The 22nd-ranked Nebraska softball team scored early, never trailed and hung on late for a 6-4 victory over 11th-ranked Missouri in Saturday's second game at the Cathedral City Classic.
The win was Nebraska's second victory over a ranked team this season, as the Huskers snapped a two-game losing streak while improving to 9-5 on the year. Senior right-hander Ashley Hagemann (5-3) earned the win. In a complete-game effort, Hagemann allowed four runs and scattered eight hits, while walking five and striking out nine.
Offensively, sophomore Taylor Edwards produced Nebraska's lone multi-hit and multi-RBI game, as she went 2-for-4 with a double and a pair of RBIs.
Kristin Nottelmann (2-1) took the loss for Missouri, which fell to 4-2 on the year. Nottelmann scattered seven hits in 6.0 innings and allowed only two earned runs. The Tigers committed four errors, leading to four unearned runs.
After being outscored 10-0 in the first inning over their last three games, the Huskers jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first against Missouri. Senior Nikki Haget began the inning with a leadoff single and scored on a one-out double from Taylor Edwards.
Nebraska then loaded the bases with none out in the bottom of the second. Juniors Brooke Thomason and Courtney Breault each walked to begin the inning before freshman Mattie Fowler singled. A pair of errors then allowed two runs to score and give Nebraska a 3-0 lead. The Huskers still had the bases loaded with only one out, but Nottelmann escaped further damage by retiring Nebraska's Nos. 3 and 4 hitters.
Missouri got two runs back in the top of the third. With a runner on second and two outs, Corrin Genovese lined a pitch off the fence in left. The ball bounced off the fence and away from freshman left fielder Jordan Bettiol and by the time she picked up the ball, Genovese was rounding third and completing an inside-the-park home run.
A walk and an infield singles then put Tigers at first and second with none out in the top of the fourth. But Hagemann bounced back to strike out the next two batters before coaxing an inning-ending ground out.
Nebraska rebuilt its three-run lead with two runs in the bottom of the frame. The first two batters were retired before an error opened the door. Junior Gabby Banda followed the error with a bloop single to put runners on first and third. Taylor Edwards then lined a 3-2 pitch into left field for a two-out, RBI single. Senior Ashley Guile then reached on an infield single that scored Banda and gave Nebraska a 5-2 lead.
Missouri threatened to answer in the top of the fifth after the first two Tigers reached, but wound up leaving the bases loaded.
The Huskers added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth. Bettiol began the inning with a double, moved to third on a ground out from Haget and scored on a sacrifice fly from Banda.
Leading 6-2, the seventh inning did not go easily for Hagemann or the Huskers. A leadoff single, a walk and a bloop single gave Missouri the bases loaded with none out. Roth then hit a fly ball to deep right field that junior Brooke Thomason jumped and got a glove on to keep the ball in the park, but she was unable make the grab, as it fell for a two-run double. After cutting the lead to two, Missouri had runners at second and third with none out before Nicole Hudson grounded out and Hagemann struck out the final two hitters she faced.
Nebraska closes action at the Cathedral City Classic with a pair of games on Sunday against No. 8 Texas and fifth-ranked Washington.
Courtesy: Nebraska Media Relations