Softball falls to Nebraska, 5-4, in 11 innings
LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nebraska used two hits and a Longhorns error in the bottom of the 11th inning to down No. 11 Texas, 5-4, Saturday afternoon at Bowlin Stadium. The victory improved the Huskers to 31-13 on the season and 4-4 in Big 12 Conference play, while Texas fell to 28-12 and 3-4 in the Big 12.
The Cornhuskers started the 11th with first baseman Crystal Carwile on second base, courtesy of the international tie-break rule. Carwile advanced to third on a bunt single by Devin Porter and came home on Jamie Waldecker's RBI single to leftfield. Texas' freshman leftfielder Torrey Schroeder misplayed Porter's single, allowing the ball to roll to the fence and letting Porter score the game-winning tally.
Texas started the 11th with third baseman Crystal Saenz on second base and the sophomore advanced to third on Kori Cook's sacrifice bunt. Sophomore second baseman Shannon Thomas followed with a groundout, but a softly-hit RBI single by junior centerfielder MicKayla Padilla scored Saenz and gave UT a short-lived 4-3 lead.
Junior hurler Meagan Denny (16-6) went the distance for the Longhorns, tossing 10 innings, scattering seven hits, surrendering five runs, while fanning 10 Huskers. Nebraska starter Ashley DeBuhr (18-11) picked up the victory for NU, going 11 innings, striking out 14 and allowing just six hits.
The Longhorns got on the board in the first, using a one-out double by Padilla to start their rally. Freshman designated player Tallie Thrasher advanced Padilla to third with a single to leftfield, and a throwing error on a Texas steal attempt allowed Padilla to score, giving the Horns a quick 1-0 advantage.
Nebraska answered in the second, taking advantage of a leadoff walk by Waldecker and a UT throwing error on Haley Long's sacrifice bunt. The bunt advanced Waldecker and Long to second and third, and a sacrifice fly by Brittany Pascale allowed Waldecker to come home. The Huskers then claimed the lead on a sacrifice bunt by third baseman Carmen Kier, scoring Long from third and taking a 2-0 edge.
The Cornhuskers added to their lead in the third, manufacturing a run to grab a 3-0 lead. Second baseman Whitney Barrett led off the frame with a walk and advanced to second on Meghan Mullin's second hit of the game. Both runners moved up on Carwile's groundout, before a Porter squeeze bunt plated Barrett, giving the Huskers a 3-1 lead.
After being held to one run in the first five innings, Texas rallied for a pair of runs in the sixth, using a leadoff infield single by Thomas to start the frame. The next two hitters were retired, before Thrasher hammered a two-run home run to straightaway centerfield, tying the game at three. Thrasher's homer was her 11th of the season and pulled her within one of the UT single-season record set by Desiree Williams in 2006.
Thrasher and Padilla headlined the Texas offense with two hits apiece, with Thrasher tallying a pair of RBI and Padilla delivering an RBI and a run scored.
Mullin, Porter and Waldecker anchored the Cornhuskers lineup with two hits each, including the game-tying RBI by Waldecker.
Texas returns to action Sunday, April 15 when it finishes its two-game Big 12 series with Nebraska at 12 p.m. The game will be televised nationally on ESPNU.