An impressive all-around effort led the 19th-ranked Nebraska softball to a 4-0 victory over in-state rival UNO on Wednesday at Bowlin Stadium.
The Huskers (23-6) produced 11 hits and scored four runs off UNO ace Dana Elsasser, who had allowed a total of six runs in her first three career starts against Nebraska. In the circle, NU posted its 11th shutout of the season, becoming the first team to shut out the Mavericks this season.
Freshman right-hander Emily Lockman earned the win, improving to 9-2 on the year. Lockman allowed four hits in 4.0 shutout innings, adding three strikeouts. Junior right-hander Tatum Edwards picked up the first save of her career, tossing 3.0 scoreless innings of one-hit relief, striking out six.
Offensively, junior Taylor Edwards doubled and homered, finishing 2-for-2 with a pair of walks, two runs scored and two RBIs. Freshman Hailey Decker also added two hits, while classmate Dawna Tyson and senior Gabby Banda produced one RBI each.
Elsasser (13-4) took the loss for UNO, allowing four runs (three earned) on 11 hits in a complete-game effort. The Mavs fell to 22-4 with the loss.
The Huskers took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning. Banda drew a leadoff walk and scored on an RBI double from Taylor Edwards. Edwards moved to third on an error and scored on a two-out, RBI single from Tyson.
Nebraska ran into some tough luck trying to extend its lead in the top of the fourth inning. Freshman Hailey Decker began the inning with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from classmate Alicia Armstrong, although Armstrong appeared to beat the throw, which was then bobbled by the UNO first baseman. A single from sophomore Jordan Bettiol put runners at second and third, before freshman Kiki Stokes laid down a perfect bunt and made it to first without a throw. But Stokes was ruled out of the box on her bunt attempt, negating a potential bases-loaded opportunity. A ground out then ended the threat.
Taylor Edwards stretched the Huskers’ lead to 3-0 with a long solo home run over the scoreboard in left field to lead off the top of the fifth.
In the bottom of the fifth, Tatum Edwards came on in relief of Lockman and promptly allowed a leadoff double.But Edwards bounced back by retiring the next three hitters, including a pair of strikeouts.
Edwards then helped herself in the top of the sixth, reaching on a one-out infield single before scoring on a clutch two-out, RBI single from Banda that gave Nebraska a 4-0 lead.
That was more than enough support for Edwards in relief, as six of the nine outs she recorded came via strikeout. UNO never got a runner past second base in the game.
Nebraska returns to action this weekend, when the Huskers travel to Illinois. In a change to the original schedule, Nebraska will face Illinois in a Saturday doubleheader at 1 p.m., before wrapping up the series on Sunday at 11:30 a.m.