Fort Collins, Colo. – The Nebraska softball team (9-5) defeated Idaho State (5-7), 10-4, in nine innings on Thursday in its first of two games on the day. The Huskers made it difficult on themselves though, as they led 3-0 through the top of the sixth, but gave up three unearned runs in the next two innings to force the game to extra innings. Both teams scored one run in the eighth, but the Huskers scored six runs in the ninth get the victory.
Regan Mergele got the start in the circle. She went 5.0 innings and gave up four hits, one walk and recorded three strikeouts. She also gave up two unearned runs. Olivia Ferrell pitched 4.0 innings of relief and improved to 3-2 on the year. She gave up four hits, two unearned runs and recorded three strikeouts.
Kelsea Sweeney dropped to 0-5 on the year. She pitched 2.2 innings and gave up seven runs on six hits. She also had four walks and one strikeout.
The Huskers recorded 13 hits as a team. Madi Unzicker had a career-best three hits on the day. She also had two RBIs. Bree Boruff also had three hits, tying her career high. She also had two runs and one RBI. Rylie Unzicker and Samantha Owen each had two hits, while Tristen Edwards, Lindsey Walljasper and Bri Cassidy each had one hit.
Edwards smacked one deep over the left field fence in the first inning to put the Huskers up 1-0.
Nebraska threatened in the third. Boruff and Rylie Unzicker both singled to put two runners on with one out. Boruff stole third, while Unzicker advanced to second, but the next batter lined into a double play to get the Bengals out of the inning.
Idaho State got their first baserunner in the third inning after a two-out single, but the Husker defense retired the next batter to end the inning.
In the fourth, Owen drew a leadoff walk and Anni Raley pinch ran for her. Walljasper singled to put runners on first and second. Raley advanced to third after tagging on fly out. The next batter put the ball in play, but was out on a close play at first, ending the Huskers’ scoring chances in that inning.
ISU loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning after two hits and an intentional walk. However, the Huskers got back-to-back force outs at home and a force out at second to get out of the jam without allowing a run.
The Big Red scored two runs in the top of the sixth. Edwards drew a leadoff walk and Owen singled. Both runners advanced one base on a wild pitch. Cassidy hit a sacrifice fly that score Edwards and Madi Unzicker singled to score Owen.
The Bengals took advantage of a Husker error in the sixth and scored two runs to cut the NU lead to 3-2. The leadoff batter was hit by a pitch and the next batter doubled. An error allowed both runners to score.
Nebraska had another opportunity to score some runs in the top of the seventh, but left the bases loaded. In the bottom of the inning, a ground-rule double put the tying run on second and sacrifice bunt moved her to third. An error allowed the runner to score, tying the game 3-3. With a runner on first, a single to right field put the winning run on third, but the Huskers retired the next batter to push the game to extra innings.
In the top of the eighth, Alyvia Simmons was placed on second due to the international tie-breaker rule. Cassidy’s sac bunt moved her to third and Madi Unzicker singled to score Simmons. Madi Unzicker stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Glatter drew a walk and stole second to put two runners in scoring position, but a flyout ended the inning.
In the bottom of the inning, Idaho State’s runner advanced to third on what was supposed to be a sac bunt. However, a miscue by the Husker defense allowed the runner to reach first because no one covered the base. With runners on the corners and no outs, a single tied the game and put the winning run on second. However, the Husker defense got three straight outs, including a big strikeout by Ferrell to end the eighth.
In the ninth, the Huskers scored six runs off five hits. Boruff was placed on second and Rylie Unzicker singled, after laying down the perfect bunt. The ball rolled through the left side and Boruff scored on the play to give the Huskers a 5-4 lead. Edwards drew a walk and Owen tripled to score two more runs. Simmons reached on a fielder’s choice and Bri Cassidy singled. Carson Fischer pinch ran for Cassidy and Madi Unzicker singled to load the bases. Glatter hit a sac fly that scored Simmons and Boruff singled to score Madi Unzicker.