Husker Softball Evens Series With 10-2 Win

Photo Credit: Nebraska Athletics Photo Credit: Nebraska Athletics

The Nebraska softball team blew open a close game with a seven-run fifth inning in a 10-2 five-inning victory over Penn State Saturday at Bowlin Stadium.

Nebraska led 3-2 entering the bottom of the fifth but brought the run rule into effect by scoring seven times. The Huskers sent nine batters to the plate in the inning and five players had a run-scoring hit, including a two-run homer from Billie Andrews that ended the game.

Peyton Cody paced the Husker offense with a 2-for-3 day with three RBIs. Billie Andrews was 2-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs while Caitlynn Neal was 1-for-3 with two RBIs. Samantha Bland and Bella Bacon also drove in a run for the Big Red while Brooke Andrews and Ava Bredwell each scored twice.

In the circle, Sarah Harness started and earned the win. Harness (4-2) went 3.0 innings and allowed only one run and one hit. Kaylin Kinney picked up her fourth save of the season after she entered the game with Nebraska leading by one in the fifth and tossed a scoreless inning. Emmerson Cope also saw action, allowing one run in 1.0 inning.

With the win, Nebraska (23-14) evened the series with Penn State and improved to 6-1 in Big Ten play. Penn State fell to 27-8 with the loss and dropped to 6-2 in conference action. Mady Volpe (7-4) took the loss, allowing six runs (five earned) in 3.1 innings.

Nebraska took advantage of two Penn State errors to take a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning. A dropped infield pop up inning began the inning before the next two batters were retired. Katelyn Caneda then hit a line drive to center that Liana Jones had in her glove, but it popped out and Cody came around to score the game's first run. Billie Andrews then hit a ball down the left field line that normally would have been a two-run homer, but a strong wind pushed the ball just outside the foul pole for a foul ball.

The Huskers plated two more runs in the bottom of the third. Brooke Andrews led off with a walk before Bredwell singled. The runners moved up to second and third on a sacrifice bunt from Bland and Cody brought both runners home with a two-out, two-run single.

Penn State cut the lead to 3-1 when Kaitlyn Morrison led off the fourth inning with a solo home run, the Nittany Lions' first hit of the game. Two of the next three hitters doubled as Penn State trimmed the lead to 3-2.

After being held scoreless in the fourth inning, Nebraska scored seven times in the fifth to end the game early. Brooke Andrews and Bredwell began the inning with consecutive walks. Bland then had an RBI single that made it 4-2. Following an out, Cody and Bella Bacon delivered back-to-back RBI singles that stretched the lead to 6-2. A two-run double from Neal made it 8-2 and two batters later, Billie Andrews hit her two-run homer down the left field line to account for the 10-2 final.

Nebraska and Penn State are scheduled to wrap up their three-game series on Sunday at Noon.