The Nebraska softball team run-ruled Loyola-Chicago, 8-0 in five innings in the first of two games against the Ramblers on Saturday at the Mizuno Classic.
Nebraska produced nine hits in the five-inning victory, scoring five times in the second inning and producing a run in three of its five at bats. The win evened the Huskers' record at 12-12 on the year and gave Nebraska the No. 2 seed for bracket play. NU will face Loyola-Chicago again at approximately 3 p.m. for a spot in Sunday's championship game.
Junior Brooke Thomason led Nebraska's nine-hit attack with a 3-for-3 day that included a pair of RBIs, two runs scored and a stolen base. Senior Madison Drake was 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored. Junior Gabby Banda homered and drove in a pair as part of a 2-for-4 day, while sophomore Taylor Edwards produced a three-run double in her only official at bat and she also walked twice.
Senior right-hander Ashley Hagemann (7-10) earned the win to snap a personal five-game losing streak. In tossing her second shutout of the season, Hagemann scattered five hits and one walk and struck out five.
Brittany Gardner (1-3) took the loss for the Ramblers, who fell to 3-7 on the year. Gardner allowed four runs on three hits in 1.0 inning of work.
The Huskers jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when Banda blasted her third home run of the season two batters into the bottom of the first.
After escaping a bases-loaded jam in the top of the second, the Huskers added to their lead in the bottom of the frame. Junior Courtney Breault began the inning with a walk before freshman Mattie Fowler doubled to put runners at first and third. Thomason then hit a hard ground ball to second that got past Jessica Balzano and into right field for a two-run single.
Leading 3-0, Drake singled and classmate Nikki Haget reached on an error to load the bases with none out. Taylor Edwards then cleared the bases two batter later, ripping a three-run double to the wall in left center to push the lead to 6-0.
The Huskers were then held scoreless over the next two innings before wrapping up the run-rule win with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth. Thomason reached on a one-out single, before Drake brought her home with an RBI double. Then with two outs, Drake scored the game-ending run on an RBI single from Banda.
Courtesy: Nebraska Media Relations