MINNEAPOLIS–(NU Athletics May 5)–The Nebraska softball team ended the regular season with a 7-5 loss at Minnesota on Sunday afternoon. The Huskers won the weekend series and ended the regular season with a 29-22 record and an unofficial fourth-place finish in the Big Ten with a 12-9 conference record.

In a game filled with base runners, eight of the 12 runs scored in the fifth inning. Nebraska trailed 2-1 before scoring four times with two outs in the top of the fifth to take a 5-2 lead. But Minnesota came back with four two-out runs of its own in the bottom of the fifth, regaining a lead it would not relinquish.

Minnesota had 16 hits in the game, while Nebraska had 11 hits. The teams combined for 20 hits with runners on base, but a total of six double plays limited the scoring. The Huskers stranded seven base runners while the Gophers left 11 on base in their six innings.

Sydney Gray (2-for-4), Ava Bredwell (2-for-2), Bella Bacon (2-for-3) and Katelyn Caneda (2-for-3) all had two hits, with Gray and Bacon adding an RBI. Brooke Andrews drove in a pair of runs while Emmerson Cope also had an RBI.

Sarah Harness started and pitched well until the fifth inning, which marked her 16th inning of the weekend. Harness (8-5) took the loss after allowing six runs in 4.2 innings. Caitlynn Neal pitched the final 1.1 innings and gave up one run on one hit.

Macy Richardson (6-5) earned the complete-game win for Minnesota, which ended the regular season with a 27-24 record and a 13-10 mark in Big Ten play.

Minnesota scored once in the bottom of the first to take a 1-0 lead. A leadoff walk was followed by back-to-back doubles to score the game’s first run. After a pop out, a hit batter loaded the bases with one out before Nebraska turned an inning-ending double play.

Nebraska tied the game in the top of the second. Cope was hit by a pitch to start the inning, Bredwell singled and Bacon added another single to load the bases with no outs. Brooke Andrews then reached on an RBI fielder’s choice that scored pinch runner Mckinley Malecha with Nebraska’s first run. The Huskers still had runners at second and third with only one out when Neal hit an apparent sacrifice fly to center that brought Bredwell home but Bredwell was ruled to have left third base early and was called out to end the inning.

Nebraska turned a double play to thwart a Minnesota scoring threat in the bottom of the third, and the Gophers returned the favor with an inning-ending double play in the top of the fourth.

Minnesota then grabbed a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth. The Gophers had runners at first and second with one out when an RBI double gave Minnesota the lead. The Gophers still had runners at second and third with one out but Harness escaped the jam without further damage.

Nebraska answered with four two-out runs in the top of the fifth to take a 5-2 lead. Neal and Caneda began the inning with back-to-back singles. The next two batters were retired before Gray had a clutch two-out, RBI single that scored Neal with the tying run.

Minnesota came right back with four two-out runs in the bottom of the inning to regain the lead at 6-5. The first two batters were retired before an infield single got the rally started. Another single put two runners on base before back-to-back doubles brought three runs home to tie the game at 5-5. An RBI single then gave the Gophers a 6-5 lead.

In the top of the sixth, Caneda singled and Billie Andrews walked to put Huskers on first and second with no outs. But Nebraska hit into its third double play of the game before a fly out ended the threat.

Minnesota then added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth on a one-out RBI double gave the Gophers a 7-5 lead.

In the top of the seventh, Bredwell singled with one out to bring the tying run to the plate, but Bacon lined into a game-ending double play.

With the regular season complete, Nebraska will turn its attention to the Big Ten Tournament.

Blaze Events