Minneapolis, Minn. — Despite taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning, the Nebraska softball team (30-15, 8-6 Big Ten) allowed 10 unanswered runs and committed four errors, to drop game one of the series to Minnesota (29-14, 8-3 Big Ten) by a score of 10-1 in five innings.
Minnesota cracked Kaylan Jablonski early, as she dropped to 21-10 on the season. She lasted just 2.0 innings, which is her shortest outing of the season when getting the start in the circle. She gave up six earned runs on six hits and recorded one strikeout. Regan Mergele pitched 1.0 inning of relief. She gave up three runs on four hits. Sydney McLeod pitched 1.0 inning and gave up one hit.
Minnesota’s Amber Fiser improved to 17-8, pitching 4.0 innings. She gave up six hits and one unearned run. She also had five strikeouts.
On offense, Laura Barrow recorded a multi-hit game, going 2-for-3. Alyvia Simmons, Tristen Edwards, Jablonski, Madi Unzicker and Gina Metzler each had one hit as well for Nebraska.
In the first, Nebraska took a 1-0 lead. Simmons hit a leadoff single and stole second to get in scoring position. Barrow followed with another single to put another runner on first. Edwards grounded out to second, but moved both runners over into scoring position. A passed ball allowed Simmons to score. Minnesota responded right away, taking a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the inning. The Gophers loaded the bases with a single, a walk and a fielder’s choice that didn’t get a runner out. An error scored one run and a single scored two more. Another fielder’s choice brought another runner across the plate.
In the second, Nebraska retired three batters in order, while Minnesota extended its lead to 7-1. Three Gopher singles scored one run and a sac fly scored one more. An infield single scored a third run.
In the third, Barrow reached on a two-out single up the middle. Edwards singled to left to put another runner on. Jablonski hit another single through the middle, but a good throw from centerfield got Barrow out at home as she attempted to score. Minnesota scored a run with a leadoff double, a single and an error. An pair of singles each scored one more run, bringing the score to 10-1.
In the fourth, Madi Unzicker hit a leadoff single. Bree Boruff pinch ran for her and stole second to get in scoring position, but was stranded there. The Gophers put two runners on with a single and a walk, but for the first time on the night, the Husker defense did allow a run that inning.
Nebraska tried to extend the game past five innings in the top of the fifth, getting one hit but the effort was not successful as Minnesota didn’t allow a run. The game ended due to the mercy rule.
Game two of the series will be Saturday at 1 p.m. CT