HUSKER SOFTBALL: Nebraska Gets Extra-Innings Win Oover Northern Colorado

LINCOLN–(NU Athletics Mar. 14)–The Nebraska softball team rallied from a five-run deficit to defeat Northern Colorado 6-5 in 10 innings Thursday night at Bowlin Stadium.

The Huskers trailed 5-0 after two innings and were shut out until the sixth inning. But Nebraska scored three times in the sixth and twice more in the seventh to force extra innings.

After a scoreless eighth and ninth inning, Nebraska claimed the victory when Alina Felix delivered a walk-off RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the 10th.

Felix’s game-winning hit was made possible by a terrific relief outing from Caitlin Olensky. Olensky came on in the third inning and scattered four hits over 7.0 scoreless innings, the longest outing of her career.

Kaylin Kinney (8-7) earned the win for Nebraska (13-12) by tossing a scoreless 10th inning. Sarah Harness started and allowed five runs in 2.0 innings.

Offensively, Ava Bredwell was 3-for-5 and she drove in the tying run in the bottom of the seventh inning. Samantha Bland was also 3-for-5, producing her first career three-hit game while leading NU with a pair of RBIs.

Katie Rehberg (1-1) took the loss in relief for Northern Colorado (13-15). Rehberg was charged with one run in 1.2 innings.

An illegal pitch cost Nebraska two runs in the top of the first inning. The leadoff batter flew out to left field on a 3-2 pitch, but an illegal pitch was called resulting in a walk. A two-out single then put runners on first and second before a two-run double gave Northern Colorado a 2-0 lead.

More clutch hitting pushed the Bears’ lead to 5-0 in the top of the second. Northern Colorado again had runners on first and second with one out when another two-out, two-run double made it 4-0. That was followed by an RBI double that capped the three-run inning and put the Bears up by five runs.

Nebraska had only two base runners in the first four innings. Then in the fifth, Katelyn Caneda and Bland had back-to-back singles to start the inning. But a fielder’s choice, a strikeout and a ground out kept the Huskers scoreless.

In the bottom of the sixth, Brooke Andrews and Bredwell singled and pinch hitter Malia Thoms walked to load the bases with one out. Caneda then drove in Nebraska’s first run with an RBI fielder’s choice. Bland followed with a two-run double that cut the lead to 5-3.

In the bottom of the seventh, Mckinley Malecha led off with a single. Following a force out at second base, an error put the tying runs on base at first and second with one out. Sydney Gray then lined an RBI single to right center that scored Billie Andrews and made it a one-run game. Nebraska tied the game when Bredwell had a hard-hit RBI ground out to make it 5-5.

Both teams were retired in order in the eighth. In the top of the ninth, a two-out single and hit batter put Bears on first and second, but Olensky got out of the inning with a pop out to second.

In the bottom of the 10th, Kinney beat out an infield single and moved to third on a two-out single from Bland. Kinney then scored the winning run when Felix beat out an infield single.

Nebraska returns to action tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. against North Dakota.