The Nebraska softball team could not produce the clutch hits it needed in a 4-1 loss to Iowa in game two Sunday afternoon, as the Hawkeyes claimed a series victory by sweeping Sunday’s doubleheader.
Each team had had seven hits in the game, but the Huskers were only 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position and neither hit scored a run. Iowa meanwhile finished 4-for-9 with runners in scoring position with all four hits driving in a run. Nebraska was also 0-for-3 with the bases loaded and twice failed to score a runner from third base with less than two outs.
Six Huskers produced a hit in the game, led by junior Peyton Glatter who went 2-for-3 and produced Nebraska’s only run with a sixth-inning solo home run.
Senior right-hander Olivia Ferrell was charged with the loss as Nebraska fell to 21-19 on the season. Ferrell (10-10) allowed four runs on seven hits in 4.0 innings. Junior right-hander Courtney Wallace pitched the final 2.0 innings and did not allow a run, extending her scoreless streak to 20.0 consecutive innings.
Sarah Lehman (6-8) earned the win, allowing only one run in 5.1 innings. Lauren Shaw picked up the save by closing out the game with 1.2 innings of scoreless relief. Iowa improved to 23-17 with the win.
The early innings were a story of Nebraska missing its scoring opportunities and Iowa capitalizing on its chances. The Huskers had four hits and a walk in the first three inning but failed to score, while Iowa turned five hits and one walk into three runs.
In the top of the first inning, freshman Billie Andrews walked and classmate Kaylin Kinney singled to put runners on first and second with no outs. After Andrews was retired at third base on a fielder’s choice, Glatter singled but Kinney had to hold at third base. With the bases loaded and only one out, Iowa got a force out at home before another ground out ended the inning.
In the bottom of the first, the first two Hawkeyes were quickly retired before a fly ball to left field was misjudged and fell for a double. The extra out cost the Huskers as Iowa followed with an RBI single to grab a 1-0 lead.
In the top of the second inning, Ferrell doubled with one out. She was still at second base with two outs when Billie Andrews singled, but Ferrell had to hold up at third base and a ground out ended the inning.
Iowa then plated a pair of runs in the bottom of the third inning to take a 3-0 lead. A hit batter and a walk put Hawkeyes on first and second with one out before back-to-back RBI singles produced two runs.
Another clutch hit – this time a two-out RBI single – stretched the Iowa lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the fourth.
After having four hits in the first two innings, Nebraska was retired in order in the third and fourth innings. Sophomore Brooke Andrews drew a leadoff walk in the top of the fifth, but the Huskers were unable to capitalize on the free pass.
Nebraska finally cracked the scoreboard in the top of the sixth on a one-out solo home run from Glatter. Junior Payton Huscroft then singled and freshman Abbie Squier greeted Shaw with a double. But with runners at second and third with only one out, Nebraska again failed to capitalize on a scoring chance. A ground out failed to score junior pinch runner Anni Raley from third base before Wallace drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases. But a strikeout looking ended the inning.
The top of the Husker lineup was then retired in order in the top of the seventh inning.
Nebraska wraps up the regular season with a four-game road series at Northwestern next Friday, Saturday and Sunday.