Lincoln - The Nebraska softball team concluded its fall exhibition season by splitting a pair of games on Sunday at Bowlin Stadium. The Huskers fell to Colorado State, 4-3, in a pre-determined 10-inning contest in game one before rebounding to defeat Omaha, 8-3, in game two.
With the split, Nebraska ended its fall season with a 6-1 record. The Husker pitching staff was the highlight of the fall, as the group combined to post a 1.53 ERA. Offensively, Nebraska hit .300 during the fall season while slugging .426 and averaging 6.3 runs per game.
In game one, Nebraska never led and managed only six hits. The Huskers erased 1-0 and 2-1 deficits before Colorado State scored twice in the bottom of the ninth inning to earn the 4-3 win.
After a frustrating offensive performance in game one, Nebraska erupted for eight runs on 11 hits in game two, while senior right-hander Cassie McClure did not allow an earned run in her 6.0 innings of work.
The three unearned runs McClure allowed against UNO marked the only three runs she allowed over four appearances and 24.1 innings during Nebraska's seven-game fall season.
Colorado State - 4
Nebraska - 3
In a low-scoring game one, Nebraska twice erased a one-run deficit before Colorado State scored two times in the bottom of the ninth inning to earn a 4-2 win in a pre-determined 10-inning game.
Colorado State's Haley Hutton had the game's only hit through the first three innings before she led off the bottom of the fourth with a triple. Hutton then scored on a sacrifice fly from Taryn Arcarese.
The Huskers produced their first hit on a leadoff single from freshman Alexis Perry in the top of the fifth, but freshman pinch runner Bree Boruff was stranded at third base.
In the top of the sixth, a pair of walks put Huskers on first and second with one out. Senior MJ Knighten then delivered an RBI single to center that scored junior Gina Metzler with the tying run. Nebraska nearly took the lead when freshman Marinda Bryant attempted to score from third base on a two-out wild pitch, but a perfect throw from catcher Amber Nelson to pitcher Bridgette Hutton got Bryant in a bang-bang play at the plate.
After Nebraska missed an opportunity to grab the lead, Colorado State plated one run in the bottom of the seventh. Consecutive singles and a sacrifice bunt gave the Rams runners at second and third with only one out. The Huskers turned a ground ball into an out at home before Francesca Oliva produced a clutch two-out single to center to give the Rams a 2-1 lead.
Despite Colorado State's 2-1 lead after seven innings, play continued as the contest was pre-determined to last 10 innings. Nebraska then pulled even in the top of the ninth. Jablonski began the inning with a double, advanced to third on a ground out from junior Austen Urness and scored on a two-out, RBI single from freshman Lexey Kneib. The Huskers then loaded the bases before settling for the game-tying run.
Colorado State then used a pair of doubles and two Husker errors to plate two runs in the bottom of the ninth to take a 4-2 lead. Knighten hit a two-out solo home run in the top of the 10th but Nebraska could not complete the comeback.
Jablonski tossed 8.1 innings for the Big Red and allowed four runs (three earned). Offensively, Nebraska was held to only six hits, and the Huskers were just 2-for-19 with runners on base.
Nebraska - 8
Omaha - 3
The Husker hitters fared much better in game two, scoring eight runs on 11 hits. The scoring started early when Nebraska scored three times in the top of the first inning. Nebraska loaded the bases on consecutive infield singles from senior MJ Knighten and junior Kaylan Jablonski and a walk to freshman Lexey Kneib. Knighten then scored the game's first run on an RBI ground out from senior Cassie McClure. Following a UNO error, junior Laura Barrow grounded a two-run single up the middle that gave Nebraska a 3-0 lead.
UNO answered back in the bottom of the inning, using a key Husker error to score three unearned runs and tie the game.
The Huskers then used a two-out rally to take a 4-3 lead in the top of the third. After Omaha turned its second double play of the game, freshman Alexis Perry and Barrow singled on consecutive pitches. Junior Austen Urness then recorded an RBI single to score freshman pinch runner Marinda Bryant.
Nebraska plated four more runs with another two-out rally in the top of the fourth to take an 8-3 lead. Knighten reached on a one-out single before Kneib walked. McClure then helped herself with an RBI single to left field. Perry drove in the second run of the inning with an RBI single to left before Barrow capped the inning with a two-run single.
That was plenty of support for the Husker pitching tandem of McClure and junior Caitlin Bartsch, who combined to now allow an earned run. Offensively, Barrow finished 3-for-3 with a walk and four RBIs, while Jablonski and Perry each finished with two hits.