Behind a two-hit shutout from Tatum Edwards and a late offensive surge, the No. 14 national seed Nebraska softball team defeated Northern Iowa, 4-0, on Friday in an opening-round matchup in the NCAA Lincoln Regional at Bowlin Stadium.
With the win, Nebraska (41-13) advanced to Saturday’s 1 p.m. winner’s bracket game against Stanford, who defeated Tulsa 4-2 earlier Friday. Northern Iowa (26-25) will take on the Golden Hurricane in a 4 p.m. elimination matchup on Saturday.
On Friday, Tatum Edwards (27-8) allowed only two singles and struck out 11 while picking up her 10th shutout of the season. She worked around three walks and three hit batters, as UNI stranded seven.
Offensively, Tatum Edwards produced the game’s first run with a fifth-inning RBI single, before the Huskers scored three times in the bottom of the sixth inning. Brooke Thomason hit a two-run homer in the frame, while Jordan Bettiol added a sacrifice fly.
Jamie Fisher (21-14) took the loss for Northern Iowa, allowing four runs (three earned) in a complete-game effort.
Both teams stranded two runners over the first three innings before two hit batters and Northern Iowa’s first hit of the game – a bloop single just out of the reach of shortstop Alicia Armstrong – loaded the bases with Panthers with only one out in the top of the fourth inning. Tatum Edwards then recorded her seventh strikeout – and fourth looking – for the second out, before her eighth strikeout ended the inning.
After escaping another jam in the top of the fifth, Tatum Edwards helped herself out in the bottom of the frame. Armstrong began the inning with a single and stole second with one out. Then with two outs, Edwards grounded a 2-2 pitch up the middle for an RBI single to score the game’s first run.
The Huskers added to their lead with three more runs in the bottom of the sixth. Taylor Edwards began the inning with a leadoff walk before Brooke Thomason blasted a two-run homer down the right field line that stretched Nebraska’s lead to 3-0. Courtney Breault then reached on her second hit of the game before an error and a fielder’s choice where no out was recorded loaded the bases. Jordan Bettiol then gave the Huskers a 4-0 lead with a sacrifice fly to left.
Tatum Edwards closed out the victory by retiring the Panthers in order in the top of the seventh.