Huskers fall to top-seeded Northwestern in Big Ten Semifinals
The Nebraska softball team (34-20) fell to No. 19 Northwestern, 8-0 in five innings, in the Big Ten Tournament Semifinal game on Friday night in Urbana, Ill.
The Wildcats (37-11) tallied eight runs on 10 hits while Skyler Shellmyer, Hannah Cady and Angela Zedak all finished with two hits. Danielle Williams moved to 18-1 on the season with the win for the Wildcats. Williams pitched the complete game, holding NU to four hits while striking out three.
The Husker offense was led by Courtney Wallace who finished 2-for-2 on the day. Abbie Squier and Ashley Smetter each added a hit. Wallace (23-14) recorded the loss in the circle, pitching the first inning and giving up three runs on three hits. Sarah Harness pitched the final three innings, allowing five runs on seven hits.
Northwestern took an early 3-0 lead in the first inning. With one out, Kansas Robinson hit a single up the middle. With two outs, a walk put runners on first and second. Back-to-back doubles from Nikki Cuchran and Zedak scored three.
The Huskers looked to score after Wallace reached scoring position with a single and a stolen base in the top of the third, but NU was unable to capitalize and went into the bottom of the inning trailing, 3-0.The Wildcats added three runs on four hits in the bottom of the third inning. A walk and a single put runners on first and second. A fly out recorded the first out, but moved the runners to second and third. Zedak added her second double of the game, scoring two, but getting thrown out at third.
A solo homer from Maeve Nelson scored the third run of the inning as Northwestern extended their lead to 6-0.
Two hits and three walks added two more runs for the Wildcats in the fourth inning. A single and two walks loaded the bases. A single from Hannah Cady drove in two runs as Northwestern extended the lead to 8-0. NU looked to rally in the top of the fifth. Squier led off with a single to right field, but a line into a double play cleared the bases.
With two outs, Wallace hit an infield single followed by a single to left field from Smetter, who entered as a pinch hitter. Billie Andrews was walked to load the bases, but the Big Red was unable to capitalize, stranding three.
Northwestern advanced to the Big Ten Tournament Final with the 8-0 run-rule victory. Nebraska will await word on the postseason tournament when the NCAA announces its 64-team field on Sunday, May 14, at 6 p.m. (CT) on ESPN2.
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