Husker Comeback Falls Short Against Illinois
|W - S. Sickels (14-4)||2.0||1||1||1||0||2|
|L - L. Walljasper (5-7)||1.0||3||3||3||0||1|
Olivia Ferrell hit her first-career home run. She tied her career best with three RBIs.
Payton Huscroft hit her first-career hit against Illinois on Sunday.
Nebraska had four home runs for the first time since March 17, 2018.
Lincoln, Neb. - The Nebraska softball team (11-19, 1-4 Big Ten) overcame a seven-run deficit against Illinois (22-8, 3-2 Big Ten) to push the game to extra innings. However, Illinois scored three in the eighth to take a 11-8 victory in game one of a doubleheader on Sunday.
Olivia Ferrell helped the Huskers both at the plate and in the circle. The sophomore pitched 7.0 innings, giving up five earned runs on eight hits. At the plate, Ferrell hit her first-career home run and tied her career high with three RBIs. Lindsey Walljasper dropped to 5-7 on the season. She pitched 1.0 innings and gave up three runs on three hits. She also had one strikeout.
Illinois' Sydney Sickels improved to 14-4, pitching 2.0 innings and giving up one run on one hit.
Nebraska had 13 hits against Illinois, tying the team's second-highest total this season. In addition to Ferrell's homer, Lindsey Walljasper, Madi Unzicker and Courtney Wallace each had home runs on the day, marking the first time Nebraska had four homers in a single game since March of 2018. Alyvia Simmons, Tristen Edwards, Walljasper and Unzicker had two hits. Samatha Owen, Peyton Glatter and Payton Huscroft also had one hit against the Fighting Illini.
Illinois took a quick 5-0 lead in the top of the first, scoring off three hits - including a grand slam. The Illini also got help from a pair of Husker errors. In the bottom of the inning, Edwards hit a one-out single up the middle and reached second on a passed ball. However she was caught in a rundown to end the inning.
Walljasper put the Huskers on the board with a solo homer in the second.
Illinois extended its lead to 7-1 in the third with a two-run home run. In the bottom of the inning, Glatter and Edwards both singled to put a pair of runners with two outs. Owen singled to right field, but Illinois made a good play and got the runner out at home to end the inning.
Illinois scored a run in the top of the fourth off two hits and a pair of Husker errors. In the bottom of the inning, Walljasper doubled and Anni Raley pinch ran for her. Then, Madi Unzicker hit a home run to score two runs and cut the lead to 8-3.
In the bottom of the fifth, Simmons singled and stole second to get in scoring position, but was stranded as the Huskers couldn't score her.
In the bottom of the sixth Nebraska scored four runs to cut the lead to 8-7. Walljasper drew a leadoff walk and Madi Unzicker singled to put two runners on. Then, Ferrell hit her first-career home run to score three runs. Huscroft pinch hit for Yocom and hit her first-career hit to get on base. Yocom re-entered and scored off a double by Simmons.
Wallace tied the game at 8-8 in the bottom of the seventh after hitting a solo shot that pushed the game to extra inning.
In the eighth, Illinois hit a leadoff single to put the go-ahead run on first. A sac bunt moved the runner to second and a two-out single put runners on the corners. A close hit-by-pitch call loaded the bases and a double gave Illinois a 11-8 lead.
Nebraska was unable to make up the difference in the bottom of the inning.