Michigan handed the Nebraska softball team a rare Big Ten home loss Friday afternoon, as the Wolverines were thoroughly impressive in a 10-1 five-inning victory over the Huskers at Bowlin Stadium. The loss was only Nebraska’s second defeat in its last 19 Big Ten Conference home games.
The Wolverines (16-13, 2-2 Big Ten) scored a pair of runs in each of the first two innings before exploding for a six-run third inning. Michigan set season highs in runs (10) and hits (14), while the Wolverines were 10-for-18 in the game with runners on base.
Lauren Derkowski (10-6) picked up her 10th win of the season. She tossed a two-hitter and allowed only one run while facing one batter over the minimum. Offensively, every Wolverine had at least one hit and Keke Tholl drove in four runs.
Senior right-hander Courtney Wallace (15-7) took the loss for Nebraska (24-11, 4-2 Big Ten). Wallace was charged with eight runs (seven earned) on nine hits in 2.1 innings. Freshman right-hander Kendall Mangel came on in relief to make her Bowlin Stadium debut. Mangel allowed two runs on four hits in 2.2 innings.
Offensively, senior Mya Felder provided Nebraska’s lone run with a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Freshman Katelyn Caneda produced Nebraska’s other hit with one-out single in the bottom of the first.
Michigan jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. An error and a double put Wolverines on second and third with no outs for Tholl, who brought home the game’s first run with a sacrifice fly to deep center. Maddie Erickson followed with an RBI single to make it 2-0.
The Wolverines added two more runs in the top of the second, as a two-out RBI double and a two-out RBI single pushed the lead to 4-0.
Michigan continued to score with a six-run third inning. Four of the first five batters in the frame singled, including back-to-back RBI singles that stretched the lead to 6-0 and marked the end of the day for Wallace. Mangel inherited runners on first and second with one out and retired the first batter she faced before Lexie Blair lined a two-run double to left center and Tholl followed with a two-run homer to center to make it 10-0.
Nebraska got one run back in the bottom of the sixth when Felder launched a two-out, opposite-field solo home run to right.
Mangel held the Wolverines scoreless in the top of the fifth, but Nebraska was retired in order in the bottom of the frame as the game ended early due to the run-rule.
Nebraska and Michigan continue their series on Saturday at 4 p.m.
Source: Regional Sports
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