Madison, Wis. — The Nebraska softball team (31-23) had to attempt a come-from-behind victory against Michigan State (25-25) on Thursday in the first round of the 2018 Big Ten Softball Tournament, but the Huskers were unsuccessful, falling to the Spartans by a score of 4-3. NU fell behind 4-0 at the end of the third. The Huskers fought back, scoring three runs in the fourth, but it wouldn’t be enough. The Huskers had plenty of opportunities to put the Spartans away though. Nebraska left 11 runners on base and went 3-for- 13 with runners in scoring position.
Nebraska had seven hits and four walks. Taylor Otte and Laura Barrow each had two hits. Otte also had an RBI and Barrow had one run and one walk. Alyvia Simmons, Olivia Ferrell and Sarah Yocom each had one hit as well for the Huskers. Yocom also had one run and a walk. Tristen Edwards drew two walks.
Olivia Ferrell (9-8) started and pitched 2.1 innings. She gave up four runs on four hits. She also had two walks. Kaylan Jablonski pitched 3.2 innings of relief. She gave up three hits and no runs. She also had one walk.
MSU’s Bridgette Rainey (8-11) pitched 4.0 innings of relief. She gave up one hit and had three strikeouts.
MSU took a 1-0 lead in the first after a solo homer to left field.
In the second, Nebraska loaded the bases with one out after three straight hits from Ferrell, Barrow and Yocom, but the Spartans got a force out at home and a fly out to leave three Huskers stranded. In the bottom of the inning, Michigan State loaded the bases with no outs after a single and two walks. A sac fly scored another run for the Spartans to give them a 2-0 lead. The Husker defense got out of the inning without allowing any other runs.
In the third, both Otte and Edwards were hit by pitches to put runners on first and second with no outs, but the Spartans got three straight outs again to leave two runners stranded. MSU hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the inning to extend the lead to 4-0.
The Huskers got on the board in the fourth. Barrow hit a leadoff single and Yocom drew a walk. Metzler bunted to move them both over, but a throwing error allowed her to reach first and advance to second. Barrow scored on the error. Simmons singled to score Yocom and put runners on the corners. Then, Otte doubled to score Metzler and put runners on second and third. MSU got three outs, but not before Nebraska cut into to the lead.
In the sixth, Otte reached on an error and Edwards was walked to put two runners on with two outs, but a pop-up put the Huskers back on defense.
Nebraska got one runner on base in the seventh, but was unable to pull off the complete comeback.
The Huskers will await the NCAA Selection Show on Sunday to see if they will receive a bid to the 2018 NCAA Tournament. The bracket will be announced Sunday at 9 p.m. CT on ESPN2.