Bloomington, Ind. — The Nebraska softball team (26-12, 4-3 Big Ten) handed Indiana (13-22, 6-1 Big Ten) its first Big Ten loss of the season on Friday with a 5-0 victory.
In a game that just had three hits and no runs through the first four innings, Nebraska needed to get something going on offense. In the fifth inning, the Huskers did just that, scoring five runs off three hits and an error. That would be it for the scoring efforts, but it was enough for Nebraska to earn the win.
Kaylan Jablonski had a spectacular game in the circle for Nebraska. She pitched a complete seven innings and improved to 18-7 on the year. In addition to shutting out the Hoosiers, Jablonski allowed just two hits and two walks. She also had six strikeouts.
IU’s Tara Trainer dropped to 7-12, pitching 4.0 innings. She gave up five runs – two earned – on four hits. She also had five strikeouts.
Tristen Edwards led the Huskers on offense. She went 2-for-3, with one run, one walk and one RBI. Jablonski had a double and two RBIs. Madi Unzicker also had a hit and one RBI. Gina Metzler also had a double that got the big fifth inning started for the Huskers.
Nebraska had a scoring opportunity earlier in the game, after loading the bases with no outs in the second. Edwards kicked things off with a single to right field. Jablonski reached first on a fielder’s choice, as the Hoosier defense opted to throw to second, but Edwards beat the throw. Unzicker then reached first on another fielder’s choice and Edwards was safe at third after a fielding error on the third baseman. Boruff put the ball in play, but Indiana got Edwards out at home to keep a run from scoring. Trainer struck out the next two batters to take away a big offensive opportunity for the Huskers and keep the game scoreless.
In the bottom of the third, the Hoosiers got a runner on third with two outs. Indiana singled to center field, but a fielding error on the Huskers allowed the runner to advance all the way to third. Jablonski came up with a big strikeout though to keep the runner for scoring and end the inning.
Things picked up in the top of the fifth. Metzler hit a leadoff double and Simmons drew a walk to put runners on first and second. Kneib delivered a perfect sacrifice bunt and reached first on a throwing error on the Hoosier defense. Metzler advanced to third and scored on the error, giving Nebraska its first run. Simmons and Kneib both advanced another base on a throw attempt on Metzler at home. Barrow drew a walk to load the bases for Edwards with no outs. Another walk scored another run. Jablonski then doubled to deep center field to score two more runs for the Huskers. Edwards scored on Madi Unzicker’s single.
The Huskers and the Hoosiers will play game two of the series on Saturday, beginning at noon CT.