Huskers storm St. John's, 7-4

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CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. -- The Nebraska softball team (10-4) found its offensive rhythm again and used it to topple St. John's (2-6) 7-4, Saturday morning in its first of two games on the day.

On a weekend where Nebraska's offense was struggling, scoring just six runs in the last three games, the Husker bats could not have found a better time to get going. NU recorded 12 hits and multiple hitters took part in the offensive effort. Alyvia Simmons and Kaylan Jablonski both went 3-for-4 with two runs and one RBI. Jablonski and Tristen Edwards both hit a homerun for the Huskers. Madi Unzicker and Gina Metzler also both had two hits.

Olivia Ferrell improved to 4-0 on the year, pitching five innings, giving up eight hits and four runs. She also recorded three strikeouts. Jablonski earned her fourth save of the season, pitching two innings, giving up one hit and recording three strikeouts.

McKenzie Murray dropped to 1-3 on the year, pitching 1.1 innings, giving up six runs - five earned, seven hits and recording two strikeouts.

St. John's took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. A leadoff walk followed by a single put runners on first and second. A one-out single scored one run and a wild pitch moved both runners over. The Husker defense stood strong though, retiring the next two batters, which included a strikeout from Ferrell.

Nebraska responded in the bottom of the first. Simmons hit a leadoff single and moved over to second on a groundout. Jablonski hit another single to put runners on the corners. With Madi Unzicker at the plate, Jablonski stole second to put both runners in scoring position. Unzicker then delivered a perfect bunt that scored Simmons and also allowed her to reach first. With the score tied and runners on the corners, the Red Storm catcher attempted to pick off Unzicker, who was stealing second. With no infielder covering the base, Unzicker reached safely and Jablonski scored on the error to give the Huskers a 2-1 lead.

In the top of the second, St. John's scored two more with a double, a walk and another double, taking a 3-2 lead.

In the bottom of the second, Riley who came in the game for Bri Cassidy, got her first-career hit - a one-out double. Back-back-singles by Metzler and Simmons scored Riley. With Edwards at the plate, Metzler and Simmons both stole bases. Then, Edwards hammered a ball over the center field fence, giving the Huskers a 6-3 lead. Jablonski hit another homerun to left field extending the lead to 7-3.

The Red Storm cut the lead to 7-4 with a solo homerun in the top of the fourth.

The Huskers take on top-ranked Washington Saturday at 5 p.m. (CT).