Lincoln - The Nebraska softball team built an early two-run lead only to see the National Pro Fastpitch league all-stars respond with a pair of big innings to rally for a 10-3 six-inning victory in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday at Bowlin Stadium.
The Huskers out-hit the all-stars 9-6, highlighted by big days from senior Heidi Foland and freshman Taylor Edwards. Foland finished 3-for-3 and scored two of Nebraska’s three runs, while Edwards was 3-for-3 with a double, and she drove in all three Husker runs. All six of the all-stars' hits came in their two scoring innings, including a pair of home runs.
In the circle, junior right-hander Haley Workman earned the start for Nebraska and did not allow a hit until the fourth inning. But Workman gave up seven runs and did not make it out of the fourth, allowing seven runs (three earned) on five hits in 3.2 innings. Junior right-hander Ashley Hagemann relieved Workman in the fourth and pitched the final 2.1 innings allowing three runs (one earned) on only one hit.
Nebraska took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Foland reached on a one-out single and moved up to second on a ground out by junior Ashley Guile. Taylor Edwards then went after the first pitch and hit a fly ball to center field. A strong wind knocked the ball down and allowed it to fall for a two-out, RBI double that scored Foland with the game’s first run.
The Huskers threatened again in the second on back-to-back two-out singles from sophomore Megan Southworth and junior Jamie Gay before a ground out ended the threat.
After Nebraska turned a double play in the top of the third inning, Foland began the bottom of the frame with a leadoff single and she moved to second when the ball got past the right fielder. Guile then sacrificed her to third with one out before Taylor Edwards delivered an RBI single up the middle to give the Huskers a 2-0 lead.
Francesca Enea picked up the all-stars’ first hit with a one-out single in the top of the fourth that ignited a seven-run inning. Rachel Mitchell followed Enea’s single by hitting a 3-1 offering out to right-center for a game-tying, two-run homer. With two outs and the score tied at 2-2, former Husker Nicole Trimboli hit a fly ball to center. The wind once again knocked the ball down, allowing it to fall for a two-out, RBI double that gave the all-stars their first lead.
Vicky Galindo then hit a high fly ball to right that blew around in the wind before falling out of Tori Tyson’s glove for a run-scoring error. The error would prove costly as instead of being out of the inning, the all-stars went on to score three more times on a Caitlin Lever RBI single and a two-run homer by Samantha Findlay that made the score 7-2.
Nebraska got back on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth but missed a chance for a big inning. Senior Julie Brechtel coaxed a leadoff walk and went to second on a wild pitch. Foland then singled to left for her third hit of the game and wound up on second to put two Huskers in scoring position with no outs. Guile then lined out to center before Taylor Edwards grounded a ball back up the middle. The single scored Brechtel to cut the lead to 7-3, but Foland was thrown out at home after colliding with the catcher and then being tagged out before she could reach out and touch home plate.
The NPF all-stars answered the run in a big way in the top of the sixth. A one-out walk, a sacrifice bunt and a Husker error led to the first run, before Samantha Findlay’s second two-run homer of the game gave the all-stars a 10-3 lead.
Following the game, Nebraska officially retired the No. 42 jersey worn by All-American Peaches James in an on-field ceremony.