LINCOLN–(NU Athletics Oct. 8)–A pair of big innings powered the Nebraska softball team a 12-4 victory over Creighton on a sunny Sunday afternoon at Bowlin Stadium.
Creighton scored a pair of unearned runs in the top of the fourth inning to take a 3-1 lead before Nebraska responded by scoring 11 runs over its final three at bats.
Nebraska produced four hits in a five-run fourth inning that put the Huskers in front 6-3. After the Bluejays cut into the lead with a single run in the fifth, Nebraska put the game away with a six-run sixth inning that was highlighted by a three-run homer from Ava Bredwell.
Nebraska produced 12 hits in the game. The Huskers were opportunistic, going 7-for-13 with runners in scoring position and totaling six two-out RBIs. Bahl led the offense with a 3-for-3 day that included a run and an RBI. Andrews finished 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs, Caitlynn Neal was 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored and Emmerson Cope finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Ava Bredwell drove in a game-high three runs.
In the circle, Nebraska used four pitchers and did not allow an earned run. Cope got the start and allowed one unearned run on three hits in 2.0 innings. Caitlin Olensky earned the win, pitching 2.0 innings and giving up two unearned runs. Sarah Harness was charged with one unearned run in her lone inning of work, while Bahl picked up the save with 2.0 scoreless innings of relief with four strikeouts.
Creighton threatened to score quickly in the top of the first inning with a pair of one-out singles, but Cope coaxed a pair of ground outs to escape the jam.
Nebraska then grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the inning. Andrews got things started with a leadoff single. Gray joined her on the base paths with a one-out walk. With runners on first and second and two outs, Bahl lined an RBI single down the left field line that scored Gray with the game’s first run.
In the top of the second, a leadoff hit batter, a passed ball and a ground out put the tying runner at third with one out. The Bluejays tied the game two batters later on a two-out RBI single just over Gray’s head at third base.
Creighton took advantage of a Husker error to score a pair of two-out runs in the top of the fourth and take a 3-1 lead.
In the bottom of the frame, Nebraska scored five times to take a 6-3 lead. The Huskers loaded the bases with no outs on pair of singles from Bahl and Neal and a hit batter. Cope then made it a 3-2 game with an RBI single down the right field line. After Creighton recorded a force out at home, Andrews produced a go-ahead two-run single up the middle that scored Alina Felix and Neal. An error and a sacrifice fly capped the inning with Nebraska enjoying a three-run lead.
Creighton came back with runners on first and third and no outs in the top of the fifth but Harness limited the damage to just one unearned run.
The Huskers put the game away with the six-run sixth inning. Samantha Bland began the inning with a single before the next two batters were retired. But with two outs, Gray walked and Bredwell followed with her three-run homer that made it 9-4. The rally continued as Peyton Cody had a pinch-hit double and a Creighton error put runners on first and third. A wild pitch scored Carter before a Neal singled brought home Ashley Smetter. Cope produced the game’s final run with an RBI single.
Nebraska wraps up its fall season next weekend when the Huskers host the Big Red Fall Classic on Saturday and Sunday at Bowlin Stadium (free admission).