Huskers edge Jays 4-3

Brooke Thomason

Omaha - The 19th-ranked Nebraska softball team rallied from an early two-run deficit then held on late for a 4-3 win over Creighton on Wednesday night in Omaha.

Junior right-hander Tatum Edwards (17-5) won her ninth straight start with a complete-game victory. Edwards fired a four-hitter and struck out 11, while allowing three runs. Offensively, senior Brooke Thomason drove in Nebraska's third and fourth runs, helping the Huskers improve to 26-7 on the year. Freshmen Alicia Armstrong and Kiki Stokes produced two hits each, as Nebraska out-hit Creighton, 9-4.

Becca Changstrom (13-5) took the loss for Creighton, which fell to 19-10 on the year. In a complete-game effort, Changstrom allowed four runs on nine hits, striking out six and walking three.

Nebraska missed a chance to jump out to an early lead in the top of the first inning, stranding a pair of runners at first and second after Stokes and senior Gabby Banda began the game with consecutive walks.

In the bottom of the frame, Tatum Edwards quickly retired the first two hitters before a two-out walk was followed by a two-run homer off the bat of Alexis Cantu that gave Creighton a 2-0 lead.

Sophomore Mattie Fowler pulled Nebraska back within one when she led off the top of the second with a solo home run to left field. Freshman Hailey Decker followed with a home run of her own, launching a 3-2 pitch over the tall center-field wall.

After the early power barrage, neither team threatened again until the top of the fifth. Stokes began the frame with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Banda. Junior Taylor Edwards then beat out an infield single and stole second base to put Huskers at second and third with one out. Thomason then came through with a sacrifice fly to left field that scored Stokes to give the Huskers a 3-2 lead.

Creighton recorded only its second hit of the game when Liz Dike blooped a single down the right-field line with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning, snapping Tatum Edwards' streak of 15 straight batters retired. That put the tying run on base and the go-ahead run at the plate in the form of Creighton senior Amy Baker, the Missouri Valley Conference's all-time home run leader. But Edwards struck out Baker looking on a changeup.

The Huskers then gave Edwards another insurance run in the top of the seventh. Stokes reached on a bunt single to begin the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice from Banda. Thomason then brought Stokes home with a clutch two-out, RBI single up the middle.

The insurance run was needed, as Creighton scored once in the bottom of the seventh. Cantu worked a leadoff walk and Bri Lingl followed with a double to put the tying runs at second and third with no outs. A one-out bloop single from Blair Lowe that was just out of the reach of an over-the-shoulder catch attempt from Armstrong at short drove in a run to cut the lead to 4-3. A walk then loaded the bases with only one out before Edwards struck out the next two batters to win her ninth straight start.

The Huskers wrap up their seven-game road trip this weekend with a three-game series at Iowa on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

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