Cathedral City, Calif. - Two-out troubles continued to plague the 11th-ranked Nebraska softball team on Sunday, as the Huskers dropped their third consecutive game with a 6-2 loss to eighth-ranked and undefeated UCLA at the Big League Dreams Complex.
Each of Nebraska's three straight losses have come to top-15 teams, while six of the Huskers' first 13 games have been played against top-15 opponents (2-4 record in those games). In Sunday's loss to the 15-0 Bruins, each of UCLA's first four runs scored with two outs, allowing the Bruins to take command of the game. Fourteen of the 25 runs Nebraska has allowed against ranked opponents this season have scored with two outs.
UCLA grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first thanks to a two-out Husker error. Ally Carda was hit by a pitch to begin the game, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored from second with two outs on a throwing error by Hailey Decker following a ground ball to the Huskers' sophomore second baseman.
The Bruins added to their lead in the bottom of the fourth, when a pair of singles and a sacrifice bunt put runners on second and third with one out. Lockman then coaxed a pop out to first before a two-run triple made it 3-0. The triple was followed by a two-out, RBI single through the right side that pushed the lead to 4-0.
UCLA scored twice more in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI double and a one-out, RBI single.
Trailing 6-0, Nebraska's offense came to life in the top of the sixth. Sophomore Alicia Armstrong began the inning with an infield single before classmate Kiki Stokes blasted a 3-1 pitch over the right field fence for a two-run homer, her second of the year. Senior Taylor Edwards then singled to extend her hitting streak to 16 games, before a pop out and a double play ended the inning.
The Huskers were then retired in order in the top of the seventh against UCLA reliever Paige McDuffee. Starter Ally Carda (9-0) earned the victory for the Bruins, allowing two runs on four hits in 6.0 innings.
Sophomore right-hander Emily Lockman (4-3) suffered the loss for the Huskers, allowing six runs (five earned) on 10 hits in a complete-game effort.
Nebraska (8-5) concludes its stay in Cathedral City with a contest against Boise State, the only unranked opponent the Huskers have faced this weekend.