Nebraska tops Iowa State 8-7
After falling behind, Huskers rallied for a late win
LINCOLN -- Behind four home runs and a gutsy pitching performance from Ashley Hagemann, 16th-ranked Nebraska jumped out to a big lead, fell behind and rallied for an 8-7 victory against Iowa State on Tuesday at Bowlin Stadium.
The Huskers led 5-1 after two innings of play and 6-3 after three frames before Iowa State scored four consecutive runs to take a 7-6 lead. After three consecutive late losses, the Huskers came through with a clutch hit this time, as freshman Tatum Edwards' two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth inning provided the winning runs.
Edwards had two home runs in the game, finishing 2-for-3 with two runs scored and three RBIs. Her twin Taylor went 1-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs. It was the third time this season each twin homered in the same game. The two home runs gave Tatum 14 on the season, while Taylor now has 17 home runs this year. Prior to this season, no Husker freshman had ever hit more than 13 home runs.
Sophomore Brooke Thomason added the Huskers' fourth home run as part of a 2-for-3 day that included two runs scored and an RBI. Nebraska was out-hit in the game, 9-8, but five of the Huskers' hits went for extra bases.
While the offense was showcasing its power, Hagemann used a gritty performance in the circle to pick up her 26th win of the season, tying for the most wins ever by a Husker junior. A junior right-hander from Elkhorn, Hagemann (26-11) allowed only one run on three hits in 4.2 innings. She pitched the first two innings, allowing one run, before exiting the game due to illness.
After spending time in the Huskers' clubhouse, Hagemann returned to the game in the fifth inning and retired eight of the nine batters she faced, including four strikeouts, to close out the win. Tatum Edwards relieved Hagemann in the third inning and allowed six runs on six hits in 2.1 innings.
With the win, Nebraska snapped its season-high three-game losing streak and improved to 36-12 on the season, including a 6-9 mark in Big 12 Conference play. Iowa State fell to 21-25 overall with the loss, including a 3-12 mark in conference action. Rachel Zabriskie (14-17) tossed a complete game for the Cyclones, allowing eight runs on eight hits.
After going into the seventh inning in a scoreless tie in each of their last three games, the Huskers scored in the first inning on Tuesday. Junior Nikki Haget began the inning with a single before Taylor Edwards blasted a two-run homer to center field two batters later.
Iowa State immediately got a run back in the top of the second inning, when Tori Torrescano led off the frame with a towering home run to left.
Tatum Edwards answered with a leadoff home run of her own in the bottom of the frame. Senior Heidi Foland then doubled to right center before sophomore Gabby Banda drew a walk. The runners moved up to second and third on a sacrifice bunt from junior Madison Drake, before Foland beat a throw home on a grounder from Haget to give Nebraska a 4-1 lead. Banda then made it a 5-1 game one batter later, when she scored on a sacrifice fly from senior Julie Brechtel.
Tatum Edwards then came in to pitch for an ailing Hagemann in the top of the third. After retiring the first batter, Edwards gave up back-to-back singles, although the second single appeared to be well foul. Edwards then recorded a ground out before Anna Cole blooped a two-out, two-run single into shallow right center to cut the lead to 5-3.
The Huskers answered back again in the top of the fourth, when Thomason blasted a leadoff home run to right field that hit the yet-to-be-constructed roof of the Huskers' new indoor hitting facility.
The Cyclones pulled even in the top of the fourth on a two-out, three-run homer from Dalyn Varela that bounced off the scoreboard in left.
Iowa State took its first lead in the top of the fifth. Torrescano began the frame with a double before Tatum Edwards struck out the next batter. Hagemann, who had gone to the clubhouse after being removed from the game, then re-entered and gave up an RBI double that put the Cyclones in front 7-6.
Nebraska got the lead right back in the bottom of the frame. Thomason reached on a one-out single and scored two batters later, when Tatum Edwards hit her second home run of the game, a two-run blast to center that gave the Huskers an 8-7 advantage.
Hagemann then retired the side in order in the sixth and seventh innings to secure the victory.
The Huskers wrap up their home-and-home series with Iowa State by taking on the Cyclones on Thursday in Ames, Iowa.