Huskers Drop Big 12 Opener

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Texas A&M scored the game-winning run on a bases-loaded walk with two outs in the sixth inning to cap the 19th-ranked Aggies' 2-1 come-from-behind victory over the Nebraska softball team on Saturday afternoon in the Big 12 Conference opener for both teams.

The Huskers led 1-0 after four innings before Texas A&M (23-10) scored a single run in the fifth and sixth innings to rally for the win. NU was its own worst enemy in the game, as an error prolonged the fifth inning long enough for the Aggies to score and then in the sixth, Texas A&M scored the game-winning run without the aid of a hit, as senior right-hander Molly Hill walked four batters in the frame.

Hill (12-4) was charged with the loss, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits in a complete-game effort. Hill walked a season-high six batters in the loss, which snapped Nebraska's six-game winning streak and dropped the Huskers to 19-6 on the season and 0-1 in Big 12 play.

The Husker offense struggled against Texas A&M ace Rhiannon Kliesing. Kliesing (14-6) tossed a one-hitter and finished with six strikeouts. Nebraska did draw four walks to create scoring opportunities, but the Huskers were just 1-for-12 with runners on base in the game. Senior Brittany Pascale provided the lone hit with an RBI single in the fourth.

Nebraska had scoring chances in each of the first four innings but came away with only one run. The Huskers got a runner to second base in each of the first three innings, but didn't score. The fourth time was the charm, as senior Amanda Duran was hit by a pitch to lead off the top of the fourth and freshman pinch-runner Nikki Haget moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from sophomore Julie Brechtel. Haget was still at second base with two outs before Pascale blooped a single to right center to bring Haget home with the game's first run.

A Nebraska error opened the door for Texas A&M to score the game-tying run in the bottom of the fifth. With a runner at first and two outs, Kelsea Orsak hit a grounder to the right side that senior Crystal Carwile dove and fielded. Carwile threw from her knees trying to get the final out at second, but her throw pulled junior Whitney Barrett off the bag. Holly Ridley, the Aggies' No. 3 hitter, then lined a 3-2 pitch to right for an RBI single to tie the game at 1-1. NU then intentionally walked Erin Glasco to load the bases and after Glasco fouled off a pair of 3-2 offerings, Hill coaxed an inning-ending ground out to Carwile.

In the bottom of the sixth, Hill fought her control throughout the inning. She issued a one-out walk, recorded an out, then walked the next two batters to load the bases. She then fell behind 3-0 to Orsak and battled back to work the count full before issuing another walk to force in the game-winning run.

The Huskers were then retired in order in the seventh for only the second time in the game.

Nebraska and Texas A&M wrap up their opening Big 12 series tomorrow at Noon at the Aggie Softball Complex.