Andrews, Billie SB vs OSU G2-SB 7847Andrews, Billie SB vs OSU G2-SB 7847

Huskers Lose Heartbreaker to No. 19 Bruins

The Nebraska softball team lost a heartbreaker to No. 19 UCLA on Friday at the Mary Nutter Classic, as the Bruins scored five times in the bottom of the seventh inning en route to a 9-8 walk-off win.

Nebraska trailed 4-1 after one inning before scoring seven straight runs to take an 8-4 lead into the bottom of the seventh. But UCLA used five hits, a walk and an error to rally for the win. The Huskers (6-5) lost two games on walk-off singles Friday.

Nebraska's offense produced eight runs, the most runs the Huskers have scored in 16 all-time meetings with UCLA. Billie Andrews powered the offense with a 3-for-5 day that included a pair of home runs, two RBIs and three runs scored. Samantha Bland doubled twice and drove in two runs, while Peyton Cody was 1-for-2 with an RBI double and a pair of walks.

Kaylin Kinney (3-4) took the loss for Nebraska. Kinney threw 3.1 innings of relief and was charged with five runs (four earned). She had pitched 3.0 scoreless innings of relief heading into the seventh inning against UCLA and on the season, Kinney had not allowed an earned run in 16.1 relief innings until the Bruins' first run in the seventh inning.

Caitlin Olensky started in the circle for the Big Red and allowed four runs in 1.0 inning. Sarah Harness followed Olensky with 2.0 innings of two-hit, shutout relief.

Nebraska grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first but missed a chance for more. Billie Andrews led off with a single and advanced to second on an error. A ground out moved Andrews to third before Ava Bredwell walked. With runners on the corners, Cody lined an RBI double to left center to score Billie Andrews. Brooke Andrews followed with a walk to load the bases but the next two Huskers were retired.

UCLA answered right back in the bottom of the frame. Mya Brady led off with a home run, and the Bruins loaded the bases with one out on a single, a walk and a hit batter. A two-run single to center gave UCLA a 3-1 lead before the Bruins loaded the bases again. A sacrifice fly one batter later pushed the lead to 4-1.

Billie Andrews cut into the lead with a two-out solo homer in the top of the second.

In the top of the third, Bredwell and Bella Bacon walked to put runners on first and second with one out. Caitlynn Neal then grounded a ball up the middle that ricocheted off the glove of Brady as Bredwell came around to score and cut the lead to 4-3. Bland then hit a sharp ground ball to second that was misplayed for another error, and Bacon came around to score the tying run.

Neither team scored in the fourth inning before Cody drew a leadoff walk in the top of the fifth. Bacon worked another walk with one out to put Huskers on first and second base. Following a strikeout, Bland came through with a clutch two-out, two-run double to center that scored pinch runner Mckinley Malecha and Bacon to give Nebraska a 6-4 lead.

In the bottom of the inning, UCLA had a runner at second base with one out following a leadoff walk and a wild pitch. A single to center put Bruins on the corners but Kinney found her way out of the jam with a shallow fly out to left and a strikeout.

The Huskers stretched their lead to 7-4 when Billie Andrews sent the first pitch of the sixth inning over the fence in left. Nebraska went on to load the bases with two outs but could no extend its lead.

Looking for an insurance run, Bland led off the top of the seventh with a double down the left field line. She moved to third with one out and scored on a two-out error as Nebraska pushed its lead to 8-4.

In the bottom of the seventh, the first batter was retired before a pair of singles and a throwing error put Bruins on second and third with one out. An RBI double cut the lead to 8-5 before a walk loaded the bases. An error on a potential double play ball then allowed two runs to score. With runners on first and third with one out and Nebraska clinging to a one-run lead, an RBI single tied the game. Emmerson Cope then came into the game in relief and gave up the game-winning single to the only batter she faced.

Nebraska returns to action on Saturday with a game against No. 23 Oregon set for Noon (Central)

Post-Game Notes

  • Nebraska scored eight runs against the UCLA, the most the Huskers have ever scored in 16 all-time meetings with the Bruins (previous high was three). Today marked just the second time that Nebraska scored more than two runs against UCLA.
  • The Huskers hit two home runs in the game to extend their streak to six consecutive games with at least one home run.
  • NU drew a season-high seven walks in the game.
  • Billie Andrews had two home runs in the game, tying her career high. The two homers marked the seventh multi-homer game of her career, tying Tristen Edwards for the most career multi-homer games by a Husker.
  • The home runs were the 46th and 47th home runs of Andrews' career in the second inning. The two home runs moved her past Tatum Edwards and into fifth place on Nebraska's all-time home run chart.
  • Samantha Bland produced her second game with multiple RBIs, tying her career high with two RBIs. She had two doubles in the game, the second time in her first 10 career starts that she has had two doubles in a game.
  • Ava Bredwell tied her career high with two walks, the sixth time in her career she has drawn two walks in a game.
  • Bella Bacon set a career high with two walks.
  • Peyton Cody also set a career high with two walks.
  • Caitlin Olensky made her first career start for Nebraska in the circle.