NU Falls to No. 23 Georgia Tech in Final Inning

By: COURTESY: NU Media Relations
By: COURTESY: NU Media Relations

Tempe, Ariz. - Nothing went right for the 20th-ranked Nebraska softball team on Sunday against No. 23 Georgia Tech, but the Yellow Jackets still needed a Husker error to score the game-tying and game-winning runs in a 6-5 come-from-behind victory at the Kajikawa Classic.

The Huskers scored twice in the first inning and never trailed until the final play of the game. Georgia Tech scored a pair of runs in the sixth inning without the ball leaving the infield to cut Nebraska's lead to one. Then in the seventh, the Yellow Jackets had runners at first and second with two outs when Hayley Downs hit a grounder to Gabby Banda at short. Banda fielded the ball cleanly, but her throw to first was wild and both runners to scored to lift Georgia Tech to the win.

Sophomore right-hander Tatum Edwards (1-1) pitched well in relief, although she took the first loss of her career. Edwards allowed four runs - all unearned - on five hits in 3.2 innings. Each of the five hits Edwards allowed were infield singles and each hit also glanced off the glove of a Husker defender. Edwards also finished with four strikeouts.

After committing four errors against Oregon State on Saturday night, the Huskers committed five errors against the Yellow Jackets.

Offensively, Nebraska managed five runs against 2010 All-American Hope Rush. The Huskers out-hit the Yellow Jackets, 7-6. The middle of the Husker order accounted for all six hits, as sophomore Taylor Edwards, senior Ashley Guile and Tatum Edwards each had two hits. Guile had a double and two RBIs, while the Edwards twins drove in one run apiece. Banda walked in each of her four plate appearances, tying the school record and becoming only the fourth Husker to walk four times in a game.

In the top of the first, Nebraska scored two imes to score first for the first time in six games this season. Banda reached on a one-out walk, before Taylor Edwards singled to left. Guile then ripped a two-run double to center to stake the Huskers to an early 2-0 lead. After a walk to Tatum Edwards, Nebraska had runners at first and second before center fielder Hayley Downs made a diving catch on a blooper off the bat of junior Brooke Thomason and threw to second for an inning-ending double play.

Georgia Tech got a run back in the bottom of the frame when All-American Kelsi Weseman took a 1-2 pitch the opposite way for a one-out solo home run. Senior right-hander Hagemann then worked around a walk and an error by striking out the final two batters to end the inning. Hagemann pitched the first 3.0 innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on only one hit.

The Huskers then added to their lead with a single run in the top of the third. Banda began the inning with a walk and was replaced on the basepaths by Taylor Edwards, who reached on a fielder's choice. An error moved Taylor to third and she scored on an RBI single from her twin sister Tatum one batter later.

Georgia Tech answered the run in the bottom of the frame when a leadoff hit batter came around to score on a two-out wild pitch.

Nebraska pushed the lead back to two at 4-2 with a run in the top of the fourth. Senior Madison Drake worked a leadoff walk and after a pair of fielder's choices, classmate Nikki Haget scored on a two-out, RBI single from Taylor Edwards.

The Huskers led 5-2 after scoring for the third straight inning in the top of the fifth. Tatum Edwards began the inning with a double and she scored when senior Kirby Wright lined a one-out single to left field that was misplayed by the left fielder, allowing Edwards to score.

Nebraska's defense faltered in the bottom of the sixth. The Huskers had a chance to record outs on a pair of infield singles to begin the inning, both of which glanced off NU gloves. On the second infield single, Taylor Edwards threw wildly and late to second, allowing a run to score and the batter to advance all the way to third. Trailing 5-3, Georgia Tech had a runner on third with none out and a one-out, RBI ground out trimmed the lead to one. The Yellow Jackets sent seven batters to the plate, recorded three singles and scored two runs despite not one ball leaving the infield.

Then in the seventh, the first two Yellow Jackets reached on hard-hit balls that deflected off Husker gloves. Tatum Edwards responded by retiring the next two batters before Banda's throwing error ended the game.

After finishing with a 3-3 record in its season-opening tournament, the Huskers return to action next weekend with five games in three days at the Troy Cox Classic in Las Cruces, N.M.

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