Freshman right-hander Ashley Hagemann tossed her first career shutout and five Husker hitters finished with at least two hits as the Nebraska softball team defeated South Dakota State 8-0 in five innings in the first game of a doubleheader at a chilly Bowlin Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.
Hagemann (6-2) finished with a two-hitter while striking out eight and walking only two. She also added a single and the first run scored of her career at the plate to help Nebraska improve to 21-6 on the season. Elkhorn, Neb., native Jenna Marston (2-13) took the loss for South Dakota State (6-21), which saw its three-game winning streak snapped. Marston tossed a complete game, allowing eight runs (four earned) on 13 hits.
Offensively, senior Meghan Mullin led the way with a 3-for-4 day that included a double, an RBI and two runs scored. Fellow senior Crystal Carwile finished 2-for-4 with a game-high three RBIs, while seniors Brittany Pascale and Darcy Rutherford and sophomore Julie Brechtel also added two hits apiece.
Nebraska struck quickly, batting around in the first inning and scoring four times. Mullin led off with an infield single before Rutherford walked. Carwile was then the beneficiary of an unusual double, as she sent a hard grounder back to the circle that both Marston and the second baseman deflected into right center field. Mullin and Rutherford were both able to score on the play to give Nebraska a 2-0 lead three batters into the game.
Pascale then singled before sophomore Heidi Foland drew a one-out walk to load the bases. Freshman Jamie Gay then picked up her first career RBI with a sacrifice fly to deep center that almost turned into an extra-base hit thanks to a strong wind. Senior Haley Long then scored the final run of the inning on a passed ball.
The Huskers added to their lead with three more runs in the bottom of the third. Brechtel led off with a single before an error and another single loaded the bases with one out. Freshman Kirby Wright then picked up her first career RBI with another sacrifice fly to center. Mullin then doubled down the left field line to score Gay and give the Huskers a 6-0 lead. Rutherford then singled to the pitcher and on the play, Hagemann scored from third after Mullin was caught in a rundown between second and third.
NU then came up empty in the fourth despite three hits, but the Huskers wrapped up their eighth run-rule victory of the season in the fifth. Mullin and Rutherford both reached to start the inning before Carwile recorded an RBI single up the middle to bring Mullin home with the game's final run.
The Huskers will look to improve to 6-0 at home this season with a victory in game two of the doubleheader.
Courtesy: Nebraska Media Relations