EVANSTON, IL.–(NU Athletics)–The Nebraska softball team (32-17, 12-8 Big Ten) smashed a season-high five home runs, but it was not enough as No. 22 Northwestern (33-10, 18-2 Big Ten) scored six runs in the fifth inning to ultimately win, 9-10, on Sunday afternoon in Evanston, Ill.
The Huskers got out to an early 2-0 lead, fell behind 2-4, before taking a 9-4 lead headed into the bottom of the fifth. The Wildcats went on to score six runs on four hits and one error to take a 9-10 advantage before the game was halted for nearly two hours due to rain. Once play resumed, Nebraska was unable to rally, as Northwestern claimed the win.
Billie Andrews and Mya Felder led the Husker offense, each smashing two home runs. Abbie Squier added a solo homer as seven of NU’s nine runs came from home runs.
Northwestern’s offense was led by Skyler Shellmyer who finished 2-for-4 with one RBI and two runs while Hannah Cady added a three-run homer.
Courtney Wallace (21-11) received the loss in the circle for the Huskers. Wallace entered in the bottom of the fifth inning, pitching 0.2 innings, giving up four hits and six runs (four earned). Sarah Harness started in the circle and re-entered after the delay, pitching 5.1 innings, allowing six hits and four runs.
Danielle Williams moved to 15-1 on the season for the Wildcats as she pitched the final three innings for Northwestern. Williams held the Huskers to just no hits and just one run. Cami Henry started for the Wildcats, pitching 2.1 innings, allowing five hits and six runs including four homers. Sydney Supple added 1.2 innings of work, giving up two hits and two runs.
The Huskers got out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first. With one out, Katelyn Caneda was walked. With two outs, Felder hit a two-run homer to give NU the early advantage.
The Wildcats responded with four runs in the bottom of the first inning. Two singles put runners on first and second. Cady smashed a three-run homer to take the lead with one out. A single and a double scored one more as Northwestern went into the second inning ahead, 4-2.
Two home runs and three hits powered the Huskers in the second inning. Squier led off with a solo shot to right field. With two outs, Alina Felix added a single to center field. Billie Andrews followed with a homer to right field, scoring two, as Nebraska regained the lead, 5-4.
Felder smashed her second home run during her second at-bat in the top of the third, extending the Husker lead to 6-4.
Three runs and two hits in the fifth inning gave Nebraska the 9-4 lead. Billie Andrews added her second homer of the day with a lead off shot to center field. Caneda followed with a double. Williams entered the circle for Northwestern, hitting Gray with a pitch and walking Felder to load the bases. With one out, Squier was hit by a pitch, bringing in the second run of the inning. Caitlynn Neal struck out, but a wild pitch scored Gray as the Huskers went ahead.
Northwestern tallied six runs and four hits in the bottom of the fifth to take the 10-9 lead. Wallace entered the circle for Nebraska. With two outs, a walk and two singles loaded the bases. A single from Kendall Peterson cleared the bases. Another single, a walk and a wild pitch put runners at second and third. A fielding error and a wild pitch scored two more runs before the game was delayed due to inclement weather in Evanston.
After nearly a two-hour rain delay, the game resumed play. Sarah Harness re-entered the game and recorded the third out to move to the sixth inning.
Nebraska looked to rally in the seventh with one on and two outs, but a line out secured the Wildcat victory, 9-10. With the win, Northwestern claimed a share of the Big Ten regular season title.
The Huskers return to action next weekend, May 5-7, for the final weekend of the regular season for a three-game series against Ohio State at Bowlin Stadium.