The 23rd-ranked Nebraska softball team 10 runs over its final two at bats to run-rule Georgetown, 12-4, in five innings Sunday in the Huskers’ final game at the Louisville Slugger Invitational.
The Huskers trailed 3-2 before scoring two vastly different high-scoring innings. In the bottom of the fifth, Nebraska scored four times despite not recording a hit. Then in the fifth, all six Husker hitters who came to the plate recorded a hit, as Nebraska used one single, two homers and three doubles to plate six runs and end the game early.
With the win, Nebraska (15-6) finished with a 3-2 record in the tournament while facing three ranked teams. Eight Huskers had a hit in the win, while seven scored a run and seven produced an RBI. Nebraska also benefitted from a season-high 10 walks and three Hoya errors.
Junior MJ Knighten was the lone Husker with more than one hit, as she finished 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI and three runs scored. Senior Alicia Armstrong also scored three times, and she was one of four Huskers to total two RBIs, along with classmates Mattie Fowler and Dawna Tyson and sophomore Kaylan Jablonski.
Senior Emily Lockman (5-2) earned the win, allowing three runs (two earned) in 4.0 innings. Despite the run-rule victory, junior Cassie McClure was credited with her third save of the season after allowing one unearned run in 1.0 inning of work.
Samantha Giovanniell (4-10) took the loss for Georgetown, which fell to 5-16 on the year. Giovanniell walked nine but surrendered only three hits and did not allow an earned run in 3.2 innings.
Georgetown jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning on an RBI single and a two-out Husker error.
The Huskers had a golden opportunity in the bottom of the inning but came up empty. Stokes worked a leadoff walk and with one out, Armstrong was hit by a pitch and sophomore Kaylan Jablonski drew another walk to load the bases. Fowler then fouled off several two-strike pitches before grounding a 3-2 pitch right to the third base, which Georgetown turned into an inning-ending double play.
Nebraska missed another scoring chance in the bottom of the second. A leadoff walk and a single from sophomore Madi Unzicker put Huskers on second and third with only one out but the Hoyas turned another inning-ending double play when sophomore Gina Metzler grounded out and Tyson got caught in a rundown between third and home.
Georgetown then used an infield single and an RBI double to stretch its lead to 3-0 in the top of the third.
A key Hoya error then opened the door for Nebraska to score twice in the bottom of the inning. Knighten reached on a one-out single before Armstrong hit a hard ground ball to short. The ball went through the legs of the shortstop and rolled all the way to the wall, allowing Knighten to score the Huskers’ first run. Armstrong wound up at second base, and she scored on a two-out, RBI single from Tyson that trimmed the lead to 3-2.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Huskers sent 10 batters to the plate and scored four runs despite not recording a hit, as Georgetown walked six batters and committed one key error. Metzler reached on a one-out walk before an error put Huskers on first and second. Knighten then walked to load the bases before Armstrong drew another walk to score Metzler and tie the game. Jablonski then lined a sacrifice fly to right to score Stokes and give Nebraska a 4-3 lead. The Huskers capped the inning with three more walks, as Fowler walked to re-load the bases and Tyson and freshman Alyvia Simmons drew bases-loaded walks to stretch the lead to 6-3.
Georgetown used a pair of Husker errors to get a run back in the top of the fifth.
McClure then led off the bottom of the frame with a home run. Stokes followed with a single before Knighten lined an RBI double to left center to give Nebraska an 8-4 advantage. Armstrong followed with another RBI double and Jablonski made it three straight RBI doubles as Nebraska’s lead grew to 10-4. Fowler, a Tucson, Ariz., native, then hit a two-run homer to wrap up the run-rule victory in what was potentially her final at bat in her home state.
Nebraska returns home on Wednesday when the Huskers host Omaha at 5 p.m. on Wednesday at Bowlin Stadium.