The Nebraska softball team concluded the 2023 season at home with a series loss to Ohio State. The Buckeyes clinched the rubber match with a 6-4 win on Sunday at Bowlin Stadium in Lincoln.
Abbie Squier led the offense with a 3-for-4 effort and two runs batted in. The Huskers tallied 11 hits as a team with seven players recording at least one hit. Brooke and Bille Andrews each had multi-hit games with two hits each.
Nebraska raced out to an early 3-0 lead and then Ohio State scored six runs in the top of the fourth.
Huskers strike first! 😆@AbbieSquier rips one up the middle to give us a 2-0 lead! pic.twitter.com/s3uxn8eYQp
— Nebraska Softball (@HuskerSoftball) May 7, 2023
Senior Courtney Wallace got the start for the Huskers and was charged with all six runs on seven hits in 3.2 innings. The right-handed captain fell to 22-13 with the loss.
The Huskers had the opportunity to win in the bottom of the seventh with the bases loaded and one out. A pop out and a fielder’s choice ended the rally and the game.
Seniors Mya Felder and Wallace willed the Huskers to a 4-3 win on Saturday, ending a four-game losing streak.
Felder finished the game 2-for-2 with one RBI and Wallace earned the win in two innings of relief.
Billie Andrews had two hits including her team-leading 15th home run of the year. The long ball marked the second consecutive season with 15 or more homers and she became the third Husker to accomplish that feat (Ali Viola an Taylor Edwards).
Wallace’s 22nd win marked the most in a single-season for a Husker pitcher since Tatum Edwards’ 2014 season when she finished with a 24-13 record.
Huskers have the lead ‼️@ava_bredwell reaches on an error and bats in Brooke! pic.twitter.com/7ytjAyQQiT
— Nebraska Softball (@HuskerSoftball) May 6, 2023
Friday night’s game was a pitcher’s duel with the Buckeyes edging the Huskers 2-1.
Sydney Gray hit a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth and Wallace gave up one earned run, two runs, six hits, three walks and struck out one in seven innings.
The series loss for the Huskers has some serious postseason implications despite Nebraska securing the No. 4 seed in the conference tournament this week.
With the loss, the Huskers are sitting at No. 36 in RPI which could make them one of the last four in or first four out of the NCAA Tournament. Nebraska will play the winner of No. 5 Wisconsin and No. 12 Illinois on Thursday at 7 p.m. on Big Ten Network.
A win would provide a little more safety for the Huskers and their NCAA Tournament chances. If the squad can win more than one game then that would make them a lock for the tournament without hesitation.
🚨 The 2023 #B1GSoftball Tournament Bracket is set!
12 Big Ten teams will make their way to Illinois' Eichelberger Field for this week's tournament (May 10-13) with all 11 games televised live on @BigTenNetwork and the @FOXSports app!
🔗 https://t.co/oaRDHT8V7B pic.twitter.com/WNAPq0jVIX
— Big Ten Softball (@B1Gsoftball) May 7, 2023
The conference tournament begins with a four-game slate Wednesday at 11 a.m. featuring No. 6 Ohio State and No. 11 Rutgers.
All 11 games of this year’s tournament will not only be televised on the Big Ten Network but will also be made available on the Fox Sports app.
Wednesday, May 10 (First Round)
Game 1 (#6 Ohio State vs. #11 Rutgers) – 11 a.m. CT (BTN)
Game 2 (#7 Penn State vs. #10 Michigan) – 1:30 p.m. CT (BTN)
Game 3 (#8 Maryland vs. #9 Iowa) – 4:30 p.m. CT (BTN)
Game 4 (#5 Wisconsin vs. #12 Illinois) – 7 p.m. CT (BTN)
Thursday, May 11 (Quarterfinal)
Game 5 (#3 Minnesota vs. Game 1 winner) – 11 a.m. CT (BTN)
Game 6 (#2 Indiana vs. Game 2 winner) – 1:30 p.m. CT (BTN)
Game 7 (#1 Northwestern vs. Game 3 winner) – 4:30 p.m. CT (BTN)
Game 8 (#4 Nebraska vs. Game 4 winner) – 7 p.m. CT (BTN)
Friday, May 12 (Semifinals)
Game 9 (Game 5 vs. Game 6 winner) – 5 p.m. CT (BTN)
Game 10 (Game 7 vs. Game 8 winner) – 7:30 p.m. CT (BTN)
Saturday, May 13 (Championship)
Game 11 (Game 9 vs. Game 10 winner) – 3 p.m. CT (BTN)
Maren covers softball for Hail Varsity and co-hosts the Behind the Plate with Maren and Nate podcast.