Nebraska hit the road this past weekend, traveling to Bloomington, Indiana to take on the Hoosiers. In dominant fashion, the Huskers swept Indiana in all three games, winning the season series.
Here's a recap of Nebraska softball’s weekend:
The Huskers run-ruled the Hoosiers in their first game, on Friday, winning 12-2 in five innings. Senior pitcher Courtney Wallace recorded the win in Nebraska's first game, moving her season record to 18-8. She pitched all five innings, allowing two runs on two hits.
In the top of the first, three singles with one out loaded the bases up for the Huskers, but junior center fielder Brooke Andrews then struck out looking at the following at bat. That put the Nebraska offense on its heels, but the Huskers still capitalized. Nebraska took an initial 1-0 lead after a passed ball scored freshman second baseman Katelyn Caneda. The Huskers then commenced on a two-out rally, hitting back-to-back doubles to plate two more runs to extend the lead to 3-0.
Indiana responded to Nebraska’s strong start by loading up the bases with zero outs. Two singles, a hit-by-pitch and two walks scored two runs for the Hoosiers to cut the lead 3-2 with zero outs. The Husker defense stood strong though, with a pop up and a double play to end the inning. Though Indiana had a strong start to the game on offense, that turned out to be the only inning it scored in, as Wallace and the Husker defense shut out the Hoosiers the rest of the way.
Prospects looked bleak for Nebraska in the top of the second inning after the first two batters failed to reach base, but the Husker offense once again responded to the pressure. Nebraska recorded five straight hits after the first two outs –– two singles and three doubles –– extending the lead to 7-2.
Nebraska wasn’t done there. Junior third baseman Sydney Gray smashed a two-run home run in the top of the fourth to blow the game open, 9-2. Then, in the fifth inning, Caneda hit a single with bases loaded, and after a fielding error, the Huskers plated all three base runners to end the game 12-2.
The Huskers finished up play over the weekend with a doubleheader on Saturday, winning both games in close fashion. Nebraska won the first 8-6 and the second 4-2.
Junior pitcher Sarah Harness picked up the win on the mound in the first game. She allowed five runs on six hits, pitching four innings. Wallace recorded the save after relieving Harness in the bottom of the fifth inning and allowed just one run on one hit in three innings pitched.
Nebraska started off the hitting right away, as the Huskers recorded three singles in the first inning, resulting in two runs, before junior left fielder Abbie Squier hit a two-run homerun to give Nebraska an early 4-0 lead. Indiana wasted no time responding in the bottom of the first, as freshman Taryn Kern hit a two run home run after a leadoff walk to cut the lead 4-2.
In a game that had the look of a potential shootout, the Huskers went cold on offense. Nebraska didn’t score for three straight innings, allowing Indiana to take its first lead of the game in the bottom of the third. After two leadoff singles, a fly out to right field scored junior shortstop Brooke Benson who hit the first single of the inning. Sophomore right fielder Taylor Minnick then hit the homerun of the game to give the Hoosiers a 5-4 lead. Nebraska didn’t respond until the fifth inning, where it had an offensive explosion.
After the leadoff hitter grounded out, junior shortstop Billie Andrews and Caneda hit back-to-back singles before a fielding error scored Andrews. Two batters later, Brooke Andrews, hit a two-RBI double and an RBI single and Squier and an Indiana fielding error gave Nebraska a comfortable 8-5 lead. Though the Hoosiers scored one more run, it wasn’t enough, as the Huskers won 8-6.
In the second game of the doubleheader, Nebraska once again came out on top, winning a lower-scoring game. Wallace picked up the win in the third game, her 19th win of the season. She put in a great performance on the mound, allowing just two runs on five hits while recording six strikeouts. This was Wallace’s 21st game in a row where she has pitched in some capacity.
The Huskers, for the third game in a row, took the initial lead in the first inning. Billie Andrews hit a leadoff single, and after Caneda struck out, Gray smashed a double to bring Andrews home. A couple batters later, Brooke Andrews singled up the middle to plate Gray, giving the Huskers a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the first, Indiana hit two singles to score one run, making it a 2-1 game. Nebraska extended its lead back to two runs with a solo shot from Brooke Andrews in the top of the third. She finished the weekend with six RBI, extending her team-leading total of 42.
The Huskers scored their fourth and final run of the game in the seventh inning on a homerun by Gray. While Indiana scored a run in the bottom of the seventh, it wasn't enough, as Nebraska won 4-2 to complete the season sweep.
After a very successful conference road trip, Nebraska improves to 30-13 overall and 10-4 in conference play. After two straight weekends of conference road games, the Huskers will be back in Lincoln on April 19 to face in-state rival Creighton.