Huskers sweep Illinois in Saturday doubleheader
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The Nebraska softball team swept its doubleheader with Illinois Saturday, holding on for a 5-4 victory in game one before rallying for a 10-6 win in game two.
In game one, Nebraska jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two innings. Illinois chipped away at the lead and cut the deficit to 4-3 with a leadoff home run in the top of the sixth inning. But freshman Billie Andrews produced a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the sixth to score senior Rylie Unzicker. That run proved to be the game-winner after Illinois rallied in the seventh. The Illini scored a run to trim the lead to one and had the bases loaded with only one out before junior right-hander Courtney Wallace retired the final two batters to preserve the win.
Unzicker went 2-for-4 and scored twice in the opener, while Tristen Edwards was 2-for-2 with a double, an intentional walk and a hit-by-pitch. She reached base in each of her first six trips to the plate Saturday before being retired in the fourth inning of game two. Edwards saw her streak end at 24 consecutive plate appearances reaching base safely, the third-longest streak in NCAA history.
In game two, Illinois led by three after the top of the first and top of the second innings. The Illini scored three times in the top of the first, but an Andrews home run and a Wallace sacrifice fly cut the lead to one. After Illinois scored twice more in the top of the second, Unzicker hit a two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the second and Andrews followed with a solo shot to tie the game.
Nebraska then took the lead for good with a two-out rally in the bottom of the fourth. With the bases loaded and two outs, senior Cam Ybarra cleared the bases with a three-run double and Wallace followed with an RBI triple to give Nebraska a 9-5 lead it would not relinquish.
Andrews was 2-for-4 with two homers and three RBIs in the game two win, posting her first career multi-homer game. Ybarra had two hits and drove in three, while Unzicker and Wallace each had a pair of RBIs. In the doubleheader, Andrews and Ybarra each had four RBIs.
After winning two of the first three games of the series, Nebraska will look for the series victory in Sunday’s final game, which begins at 11 a.m.
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