March 22, 2023

Dawson County Journal

Dawson County, Nebraska

Husker Softball starts year 1-1

Courtney Wallace tossed a one-hit shutout to lead the Nebraska softball team to a season-opening 8-0 victory in five innings over Lamar Friday morning in Houston.

Wallace (1-0) was brilliant in the circle, tossing her fifth career shutout. She fanned five batters in 5.0 innings while allowing just one single and one walk. 

With Wallace in control in the circle, NU’s offense saw five Huskers record a hit including two each from Billie AndrewsCaitlynn Neal and Ava Bredwell. Andrews went 2-for-4 with one RBI and one run while Neal tallied an RBI and Bredwell added a run.

Karyana Mitchell (0-1) was charged with the loss after allowing seven runs in 4.0 innings. The junior allowed only three earned runs as the Cardinal defense struggled, recording five errors.  

Lamar (0-2) only had two base runners the entire game, but no runner made it past first base. 

NU was held scoreless in the first inning, but added two runs in the second. Mya Felder led off with a walk and advanced to second after a sacrifice bunt from Abbie SquierBrooke Andrews reached first on a throwing error, scoring Felder, and advancing Andrews to second. Neal followed with an RBI single to right field, scoring Andrews. The Huskers took a 2-0 lead into the third inning. 

The Big Red added two more in the bottom of the third. Billie Andrews led off with a single to the shortstop. Wallace followed with a hard hit ball to the pitcher, forcing a fielding error followed by a throwing error. Andrews scored on the throwing error while Wallace advanced to third, where another throwing error plated Wallace and put the Huskers ahead, 4-0.

Nebraska added three runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 7-0 lead. With one out, Bredwell singled to second followed by a walk from Katelyn CanedaBillie Andrews loaded the bases with a fielder’s choice ground ball where no out was recorded. Wallace followed with an RBI single to right field, scoring Bredwell. A sacrifice fly from Sydney Gray scored Caneda while a single from Mya Felder loaded the bases. Squier was then hit by a pitch, bringing in the third run of the inning. 

Lamar recorded its first hit of the day in the top of the fifth. With two outs, Audrey Fleming hit a single to left field, but Wallace followed it up with a strikeout to end the inning. 

The Huskers tallied one more run in the bottom of the fifth to clinch the run-rule victory. Singles from Neal and Bredwell put runners on first and second. Caneda reached first on a fielder’s choice while Neal was out at second. Billie Andrews then doubled to center field, driving in Bredwell for the win. 

The Nebraska softball team (1-1) dropped game two of the Houston Invitational to South Dakota State, 1-0, on Friday. A solo homer in the first inning from junior Jocelyn Carillo was enough to seal the victory for the Jackrabbits (1-0). 

Junior Kaylin Kinney pitched the complete game for the Big Red, holding SDSU to four hits and only four base runners after the solo shot. Kinney (0-1) took the loss despite a strong outing.

For the Jackrabbits, Tori Kneische (1-0) recorded the shutout, pitching the complete game and holding the Huskers to only three hits and four base runners. 

After the first inning home run, South Dakota State only reached scoring position twice the rest of the game. In the second inning, a walk and a single to right field put runners at second and third, but Sydney Gray turned a pop up bunt into a double play at third base to end the inning. 

SDSU’s sophomore Mia Jarecki singled to center field in the third inning and reached scoring position after stealing second base, but Nebraska was able to work out of the inning. 

NU recorded its first hit in the top of the fourth with a single to center field from senior Courtney Wallace. She stole second, but NU was unable to bring her home. 

In the fifth inning, Caitlynn Neal tallied the second hit of the afternoon with a two-out single to left field, but Nebraska was unable to capitalize on the hit. 

Freshman Katelyn Caneda recorded her first hit as a Husker with a leadoff single to center. Caneda advanced to second on a wild pitch and was in scoring position with no outs for the top of the order, but a pop out and a line-drive double play ended the threat.

Nebraska again put the tying run on base in the top of the seventh when junior Abbie Squier was hit by a pitch with two outs, but a fly out two pitches later ended the game. 

The Huskers return to action on Saturday for day two of the Houston Invitational. NU will take on Lamar starting at 12:30 p.m., followed by a 3 p.m. matchup with Houston.

Source: Regional Sports