Huskers pound Buckeyes
Lincoln - The 19th-ranked Nebraska softball team scored in every inning Friday night, including an eight-run fourth inning, en route to a 14-1, five-inning victory over Ohio State in front of 914 fans at Bowlin Stadium.
The win was Nebraska's sixth straight Big Ten victory, its longest conference winning streak since 2006. The Huskers, who improved to 31-13 on the season and 9-4 in league play, posted double-digit runs for the second straight game. NU produced 18 runs in its last game against Iowa, the highest run total for a conference game in school history. Nebraska's 14 runs in Friday's win over Ohio State tied for the second-highest run total in a conference game in program history.
The Huskers pounded out 12 hits in only four turns at bat. Sophomores Alicia Armstrong and Hailey Decker were each 3-for-4. Decker doubled and drove in three, while Armstrong produced a pair of RBIs. Junior Kylee Muir was 2-for-2 with a double and four RBIs, which tied her career high. Muir is now 13-for-26 in 10 games this month with five doubles and 12 RBIs.
Senior Tatum Edwards hit her 10th home run of the season and drove in three runs. Edwards has now homered in four consecutive games, totaling five homers in that stretch. The Murrieta, Calif., native has also produced 16 RBIs in her past four games. With her 10th home run, Edwards joined her twin sister Taylor as one of only four players in school history to hit 10-or-more home runs in three different seasons.
Edwards (16-9) also earned the win in the circle, firing a three-hitter with seven strikeouts. She allowed only an infield single and a walk over the final four innings, retiring 14 of the final 16 batters she faced.
Ohio State fell to 20-21 overall and 6-7 in conference play with the loss. Olivia O'Reilly (9-7) took the loss, allowing five runs on five hits in 2.0 innings. Four different Buckeyes saw action in the circle, with each allowing at least one run. OSU also walked eight Huskers in the loss.
Ohio State jumped out to a 1-0 lead three batters into the game on a leadoff single, a sacrifice bunt and an RBI double from Cammi Prantl.
The Huskers answered back to take a 3-1 lead with a two-out rally in the bottom of the frame. Decker reached on a one-out double and advanced to second on a wild pitch. With two outs, Armstrong lined an RBI single to right field to score Decker with the tying run. A pair of walks then loaded the bases, before Muir delivered a two-run single through the right side to give the Huskers a 3-1 lead.
Nebraska added two more runs in the bottom of the second. Freshman Kat Woolman began the frame with a walk and was replaced on the basepaths by sophomore Dawna Tyson following a fielder's choice. Taylor Edwards then walked before Decker produced her second single of the game to load the bases with one out. Tatum Edwards brought Tyson home with an RBI fielder's choice, before Armstrong recorded a two-out, RBI single for the second straight inning to give Nebraska a 5-1 lead.
The Huskers made it 6-1 with another run in the bottom of the third. Sophomore Kiki Stokes led off with an infield single before Muir scored her with an RBI double to left center.
NU loaded the bases for the third time in four innings in the bottom of the fourth. Tatum Edwards worked a leadoff walk before Armstrong singled. A ground out moved both runners up a base before Stokes walked to load the bases with one out. Muir then drove in her fourth run of the game with a bases-loaded walk as Nebraska took a 7-1 lead. Woolman then lined the next pitch into left field for an RBI single. Ohio State recorded a force out at home for the second out before Taylor Edwards brought the run-rule into effect with an RBI infield single that gave Nebraska an eight-run lead. Decker then drilled a three-run double over the center fielder's head to put the Huskers in front 12-1. Tatum Edwards followed with a long home run to center to cap the eight-run frame and give Nebraska a 14-1 lead.
Tatum then worked around a two-out walk to preserve the victory in the top of the fifth.
In a change to the original schedule, the Huskers and Buckeyes will wrap up their series on Saturday with a doubleheader at 1 p.m.. Admission into both games is free and a free tailgate begins at 10 a.m. The tailgate includes one free hot dog, one free bag of chips and one free Pepsi product to the first 2,000 fans.
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