Team HuddleTeam Huddle

Huskers Top Hornets to Win Third Straight

The Nebraska softball team erased a two-run deficit to rally for its third consecutive win, defeating Sacramento State 5-4 in its second game of the day Saturday in Las Cruces, N.M.

Nebraska (5-3) trailed 2-0 after two innings before tying the game with a pair of runs in the third inning. NU went on to build a 5-2 lead, and the Huskers held on after the Hornets scored a single run in both the sixth and seventh innings. Sacramento State had 11 hits in the game, including six leadoff singles in the Hornets' seven turns at bat. But Nebraska limited Sacramento State to just 4-for-19 with runners on base.

Kaylin Kinney (3-2) earned the win, scattering nine hits while allowing three runs with three strikeouts in 6.0 innings. Emmerson Cope picked up her second save despite allowing the first run of her career. Cope pitched the seventh inning and allowed one run on a pair of singles.

Offensively, Bella Bacon and Alina Felix both finished 2-for-3, with each producing their third consecutive game with multiple hits. Bacon led Nebraska with two RBIs, while Felix, Brooke Andrews and Peyton Cody had one RBI apiece. Cody's RBI came on her first home run as a Husker.

Caroline Evans (2-1) allowed five runs on seven hits in 4.0-plus innings to take the loss for the Hornets (5-2).

Sacramento State manufactured a run in the top of the first inning to take a 1-0 lead. Haley Hanson led off with a single and stole second base. She moved to third on a Husker error and scored on a squeeze bunt.

The Hornets used a similar strategy to take a 2-0 lead in the top of the second. A leadoff single and a sacrifice bunt put a runner at second base who scored on a two-out, RBI single.

A leadoff single for the third straight inning and a stolen base gave Sacramento State a runner at second with no outs in the top of the third. But Kinney responded with back-to-back strikeouts and a ground out to keep it a 2-0 deficit.

Nebraska put its first runner in scoring position in the bottom of the third. Caitlynn Neal drew a one-out walk before Brooke Andrews was hit by a two-out pitch. Ava Bredwell then singled to load the bases and Bacon delivered a clutch two-out, two-run single up the middle to tie the game.

Kinney worked around another leadoff single in the top of the fourth before Cody led off the bottom of the frame with a home right to right field to give Nebraska its first lead at 3-2. Alina Felix followed with a single before Smetter hit a ball that dropped in between three players in shallow right field, but Sacramento State was able to field the ball on one hop and throw to second in time to force out Felix. Caitlynn Neal then singled and Samantha Bland walked to load the bases with one out before Andrews stretched the lead to 4-2 with an RBI ground out.

The Huskers added to their lead with a run in the bottom of the fifth. Bacon led off with a single - her second hit of the game - to force a Sacramento State pitching change. New pitcher Keeli Smith retired the first two batters she faced before Felix delivered an RBI single to push the lead to 5-2.

Sacramento State brought the tying run to the plate in the top of the sixth after the first two batters reached on consecutive singles. Kinney then coaxed a double play before a two-out infield single cut the Husker lead to 5-3.

The Hornets continued to try and rally in the top of the seventh. A leadoff single and a ground out put a runner at second base with one out. An RBI single then cut the lead to 5-4 but on the play, Nebraska was able to tag out batter as she tried to advance to second base. Cope then coaxed a ground out to end the inning.

Nebraska wraps up play at the Troy Cox Classic on Sunday with a rematch against Sacramento State at 10 a.m. (Central).

Post-Game Notes

  • Nebraska's win was its third straight, and the Huskers have come from behind in all three wins.
  • Bella Bacon had a career-high two RBIs in the game, her first career game with multiple RBIs. She finished 2-for-3 for her third straight game with multiple hits.
  • Alina Felix also finished 2-for-3 to produce her third consecutive game with multiple hits.
  • First-year transfer Peyton Cody hit her first home run as a Husker in the fourth inning. The homer was the 21st of her career.
  • Emmeron Cope earned her second save in three games for the Big Red.