Cedar Falls, Iowa – After the Husker offense was the story of Saturday’s first game, freshman right-hander Ashley Hagemann stole the show in game two, as she struck out 19 while pitching Nebraska to an 11-1 victory over North Dakota inside the UNI-Dome.
Although she narrowly missed tossing Nebraska’s second straight shutout, Hagemann was flat-out dominant in her career debut. The Elkhorn, Neb., native retired the first 14 batters she faced with 12 of those outs coming by strikeout, including 10 straight at one point. She allowed just four balls to be put in play on the night, as 19 of her 21 outs came via the strikeout, including each of the final 17 outs. Her 19 strikeouts were just three shy of Associate Head Coach Lori Sippel's school-record total of 22, which came in a 12-inning win.
Hagemann’s one-hitter helped the Huskers open a season 2-0 for the first time since 2003, but the NU offense produced again. After scoring 10 or more runs just twice the entire 2008 season, the Huskers have already matched that total through two games this year. Against UND, the Huskers totaled 11 runs on 12 hits, while also drawing nine walks.
Nebraska took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Senior Meghan Mullin doubled with one out and she scored on fellow senior Amanda Duran’s two-out RBI single.
The Huskers added another two-out run in the top of the second when senior Darcy Rutherford blooped an RBI double to right field that plated sophomore Heidi Foland.
Nebraska moved in front 3-0 in the fourth when Foland and fellow sophomore Julie Brechtel recorded back-to-back ground-rule doubles. The Huskers weren’t finished, as Brechtel scored on a single from Rutherford. The next four batters all walked, with Rutherford scoring on a wild pitch on ball four to Mullin. Mullin then scored on a rundown following a walk to fellow senior Haley Long to make it 6-0.
NU was unable to add to its lead in the top of the fifth, but freshmen Jamie Gay, Kirby Wright and Madison Drake all pinch hit to make their career debuts. In all, each of the Huskers’ five freshmen saw action in the game.
North Dakota broke up Hagemann’s no-hitter in the sixth inning when Abby Rehberger ripped the first pitch she saw over the fence in left for a one-out solo home run.
Duran answered Rehberger’s shot with her first career home run to lead off a five-run seventh inning. Sophomore Kelli Linke then walked before junior Alex Hupp ripped a double just inside the third-base bag to put runners at second and third. Junior Whitney Barrett then coaxed another walk and as she stole second, Hupp came home on a throwing error by the catcher.
Foland then ripped an RBI ground rule double to right to score Barrett and put the Huskers in front 9-1. Nebraska added two more runs on an error and a wild pitch.
Hagemann worked around an error in the bottom of the seventh to strike out the side.
Offensively, four Huskers had two hits apiece, led by Duran, who finished 2-for-2 with a home run, two RBIs and two walks. On the day, Duran reached base safely in each of her seven plate appearances, recording three hits and drawing four walks. Rutherford finished 2-for-3 against North Dakota and tied her career high with two RBIs. Foland also finished 2-for-3 and tied her career high by scoring three times.
"Ashley was outstanding today," Head Coach Rhond Revelle said. "She did a great job of staying aggressive and attacking the hitters. I also thought our offense was aggressive and smart. We had 26 hits on the day, but we also drew 11 walks to give us a number of scoring chances. Overall, I was very pleased with our performance today."
Nebraska wraps up its first weekend of action tomorrow, as the Huskers face South Dakota State at 4 p.m. before playing host Northern Iowa at 6 p.m.
Courtesy: Nebraska Media Relations