Tatum Edwards did it all for the Nebraska softball team Friday night, homering twice and earning a complete-game victory, as the Huskers moved to 2-0 on the season with a 5-1 win at New Mexico State.
Edwards, a junior, finished 2-for-4 at the plate with a pair of solo home runs in her season debut. In the circle, Edwards fired a four-hitter, striking out three and allowing only one run.
The Husker offense was strong once again in the win. After scoring 14 runs on 16 hits in Friday’s first game against Illinois-Chicago, Nebraska plated five runs on 15 hits against the Aggies, including five extra-base hits. The only downside for the Huskers was 14 stranded runners against New Mexico State.
In addition to Tatum Edwards’ fourth multi-homer game, freshman Hailey Decker stood out at the plate. Decker finished 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles, an RBI and a run scored. Classmate Kiki Stokes also produced three hits, finishing 3-for-5. Freshman Alicia Armstrong (2-for-3) added two hits, as did junior Taylor Edwards (2-for-5) and sophomore Mattie Fowler (2-for-4).
Nebraska’s offense struck quickly, scoring one run in the top of the first. Stokes began the game with a bunt single, and she moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from senior Gabby Banda. Following a single from Taylor Edwards, Stokes scored the game’s first run on an RBI double by senior Brooke Thomason. Leading 1-0, the Huskers had a chance for more with runners on second and third with only one out, but a strikeout and a lineout to left on a diving catch from Amber Olive prevented NU from adding to its lead.
A pair of Aggie errors and another single from Stokes loaded the bases for the Huskers with only one out inthe top of the second, but Nebraska again couldn’t add to its lead.
Tatum Edwards then gave Nebraska a 2-0 lead in the top of the third with a one-out, solo home run. But NU left the bases loaded for the second straight inning following singles from Decker and Fowler and a two-out walk to Armstrong.
In the top of the fourth, Banda walked and Taylor Edwards singled to put runners on first and second with no outs. After the next two batters were retired, Decker lined a two-out, RBI double to the gap in right center to score Banda and give Nebraska a 3-0 lead.
After Nebraska stranded two more runners in the top of the fifth, New Mexico State got on the board with one out in the bottom of the frame when Malena Padilla hit a solo home run to center to cut the lead to 3-1.
Tatum Edwards then got that run back herself in the top of the sixth, ripping a solo home run, her second run of the game. Decker followed with a double and scored with two outs on a double from Fowler.
The four-run cushion was more than enough for Tatum Edwards, who faced the minimum after allowing Padilla’s home run.
Alex Newman (0-1) took the loss for New Mexico State (0-1). Newman, one of three Aggie pitchers to appear in the game, allowed two runs on six hits in 3.1 innings.
Nebraska returns to action Saturday at the Hotel Encanto Classic, playing a single game against Illinois-Chicago at 1:30 p.m. (Central).