Fueled by runs in each of the first five innings, the Nebraska softball team capped its Friday at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic with an 8-1 victory over Maryland at the Big League Dreams Complex.
The Huskers pounded out 12 hits in the run-rule victory to improve to 10-2 on the year. Freshman Hailey Decker led the way with a 3-for-3 effort that included a double and two RBIs. Sophomore Mattie Fowler collected two hits and added two RBIs, while senior Gabby Banda and junior Taylor Edwards also had two hits.
The offensive output made a winner of freshman right-hander Emily Lockman, who improved to 4-0 on the year. Lockman allowed only one run and just two hits through the first 4.0 innings, working around six walks. Freshman right-hander Danica Bishop relieved Lockman one batter into the top of the fifth and earned the first save of her career, tossing 3.0 scoreless innings, allowing only one hit.
Maddie Martin (2-3) took the loss for Maryland (3-4), allowing four runs on three hits in just 1/3 of an inning.
Nebraska jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Banda walked with one out and then stole second, before Taylor Edwards singled to shallow right field. Thomason then lined the first pitch she saw down the right-field line for an RBI single that scored Banda with the game’s first run. A walk to junior Tatum Edwards then loaded the bases with one out for Decker, who lined a changeup into center field for a two-run single that gave the Huskers a 3-0 lead. Fowler then capped the four-run inning with a two-out, RBI single.
In the top of the second, freshman Kiki Stokes began the inning with a walk, before a successful hit and run by Banda put Huskers on second and third. Stokes then scored on a line-drive sacrifice fly to center off the bat of Taylor Edwards.
Maryland got a run back in the top of the third on a two-out, RBI triple from Candice Beards.
The Huskers answered by scoring for a third straight inning in the bottom of the third. Decker began the frame with a single and stole second, before scoring on a one-out single from Fowler that gave Nebraska a 6-1 lead.
NU added another run in the bottom of the fifth. Decker began the frame with her third hit of the day – a double – and she scored on an RBI single from classmate Dawna Tyson. The Huskers had a chance to close out a five-inning victory with runners on first and second and only one out, but could not plate the necessary run.
Maryland then loaded the bases in the top of the sixth on a two-out single, hit batter and walk. But Bishop escaped the jam with a comebacker to the circle. She then retired three of the four batters she faced in the seventh to wrap up a three-inning save.
Nebraska returns to action at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic on Saturday, with a lone game against Oregon at 7:30 p.m.