Softball: Northwestern swept by Nebraska in Big Ten matchup


Daily file photo by Allie Goulding

Morgan Nelson runs the bases. The sophomore infielder had a strong weekend offensively, but the Wildcats were swept by Nebraska.

Ronald Kim, Reporter


Coming off a blowout loss to Notre Dame, Northwestern stormed into Lincoln needing a series win.

But despite keeping each game close and mustering several comeback efforts, the Wildcats (20-27, 6-12 Big Ten) were swept by Nebraska (24-25, 13-7 Big Ten) in the three-game set.

The first game started off as a pitcher’s duel between NU’s Kaley Winegarner and the Cornhuskers’ Kaylan Jablonski as both teams were held scoreless through the first three innings. But Nebraska got on the board after MJ Knighten’s two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth. The Cornhuskers added two more runs in the fifth, putting them up 4-0 going into the sixth.

NU later took advantage of two Cornhusker errors and mounted a furious rally in the top of the sixth, plating three runs and closing the cap to one. But the Cats could not complete the comeback and eventually fell 4-3. Winegarner fell to 6-6 with a 3.07 ERA on the season while Jablonski, who threw her first complete game without surrendering an earned run, improved to 11-14.

In the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, NU fell behind early as freshman starter Morgan Newport lasted just 0.1 innings, allowing six earned runs on just three hits. Nebraska’s big first inning was enough to keep the Cats’ comeback hopes late in the game at bay, as NU totaled 4 runs in the last few innings of the game but eventually lost 7-4.

Offensively, sophomore infielder Morgan Nelson led the way for the Cats, sparking the comeback effort by going 3-for-3 with a double, two RBIs, a run and a walk. Freshman pitcher Kenzie Ellis added a hit while keeping NU in the game with 5.2 solid innings of one-run ball in relief of Newport.

The series finale and second game of the doubleheader proved to be one of the more heart-wrenching games of the season for the Cats. NU and Nebraska battled throughout the game and the Cats led 4-3 entering the seventh inning. However, an RBI single from Jablonski tied the game up 4-4 and pushed it into extra innings.

In the eighth, Taylor Otte’s leadoff double eventually set the stage for Gina Metzler’s game-winning chopper to first that drove in Otte and gave Nebraska the win in walk-off fashion.

Just like in the first game, Ellis and senior outfielder Krista Williams had strong performances. Ellis tallied three hits and two RBIs while Williams tacked on another two hits. Senior outfielder Anna Petersen failed to record a hit for the fifth straight game, continuing her recent slump in which she has gone 0-for-11.

NU will be back in action Wednesday when it will face Big Ten rival Illinois.

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