A nine-run third inning propelled the 22nd-ranked Nebraska softball team to another impressive victory at the Troy Cox Classic, as the Huskers defeated Weber State 12-4 in five innings in the second of two games Saturday.
The win was Nebraska's fourth straight, as the Huskers have cruised through the first two days of the tournament. In posting a 4-0 record heading into Sunday's finale against host New Mexico State, Nebraska has outscored its opponents 46-8.
Senior right-hander Ashley Hagemann (3-2) earned the victory against the Wildcats. In a complete-game effort, Hagemann allowed a pair of two-run homers to account for the four runs she allowed. But the Elkhorn, Neb., native recorded 10 strikeouts in only 5.0 innings, moving into fifth place on the all-time career strikeout chart at Nebraska.
Offensively, junior Gabby Banda went 3-for-4 with a double and three RBIs. Nebraska was out-hit 6-5, but Nebraska drew nine walks and was aided by three Weber State errors. Banda produced the Huskers' lone multi-hit game, while sophomore Tatum Edwards and Mattie Fowler each produced two RBIs. Senior Nikki Haget and junior Brooke Thomason each drew three walks, while Haget scored three runs.
Angela DeVries (0-2) took the loss for Weber State (3-5). DeVries allowed five runs on only two hits in 2.0 innings.
The Huskers scored twice in the bottom of the first, plating a run for the ninth straight inning overall and scoring in the first inning for the fifth straight game. Haget worked a leadoff walk and stole second. She then scored on an RBI double from Banda.
Weber State then took the lead in the top of the second on a two-run home run from Janel Cunningham.
After being held scoreless in the second, a walk, a bunt single and a hit batter loaded the bases with Huskers to begin the bottom of the third. Senior Ashley Guile then drew a bases-loaded walk to bring Haget home and tie the game at 2-2. Tatum Edwards then greeted new pitcher Kelsie Vallies with a two-run single up the middle that gave Nebraska a 4-2 lead.
A walk to Thomason re-loaded the bases before Fowler delivered a one-out, two-run single to push the lead to 6-2. Back-to-back errors allowed another run to score before Taylor Edwards sent a hard ground ball that went between the shortstop's legs, clearing the bases on the error and pushing the lead to 10-2.
The Huskers loaded the bases again with two outs in the bottom of the fourth and closed out the scoring on a two-run single from Banda.
Lyndsey Minnich cut the lead back to eight with a two-run homer in the top of the fifth, before Hagemann retired the final three hitters.
Nebraska wraps up play at the Troy Cox Classic on Sunday at 10 a.m. (Central) against host New Mexico State.
Courtesy: Nebraska Media Relations