North Dakota State used a trio of three-run innings to pull away from the Nebraska softball team and complete a doubleheader sweep of the Huskers with a 10-6 victory in the nightcap Tuesday night.
The Husker offense pounded out 13 hits and scored in four innings, but it was not enough to defeat the Bison, who are receiving votes in the coaches’ top-25 poll and improved to 27-6 with the victory. Nebraska fell to 18-16 with the loss.
Freshman right-hander Kaylan Jablonski (1-5) took the loss for Nebraska. Jablonski earned the start and re-entered the game in relief, tossing a total of 5.2 innings and allowing seven runs. Jacquelyn Sertic (8-4) earned the win for North Dakota State, allowing four runs (three earned) in 6.0 innings.
Offensively, juniors Kiki Stokes and Dawna Tyson each produced three hits for the Huskers. Stokes was 3-for-4 with a three-run homer, while Tyson finished 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs, tying her career high in hits. Sophomore MJ Knighten went 2-for-4 to extend her hitting streak to 15 games, while junior Alicia Armstrong also produced a pair of hits.
Things began well for the Huskers, as Nebraska took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Stokes walked before Knighten singled. After a fielder’s choice where Stokes was retired at third base, Tyson scored Knighten with an RBI single down the right field line.
North Dakota State answered in the top of the third. The Bison tied the game on a two-out double from Alex Sobrero before taking a 3-1 lead on a two-run homer from Logan Moreland.
The Huskers got a run back in the bottom of the third. The first two batters were retired before Knighten and Armstrong reached on back-to-back singles. Tyson then came through with her second clutch hit of the game, delivering an RBI single up the middle.
In the top of the fourth, two of the first three batters reached to bring McClure into the game. McClure quickly recorded an out before a two-out, pinch-hit RBI single from Brea Beatty stretched the Bison lead to 4-2.
In the bottom of the frame, senior Kylee Muir led off with a single. A two-out error extended the inning before a Stokes single loaded the bases. A second North Dakota State error cut the lead to 4-3 before a bases-loaded strikeout ended the inning.
The Bison then earned some breathing room with a three-run fifth inning. An RBI ground out was followed by a three-run homer from Amanda Grable that made the score 7-3.
NDSU tacked on three more runs in the sixth to take a 10-3 lead. The Huskers had a chance to cut into the lead when they loaded the bases in the bottom of the frame, but a strikeout ended the inning.
In the bottom of the seventh, Stokes hit a three-run homer to account for the final margin.
Nebraska returns to conference action this weekend, when the Huskers travel to Columbus, Ohio, for a three-game series with the Ohio State Buckeyes.