Madi Unzicker hit a three-run homer in the sixth to give Nebraska the lead against the Illini.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Husker Homers Not Enough, Illini Get Walk-Off Win

By NU Athletic Communications

Nebraska 
4
5
Illinois

Inning-by-Inning
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7   R H E
Nebraska 0 0 1 0 0 3 0   4 9 1
Illinois 0 1 0 0 0 1 1   5 11 1
Pitching
  IP H R ER BB SO
W - E. Walker (1-0) 2.0 1 0 0 0 1
L - O. Ferrell (8-7) 3.2 5 2 2 1 1
S - None 0.0 0 0 0 0 0
Individual Leaders
  AB R H RBI 2B HR
Alyvia Simmons 3 1 3 1 1 1
Madi Unzicker 3 1 2 3 0 1
Game Notes

Nebraska's nine hits on the night are the most since April 13 against Purdue. 

Alyvia Simmons drew a walk to start the game on Friday evening, reaching base for the last nine straight games. 

Alyvia Simmons hit her second homer of the season in the third to tie the game 1-1.

Madi Unzicker hit her sixth homer of the season and her first in conference play. 

Urbana, Ill. -The Nebraska softball team (30-21, 8-12 Big Ten) hit two homers in an attempt and pull off a come-from-behind win against Illinois (35-16, 12-7 Big Ten) on Friday night. Despite a tough battle, the Huskers fell to the Illini by a score of 5-4, after a walk-off single in the seventh. Alyvia Simmons and Madi Unzicker both had homers on the night. Simmons was 3-for-3 with a walk, while Unzicker went 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Kaylan Jablonski also had a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with one run. Taylor Otte and Tristen Edwards each had one hit on the night. The Huskers had nine hits against Illinois - the most since April 13. 

In the circle, Olivia Ferrell (8-7) pitched 3.2 innings, giving up two runs on five hits and had two strikeouts. Jablonski started and pitched 3.0 innings. She gave up three runs on six hits and also had two strikeouts. 

It looked like Nebraska was in trouble in the first when Illinois put runners on the corners with one out, but the Husker defense stepped up. Illinois hit a short fly ball just behind second base. Edwards made a great catch to get the batter out but wasn't done yet. She threw to Bri Cassidy behind the plate who tagged the runner out at home for a double play.

In the second, Illinois scored one run with a double and a single. 

In the third, Simmons swung at the first pitch of her at bat and smashed one over the fence to tie the game 1-1.

The Illini threatened again in the third, putting runners on first and third with no outs. A stolen base put both runners in scoring position. Jablonski got two big strikeouts, but a single scored two more runs to give Illinois a 3-1 lead.

The Huskers took a 4-3 lead in the sixth. Edwards hit a leadoff single and Jablonski followed suit to put two runners on. Then, Madi Unzicker homered to centerfield to give NU the lead. Taylor Otte also singled, which prompted an Illini pitching change. Illinois got out of the inning, but not before Nebraska did damage. 

In the bottom of the inning, the Illini put runners on first and second with a two-out double and a walk. A single scored one run and put the go-ahead run on third, but Ferrell snatched a line drive to end the inning without giving up the lead. 

In the seventh, Simmons hit a leadoff double to put the go-ahead run in scoring position. Laura Barrow delivered a perfect bunt to move Simmons to third, but she was stranded there as Illinois retired the next two batters. In the bottom of the inning, Illinois put the winning run on first with a one-out single. A groundout moved her to second and a single to right field scored her and ended the game. 

The Huskers and the Illini will play game two tomorrow at 1 p.m. The game will be available on BTNPlus/FloSoftball (subscription required), as well as Huskers.com (radio).

Box Score

                             2018 Nebraska Softball
                              Nebraska at Illinois
               May 04, 2018 at Urbana, Ill. (Eichelberger Field)

Nebraska 4 (30-21,8-12 B1G)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Alyvia Simmons rf........  3  1  3  1   1  0  0  0   0
Laura Barrow 2b..........  3  0  0  0   0  0  1  0   1
Tristen Edwards ss.......  4  1  1  0   0  0  1  2   0
Kaylan Jablonski p/dp....  4  1  2  0   0  0  0  0   1
Madi Unzicker 1b.........  3  1  2  3   0  0  6  0   0
Taylor Otte cf...........  3  0  1  0   0  0  2  1   0
Rylie Unzicker dp........  2  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   1
 Olivia Ferrell p........  1  0  0  0   0  0  1  1   0
Sarah Yocom 3b...........  3  0  0  0   0  1  0  2   1
Gina Metzler lf..........  3  0  0  0   0  1  4  0   1
Bri Cassidy c............  0  0  0  0   0  0  5  1   0
Totals................... 29  4  9  4   1  2 20  7   6

Illinois 5 (35-16,12-7 B1G)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
K Sherlund cf............  4  1  3  1   0  1  4  0   2
S Acosta 3b..............  4  1  1  0   0  0  0  0   2
C Thomas lf..............  3  0  1  0   1  1  3  0   0
S Abello c...............  4  0  1  0   0  1  2  1   1
 R Trochim pr............  0  1  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
B Loya 1b................  4  0  1  2   0  1  5  0   1
M Doane rf...............  4  1  2  1   0  0  1  0   0
R McGuire dp.............  2  0  1  1   0  0  0  0   0
 J Nicklas pr............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
L Farina ss..............  3  1  1  0   0  0  4  2   0
A Carrillo 2b............  2  0  0  0   0  0  2  1   1
 V Ruelius ph............  0  0  0  0   1  0  0  0   0
T Edwards p..............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 E Walker p..............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  1   0
Totals................... 30  5 11  5   2  4 21  5   8

Score by Innings                  R  H  E
-----------------------------------------
Nebraska............ 001 003 0 -  4  9  1
Illinois............ 012 001 1 -  5 11  1
-----------------------------------------

Note: 2 outs, 1 runner LOB when the game ended.

E - Edwards(14); K Sherlund(3). DP - NEB 1. LOB - NEB 6; Illinois 8. 2B -
Simmons(12); K Sherlund(7); M Doane(7); L Farina(8). HR - Simmons(2); M.
Unzicker(6). HBP - R McGuire. SH - Barrow(3). SB - K Sherlund(15); S
Acosta(15); C Thomas(11).

Nebraska               IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF  NP
--------------------------------------------------
Kaylan Jablonski....  3.0  6  3  3  1  2 13 14  53
Olivia Ferrell......  3.2  5  2  2  1  2 17 19  71

Illinois               IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF  NP
--------------------------------------------------
T Edwards...........  5.0  8  4  4  1  1 23 24  77
E Walker............  2.0  1  0  0  0  1  6  7  23

Win - E Walker (1-0).  Loss - Ferrell (8-7).  Save - None.
WP - Jablonski(5). HBP - by Ferrell (R McGuire). Pitches/strikes: Jablonski
53/32; Ferrell 71/40; T Edwards 77/51; E Walker 23/14.
Umpires - HP: Sally Keller  1B: Charles Blackwell  3B: Mark McCrillis
Start: 5 p.m.   Time: 7:06   Attendance: 553
Weather: 76 degrees, cloudy, 12mph wind
T Edwards faced 4 batters in the 6th.
Game: NEB51

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