both Canada and Gray. That ended up being the final run scored for Nebraska, as it was all Badgers from then on out.
Neither team scored in the sixth, and then four straight hits — three singles and a double — for Wisconsin scored three runs to give them a 4-3 lead heading into the bottom of the inning. The Badgers made quick work of the Huskers in the bottom of the seventh, with three straight outs to end the game 4-3 in Wisconsin’s favor.
“I thought [Harness] was really strong through six, I thought she struggled a little bit there in the seventh,” Revelle said postgame. “We didn't really want to get Courtney up today after throwing 200 pitches yesterday… But I thought Sarah threw really well.”
This game broke senior pitcher Courtny Wallace’s 22 game streak of pitching in some capacity, as she took a much needed rest.
With the loss, Nebraska moves to 31-14 overall and 11-5 in conference play. The Huskers will be back in action to decide the winner of the season series on Sunday against Wisconsin.