Laura Barrow hit her first homer of the season against Michigan State Friday night.
Photo by Stephanie Carpenter/Nebraska Communications

Huskers Slay Spartans, 9-6, in Big Ten Opener

By NU Athletic Communications

Nebraska 
9
6
Michigan St.

Inning-by-Inning
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7   R H E
Michigan St. 0 1 1 3 0 0 1   6 11 1
Nebraska 2 3 1 0 3 0 X   9 11 5
Pitching
  IP H R ER BB SO
W - K. Jablonski (15-5) 4.0 7 5 2 3 3
L - K. Zalewski (4-6) 1.1 5 5 5 1 0
S - S. McLeod (1) 3.0 4 1 0 1 4
Individual Leaders
  AB R H RBI 2B HR
Laura Barrow 4 3 3 1 2 1
Gina Metzler 2 2 2 1 0 0
Game Notes

Laura Barrow had two doubles and one homer, marking just the second time in her career she's had multiple multi-base hits in a game. The last time was against Northwestern in 2016. She had one double and one homer. 

Laura Barrow has had multiple hits the last two games. Prior, she had only had one all season. 

Laura Barrow hit her first home run of the season against the Spartans. 

Laura Barrow had more multi-base hits against MSU than she did all of last season.

Gina Metzler has reached base her last sevene plate appearances. She went 3-for-3 with one walk against Creighton and hit 2-for-2 with a walk against Michigan State.

Sydney McLeod got her first career at bat against the Spartans. 

Sydney McLeod got her first save of the season, bringing the team total to seven, which is tied for fifth in school history. 

Lincoln, Neb. - The Nebraska softball team (22-9) beat Michigan State (11-14) in its Big Ten opener Friday night by a score of 9-6. 

Laura Barrow had three hits, with two doubles and a homer. She also had three runs and one RBI. Gina Metzler went 2-for-2 with a walk, an RBI and two runs. Tristen Edwards also had two hits, with one homer, four RBIs and one run. Alyvia Simmons, Madi Unzicker, Ally Riley and Lexey Kneib also had one hit for Nebraska. 

Jablonski pitched 4.0 innings and improved to 15-5 on the season. She gave up seven hits and two earned runs. She also had three walks and three strikeouts. Sydney McCleod earned her first save of the year, pitching 3.0 innings and giving up one run on four hits. She also had four strikeouts.

MSU's Kristina Zalewski dropped to 4-6 on the year. She pitched 1.1 innings and gave up five runs on five hits. She also had one walk and no strikeouts. 

The Huskers took a quick 2-0 lead in the first when Simmons drew a leadoff walk and Edwards homered to center field.

In the top of the second, the Spartans scored one run off a Husker error. A leadoff double put a runner in scoring position. The Huskers retired the next two batters, but the runner advanced to third. A walk put runners on the corners with two outs. The next batter grounded to third, but a throwing error allowed her to get to second and the run scored. 

In the bottom of the inning, NU scored three more runs. Barrow hit a leadoff double and Metzler singled to put two runners on with no outs. Kneib's sacrifice bunt moved them both over into scoring position. Simmons doubled to left center to bring them both home. Simmons stole third and Edwards drew a walk to put runners on the corners with one out. In a planned double steal, Edwards went for second to draw the throw and Simmons stole home to score, extending Nebraska's lead to 5-1. 

MSU loaded the bases in the third with a walk and two singles. A wild pitch scored one run to cut the Huskers' lead to 5-2. 

In the bottom of the third, Barrow hit a two-out double and Metzler's single scored her. Kneib also singled and Simmons drew a walk to load the bases, but the next batter was retired to end the inning. 

In the fourth, MSU put runners on the corners with no outs after a Husker error and a single. A double scored one and put runners on first and second. An intentional walk loaded the bases with one out and a single scored one more. The next batter was out on a called infield fly, but the Husker defense mishandled the ball, allowing the runner on third to score, cutting the score to 6-5. 

In the bottom of the fifth, Barrow hit a leadoff homer to extend the NU lead to 7-5. Metzler drew a walk. Simmons reached second on a Spartan error, while Metzler moved to third. Edwards singled to score two more runs and give the Huskers a 9-5 lead. 

In the top of the seventh, a double and a walk put two runners on with no outs. An error loaded the bases, bringing the tying run to the plate. Sydney McLeod came up with two big strikeouts to give the Huskers two outs. The next batter singled through the middle. One run scored, but Edwards made a great stop to keep the ball in the infield. Edwards' throw to Barrow at second wasn't in time, but Barrow turned and threw home to Cassidy, who tagged the next runner out at the plate to end the game. 

Nebraska and Michigan State will play game two tomorrow at 1 p.m. CT. The game will be available on Huskers.com (radio) and BTNPlus/FloSoftball (subscription required). 

Box Score

                             2018 Nebraska Softball
                           Michigan State at Nebraska
                 Mar 23, 2018 at Lincoln, Neb. (Bowlin Stadium)

Michigan State 6 (11-14)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Kaitlyn Eveland 3b.......  4  0  0  0   0  4  0  3   2
 Joanna Bartz 3b.........  1  0  1  1   0  0  0  0   0
Ebonee Echols lf.........  3  2  2  1   1  0  0  0   0
Lea Foerster cf..........  3  0  2  0   1  0  2  0   0
Caitie Ladd ss...........  4  0  1  1   0  0  3  0   2
McKenzie Long 1b/rf......  4  2  3  0   0  0  3  0   2
Lexi White dp............  3  0  1  0   1  0  0  0   0
 Summer Callahan pr......  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Melanie Baccay 2b........  3  0  0  0   0  0  4  1   2
Lindsey Besson c.........  3  0  0  0   1  1  4  0   0
 Kelly Zackrison pr......  0  1  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Katie Quinlan rf/pr......  2  1  0  0   0  2  1  0   1
 Kelcey Carrasco ph/1b...  2  0  1  0   0  0  1  0   0
Kristina Zalewski p......  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Bridgette Rainey p......  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 32  6 11  3   4  7 18  4  10

Nebraska 9 (22-9)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Alyvia Simmons rf........  2  3  1  2   2  0  0  0   0
Tristen Edwards ss.......  3  1  2  4   1  0  2  2   3
Kaylan Jablonski p/dp....  4  0  0  0   0  0  1  0   0
Madi Unzicker 1b.........  4  0  1  0   0  1  5  0   2
Ally Riley dp............  3  0  1  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Sydney McLeod p.........  1  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Taylor Otte cf...........  4  0  0  0   0  3  1  0   2
Laura Barrow 2b..........  4  3  3  1   0  0  1  3   0
Gina Metzler lf..........  2  2  2  1   1  0  1  0   0
Lexey Kneib 3b...........  2  0  1  0   0  0  2  1   0
Bri Cassidy c............  0  0  0  0   0  0  8  1   0
Totals................... 29  9 11  8   4  4 21  7   7

Score by Innings                  R  H  E
-----------------------------------------
Michigan State...... 011 300 1 -  6 11  1
Nebraska............ 231 030 X -  9 11  5
-----------------------------------------

E - B Rainey(3); Edwards(6); Otte(1); Barrow(4); Metzler(1); Kneib(2). LOB -
Spartans 10; Huskers 7. 2B - E Echols 2(6); L Foerster(10); M Long 2(6);
Simmons(6); M. Unzicker(4); Barrow 2(5). HR - Edwards(7); Barrow(1). SH - M
Baccay(4); Kneib(3). SB - Simmons 2(7).

Michigan State         IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF  NP
--------------------------------------------------
Kristina Zalewski...  1.1  5  5  5  1  0  8 10  43
Bridgette Rainey....  4.2  6  4  3  3  4 21 24  87

Nebraska               IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF  NP
--------------------------------------------------
Kaylan Jablonski....  4.0  7  5  2  3  3 19 23  95
Sydney McLeod.......  3.0  4  1  0  1  4 13 14  70

Win - Jablonski (15-5).  Loss - K Zalewski (4-6).  Save - McLeod (1).
WP - Jablonski(1). Pitches/strikes: K Zalewski 43/27; B Rainey 87/53; Jablonski
95/54; McLeod 70/48.
Umpires - HP: Terry Holt  1B: Kelly J. Ternes  3B: Michael Parker
Start: 5:35 PM   Time: 2:41   Attendance: 447
Weather: cloudy
Game: NEB31

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