Raleigh, N.C. – The Nebraska softball team (4-2) hit three home runs en route to a 7-2 victory over NC State (3-3) in its first of two games on Friday. It marks Nebraska’s first win this season over a ranked opponent as NC State is ranked No. 17 by Fastpich News, No. 23 by Softball America and is receiving votes in the USA Softball and NFCA Polls.
Tristen Edwards and Lindsey Walljasper led the offensive efforts. Edwards had a pair of solo home runs, while Walljasper hit a three-run homer. Edwards went 2-for-4 with two runs and three RBIs. Nebraska scored at least one run in all but two innings innings and finished the game with nine hits. Simmons had two hits while Rylie Unzicker, Bree Boruff, Bri Cassidy and Samantha Owen each had one.
Walljasper started in the circle for the Huskers and improved to 2-0. She pitched 6.0 innings and gave up five hits and no earned runs. She also recorded a career-best nine strikeouts. Regan Mergele pitched 1.0 inning of relief. She retired the first three batters she saw and recorded two strikeouts.
Edwards hit a solo home run in the top of the first to give Nebraska a quick 1-0 lead.
In the second inning, Cassidy singled and Owen drew a walk to put two runners on base. Rylie Unzicker singled to center field, scoring Cassidy and giving Nebraska a 2-0 lead.
Boruff hit a leadoff single to start the third inning. Simmons singled and both runners advanced one base after the NC State right fielder let the ball get by her. Then, Walljasper homered to put the Huskers up 5-0.
Madi Unzicker was hit by a pitch and Owen doubled to put two runners in scoring position with no outs in the top of the fourth. After an NC State pitching change, Rylie Unzicker drew a walk to load the bases. NC State got its first out of the inning with a force out at home. Edwards grounded out to the pitcher for the second out, but brought a run in.
NC State scored its first run of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning. With runners on first and second with two outs, NC State hit a infield pop up that should have ended the inning. However, a fielding error allowed one runner to score and extended the inning. A hit batter loaded the bases for the Wolfpack and a walk brought another run in. With the tying run at the plate, Walljasper got a big strikeout to get out of the inning.
In the seventh, Edwards hit a leadoff home run to put the Huskers up 7-2.
Raleigh N.C. – In an impressive performance on both offense and defense, the Nebraska softball team (5-2) defeated Pittsburgh (1-6), 14-1, in five innings in its second game of the day on Friday night. The Huskers went 2-0 on the first day of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Wisconsin also won both of its two games on the day.
Olivia Ferrell (2-1) started and pitched a complete five-inning game. She was just three outs away from a no-hitter, as the Pathers’ first and only hit came in the bottom of the fifth inning. She had just two walks and four strikeouts.
On offense, Nebraska had 10 hits, including a grand slam from Samantha Owen and a three-run homer from Tristen Edwards. Bree Boruff went 3-for-3 with a career-best three runs and a career-high three RBIs. Rylie Unzicker also had one hit on the night, extending her hitting streak to five games. Peyton Glatter recorded her first-career hit, while Bri Cassidy, Madi Unzicker and Lexey Kneib each had one hit. As a team, Nebraska didn’t have any strikeouts.
Pitt’s Taylor Rahach fell to 0-3. She pitched 1.2 innings and gave up six runs on four hits.
Nebraska scored right away in the first, taking a 2-0 lead. Rylie Unzicker and Boruff singled to put two runners on. Simmons drew a walk to load the bases. A wild pitch scored one run and moved all other runners up a base. Then, in a pick off attempt, Pitt’s catcher overthrew third base. Boruff took advantage and used her speed to score a second run for the Huskers.
In the second, NU scored four runs. Madi Unzicker was hit by a pitch. She stole second and reached third on a wild pitch. Rylie Unzicker drew a walk and moved to second on another wild pitch to put two runners in scoring position. A single from Boruff scored Madi Unzicker. Then, Edwards hit a three-run homer to put the Huskers up 6-0.
In the third, the Big Red batted through the line up and scored three runs. Walljasper drew a one-out walk. Peyton Glatter pinch ran for Walljasper and moved to second when Cassidy singled to right field. Carson Fischer pinch ran for Cassidy and Madi Unzicker drew a walk to load the bases. Kneib hit one over the third baseman to score Glatter. A fielder’s choice brought in Fischer and a ground out scored another run. Edwards drew a walk to load the bases, but a fly out ended the inning.
NU scored some insurance runs in the fifth. Madi Unzicker hit a leadoff double. Anni Raley pinch ran for her and moved to third on a ground out. Boruff singled to bring her home. Back-to-back walks from Edwards and Simmons loaded the bases before Owen smacked one over the fence to put the Huskers up 14-0.
The Wolfpack avoided the shutout by scoring one run in the bottom of the fifth with a sacrifice fly.
The Huskers continue the ACC/Big Ten Challenge tomorrow when they face NC State. Due to projected rain, the game has been moved to 2:30 p.m. (CT).