Husker softball drops opener
Bloomington, Ind. - The Nebraska softball team more than tripled Indiana's hit total, but the Hoosiers used 10 free passes to scratch out four runs in a 4-2 victory over the Huskers in game one of Saturday's doubleheader at the IU Softball Field.
Nebraska out-hit Indiana, 7-2, as the Huskers had three separate innings with as many hits as the Hoosiers managed in the entire game. Indiana's first hit of the game was Cassie Gogreve's three-run triple in the bottom of the first inning to open the scoring. The Hoosiers added an insurance run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the sixth, before Nebraska avoided being shut out when junior Courtney Breault blasted a two-run home run in the top of the seventh to account for the Huskers' two runs.
Indiana won despite being held to two hits. The Hoosiers (25-25, 9-10 Big Ten) had only one hit in their three-run first inning and did not record a hit while adding an insurance run in the sixth. Gogreve's bases-loaded, three-run double was preceded by three walks, while Indiana drew three walks and had a hit batter in the sixth.
Overall, Indiana drew eight walks and was hit by two pitches in the game. All four runners who scored reached base on a walk. Senior right-hander Ashley Hagemann (22-15) took the loss for Nebraska. Despite firing a two-hitter, Hagemann struggled with her control in a complete-game effort. She did add 12 strikeouts, her 13th double-digit strikeout game of the season. Her seventh strikeout of the game was her 300th of the season, as she joined former Husker Ashley DeBuhr as the only pitchers in school history to post back-to-back 300-strikeout seasons.
Unfortunately for Hagemann and the Huskers, Nebraska's offense was never able to get on track. Junior Brooke Thomason reached base safely in each of her three plate appearances, finishing 2-for-2 with a walk. Sophomore Tatum Edwards went 3-for-3 as Edwards and Thomason combined to reach base six times and they were the only Huskers to reach base before Breault blasted her two-run homer in the top of the seventh.
Breault's homer cut the lead to 4-2 and there were still none out in the seventh, and the Huskers brought the tying run to the plate before Meaghan Murphy closed out the win. In a complete-game effort, Murphy (12-11) allowed only two runs on seven hits.
With the loss, Nebraska fell to 31-19 on the year, but the Huskers stayed in second place in the league standings with a 12-6 mark in conference play.
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