Nebraska softball team tops Illinois to close out regular season
The Nebraska softball team (31-22, 9-13 Big Ten) snapped an eight-game losing streak on Sunday, beating Illinois (36-17, 13-8 Big Ten) by a score of 6-3. Nebraska scored four runs in the third and added two more insurance runs in the seventh to end the regular season with a win. Taylor Otte had an impressive day at the plate for Nebraska. Otte went 3-for-4, with a double, a homer, a run and a career-best four RBIs. Olivia Ferrell (9-7) pitched a complete 7.0 innings. She gave up three runs on nine hits. On offense, Ferrell went 1-for-2 with a walk and a run.
Tristen Edwards, Rylie Unzicker, Laura Barrow and Gina Metzler each had hits for Nebraska. Metzler also tied her career best with two runs.
Illinois' Emily Oestreich dropped to 15-9, pitching 6.1 innings. She gave up six runs and had one strikeout.
Illinois jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first with a two-run homer.
In the third, the Huskers took a 4-2 lead. Nebraska got runners on the corners with no outs. Ferrell hit a leadoff single and Yocom reached on an error. The error also allowed Ferrell to get to third. Metzler reached on an error to load the bases for Nebraska. Edwards hit a sac fly to score Ferrell. Then, Otte smashed a homer to score three more runs. In the bottom of the inning, Illinois hit a solo shot to center field to cut the lead to 4-3.
In the fifth, Edwards drew a one-out walk and Taylor Otte doubled to put runners in scoring position, but the Huskers were unable to score as Otte got out in a rundown and another batter flew out to center.
The Illini got the tying run to third in the fifth, but Yocom snatched a line drive to end the inning and preserve the Huskers' lead.
In the seventh, Metzler hit a one-out single and Edwards doubled to put both runners in scoring position, which prompted an Illini pitching change. Otte took advantage of the new pitcher, singling to score Metzler. Madi Unzicker then hit a sac fly, which scored Edwards and extended the Husker lead to 6-3. In the bottom of the inning, the Illini hit a leadoff single, but Nebraska retired the next three batters to end the game.
This concludes Nebraska's regular season. The Huskers will play in the Big Ten Tournament May 10-12 in Madison, Wis. Seeding, game times and other information will be released later by the Big Ten, after the conclusion of the final regular-season conference game.