Nebraska Earns 9-2 Win Over Omaha
Lincoln - The Nebraska softball team improved to 5-0 during its fall exhibition season with a 9-2 win over Omaha in a pre-determined 10-inning game on Saturday at Bowlin Stadium.
The Huskers trailed 2-0 early before scoring nine unanswered runs. Junior Kaylan Jablonski finished 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBIs. Senior All-American MJ Knighten was 3-for-5 with a pair of RBIs. Sophomore Bri Cassidy also finished with multiple hits in the game, going 2-for-4.
In the circle, Jablonski earned the start and allowed two runs (one earned) in 4.0 innings of work with four strikeouts. Fellow junior right-hander Caitlin Bartsch pitched the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, tossing 3.0 scoreless innings and surrendering only two hits. Junior left-hander Taylor Kadavy matched Bartsch with 3.0 scoreless innings of her own, allowing only one hit over the eighth, ninth and 10th innings.
Omaha jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. After a two-out Husker error extended the inning, Megan May delivered an RBI single through the right side to plate the game's first run.
In the bottom of the frame, Knighten walked in front of a Jablonski double. The double put Huskers on second and third with only one out, and Nebraska loaded the bases with two outs but was unable to score.
The Mavericks added another two-out run in the top of the second to take a 2-0 lead. Lia Mancuso led off with a double and scored on a two-out RBI single from Lizzie Noble.
The Huskers used their own two-out rally to tie the game in the bottom of the frame. Consecutive singles from junior Austen Urness and Cassidy gave the Big Red base runners at first and second with one out. A two-out single from Knighten then loaded the bases before Jablonski and senior Cassie McClure drew back-to-back walks to tie the game at 2-2.
Freshman Lexey Kneib then put the Huskers in front when she sent the first pitch of the bottom of the third inning over the right-field fence for a leadoff home run. Following the home run, junior Laura Barrow singles, Urness walked and Cassidy singled to load the bases with no outs. After UNO recorded a force out at home, Knighten singled home senior pinch runner Rachel Arthur and Urness to give Nebraska a 5-2 lead. Jablonski then helped herself with a sacrifice fly to center that pushed the lead to 6-2.
The Huskers added a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth. Knighten began the inning with her third hit of the day. Then with two outs, freshman Alexis Perry walked and freshman pinch runner Marinda Bryant scored after UNO was unable to field a ground ball off Arthur's bat. Leading 7-2, Barrow and Urness drew back-to-back walks, with Urness' free pass scoring Perry with the second run of the inning.
Nebraska's lead grew to 9-2 in the bottom of the seventh when Jablonski lined the first pitch she saw off the scoreboard beyond the left-field fence for a one-out solo home run.
The Huskers wrap up their fall exhibition season on Sunday with a pair of games at the Big Red Fall Classic. Sunday action at Bowlin Stadium begins at 10 a.m. with Colorado State vs. Omaha. Nebraska then faces Colorado State at 1 p.m. before taking on Omaha at 4 p.m. Admission is free into all three games.