LINCOLN, Neb. -- Kylee Muir's grand slam was only the beginning of a big day of celebrations for the 19th-ranked Nebraska softball team Sunday at Bowlin Stadium.
The celebration began as Muir's grand slam erased an early deficit and powered the Huskers to an 8-3 victory over Indiana. The celebration continued following the game, as Nebraska said goodbye to Tatum and Taylor Edwards on Senior Day. But the biggest celebration was still to come.
With the Edwards twins still signing autographs on the field, the remaining Huskers gathered in the clubhouse to watch the end of the Wisconsin-Michigan game. A Wisconsin victory would mean a share of the program's first Big Ten regular-season title, and the Badgers came through, upsetting the sixth-ranked Wolverines in nine innings.
The final out of the bottom of the ninth sent the clubhouse into an eruption, as Nebraska ended its conference title drought with its first Big Ten title and first conference title overall since 2004.
The Huskers did their part to earn a share of the regular-season title, thanks in large part to Muir. Muir's bat helped the Huskers produce their first 40-win regular season since 2006. With the victory, Nebraska improved to 40-14 on the year, and the Huskers finished Big Ten play with an 18-5 record, marking the highest conference win total in school history.
Muir finished 2-for-3 with a double and a grand slam, finishing with a career-high five RBIs. Her grand slam helped erase an early deficit, as the Hoosiers grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the second.
Trailing by two in the bottom of the fifth, sophomore Dawna Tyson reached on a one-out single before classmate Hailey Decker had a key at bat. With Tyson on first and two outs, Decker quickly fell behind 0-2 before winning a 13-pitch at bat with a single to left. Senior Tatum Edwards then produced an RBI single to cut the lead to 2-1.
Freshman MJ Knighten reached on an infield single that loaded the bases before Muir lofted a deep fly ball to left field that carried over the fence for her second grand slam of the season.
In front 5-2, Nebraska added to its lead with two more runs in the bottom of the fourth. Sophomore Kiki Stokes reached on an error to begin the frame before classmate Alicia Armstrong was hit by a pitch. Tyson then put down a sacrifice bunt, but wound up safe at first on a throwing error. On the error, Stokes scored, Armstrong advanced to third and Tyson wound up on second base. Senior Taylor Edwards then lined an RBI single to right to put the Huskers on top 7-2.
NU made it 8-2 by scoring for a third straight inning in the bottom of the fifth. Knighten began the inning with a wind-aided triple to right, as the wind pushed the ball away from Natalie Lalich. Muir then lined an RBI double to left.
Indiana added a final tally in the top of the seventh inning on a two-out, RBI infield single to account for the final 8-3 margin.
Tatum Edwards earned the win for Nebraska, allowing three runs on just five hits. She struck out three and walked two while improving to 22-10 on the year.
With the regular season complete, Nebraska turns its attention to this week's Big Ten Tournament in Evanston, Ill. The Huskers will open play on Friday. Nebraska is expected to be the No. 2 seed when the official bracket is released.