Nebraska beats Illinois, snaps losing streak

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LINCOLN, Neb. The Nebraska softball team (11-18, 1-3 Big Ten) scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth to come from behind and defeat the Illinois Fighting Illini (21-8, 2-2 Big Ten) on Saturday by a score of 3-2. The Huskers snapped a 12-game losing streak and picked up their first Big Ten win of the season.

Lindsey Walljasper (5-6) pitched a complete 7.0 inning game. She gave up two runs on six hits and also had four strikeouts.

Illinios' Sydney Sickels pitched a complete 6.0 innings. She dropped to 13-4 on the season, giving up two earned runs on six hits. She also had three strikeouts.

Nebraska had six hits on the day. Tristen Edwards and Courtney Wallace each had two. Edwards had a home run and a double, while Wallace had a pair of triples, tying a Nebraska single-game record. Madi Unzicker and Peyton Glatter each had one hit as well on the day.

Edwards crushed a solo home run in the bottom of the first to give the Huskers a quick 1-0 lead.

Illinois responded in the top of the second hitting back-to-back solo home runs to go up 2-1. In the bottom of the inning. Wallace hit a leadoff triple, but was stranded as the Illini retired the next three batters.

In the top of the third, Illinois threatened after hitting a one-out triple. The next batter laid down a bunt, but the Husker defense made a big play. Walljasper fielded the ball and threw it to Cassidy who got the runner out at home, saving a run.

In the bottom of the third, Owen drew a leadoff walk and Carson Fischer pinch ran for her. Wallace reached on a fielding error and Madi Unzicker singled to load the bases. However, Nebraska was unable to score, as Illinois got two straight outs.

In the top of the fifth, the Illini got a pair of base runners with a walk and an error. Walljasper got a big strikeout to record the first out. Then on the next play, Nebraska got the force out a second and threw to Cassidy at the plate who got the runner out a home for a double play. In the bottom of the inning, Edwards hit a two-out double to put the tying run in scoring position, but a ground out ended the inning.

In the sixth, Wallace hit a one-out triple to put the tying run on third base. Madi Unzicker laid down a perfect squeeze bunt, scoring Wallace and tying the game. Additionally, Unzicker reached base on a fielding error to put the go-ahead run on with one out. Glatter doubled and Lexey Kneib hit a sac fly that scored Unzicker and put the Huskers up 3-2.

The Huskers retired Illinois in order in the top of the seventh to get the win.

The series continues tomorrow when Nebraska and Illinois play a doubleheader beginning at 10 a.m. Both games will be available on (radio) and BTN Plus (subscription required).