Cathedral City, Calif. – The Nebraska softball team continued its season-opening win streak with a 9-1 five-inning victory over UNLV on Friday at the Cathedral City Classic at the Big League Dreams complex.
The win improved Nebraska to 5-0 on the young season, while the run-rule victory was the Huskers' third of the season. UNLV fell to 5-5 with the loss.
Nebraska pounded out 10 hits in the victory, while five Huskers scored a run and six produced at least one RBI. The offense was more than enough for senior Molly Hill, who picked up her third victory of the season. Hill allowed one run on two hits in the game, with all of the action coming in the first inning. Over the final four innings, Hill faced the minimum, retiring the final eight batters she faced.
Traci Odegard (2-3) took the loss for the Rebels, allowing seven runs on nine hits in 3.0 innings. Amber Petersen came on in relief and allowed two runs on only one hit in an inning of work.
UNLV took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Alyssia De La Torre led off with a single and she scored two batters later on an RBI single from Marissa Nichols.
Nebraska answered in the bottom of the frame to tie the game. Senior Meghan Mullin reached on a one-out infield single to extend her hitting streak to 15 games. Fellow seniors Crystal Carwile and Amanda Duran were both hit by pitches to load the bases. Senior Brittany Pascale then hit a soft grounder to third and Mullin was able to beat the throw home to tie the game at 1-1. The Huskers still had the bases with only one out but couldn’t produce another run.
The Huskers did better with another scoring opportunity in the bottom of the second. Junior Whitney Barrett led off with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice slap from sophomore Julie Brechtel. Barrett gave Nebraska a 2-1 lead when senior Darcy Rutherford singled up the middle. Rutherford advanced to second on the throw home and she scored when Mullin hit a grounder to second base that Ashli Holland dove for and deflected behind first base.
In the top of the fourth, Mullin took a home run away from the Rebels' Kendall Fearn, who hit a towering fly ball to deep center that Mullin snagged right before running through the collapsable fence.
In the bottom of the frame, Nebraska exploded for six runs. Barrett led off with a double and scored on an RBI double from Brechtel. Rutherford and Mullin then recorded back-to-back singles, with Mullin's base hit scoring Brechtel. Carwile then lined an RBI double down the left field line to score Rutherford and put the Huskers on top 6-1. It marked Carwile's second hit and RBI of the season, as she returned from the lineup after missing the previous three games. Carwile played with a brace on her knee protecting a torn ACL injury she suffered in the season-opener against Dayton.
Following Carwile's double, NU still had the bases loaded with no outs before two wild pitches scored Mullin and freshman pinch-runner Jamie Gay to push the lead to 8-1. With a runner on third and one out, Foland recorded an RBI ground out to close out the scoring. UNLV then went down in order in the top of the fifth to wrap up the Huskers' five-inning victory.
Mullin paced the NU offense with a 3-for-3 day that included career-high-tying totals of two runs scored and two RBIs. Rutherford finished 2-for-3 and scored twice, while Barrett was 2-for-2 with a pair of runs scored and Brechtel finished 1-for-1 with a double and an RBI.
Nebraska wraps up play on the first day of the Cathedral City Classic tonight at 10 p.m. (Central) against Cal State Fullerton.
Courtesy: Nebraska Media Relations