Huskers Come Up Just Short Against Top-Ranked Sooners

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Junior right-hander Tatum Edwards took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, but a two-run single from All-America Jessica Shults lifted the unbeaten and top-ranked Oklahoma Sooners to a 2-0 victory over the Huskers on Friday.

Edwards (6-2) finished with a two-hitter and struck out a season-high eight batters. She worked around nine walks and a hit batter, before the two lone singles in the top of the seventh sent her to her second defeat.

The winning pitcher was Keilani Rickets (5-0), the reigning national player of the year. Ricketts tossed a three-hit shutout and struck out nine, while helping Oklahoma improve to 14-0 on the season. The two-run margin of victory tied for the Sooners' closest game this season.

Edwards was effectively wild for most of the game, as Oklahoma left nine runners on base. After Oklahoma stranded a pair of runners in the top of the second, the Huskers had their first scoring chance in the bottom of the frame. Tatum Edwards recorded a one-out double before freshman Hailey Decker reached on an infield single. But a foul out and a strikeout ended the threat.

The Huskers stranded two more in the bottom of the third, failing to convert following a one-out walk from freshman Kiki Stokes that was followed by a hit-by-pitch from senior Gabby Banda.

In the top of the fifth, OU worked three walks and was hit by a pitch but failed to score. Briana Turang drew a leadoff walk but was caught stealing following a strikeout by Lauren Chamberlain. A hit batter and a pair of walks then loaded the bases before Tatum Edwards struck out Shelby Pendley looking on a 3-2 changeup.

In the bottom of the frame, senior Courtney Breault began the inning with a single. Sophomore pinch runner Jordan Bettiol moved all the way to third on consecutive sacrifice bunts from freshmen Alicia Armstrong and Stokes. Banda then went after the first pitch she saw and hit a soft liner up the middle, where OU shortstop Jessica Vest reached out her glove and made a nice over-the-shoulder catch on the run to rob Banda of an RBI single.

With the game still scoreless in the top of the seventh, Turang hit a high chopper back to Tatum Edwards, who had no play as Turang's infield single marked the Sooners' first hit of the game. A pair of walks then loaded the bases before Shults delivered her two-run single through the right side. Tatum Edwards then dug down with runners at first and third and none out, using fielder's choice and a double play to prevent the Sooners from adding to their 2-0 lead.

The Huskers (9-2) were then retired in the order in the bottom of the seventh. Nebraska out-hit Oklahoma 3-2, losing for the first time this season when out-hitting the opponent.

Nebraska continues Friday action at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic against Maryland.