A dynamic night from the Edwards twins highlighted an impressive team effort from the 18th-ranked Nebraska softball team on Wednesday, as the Huskers cruised to a 10-0, five-inning win at UNO.
Tatum Edwards was outstanding in the circle and at the plate. In the circle, Edwards improved to 11-6 on the year by tossing a one-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts in only five innings. At the plate, Edwards finished 2-for-3 with a walk, a homer and three RBIs. The home run was her fourth of the season and her third in the past five games.
Not to be outdone by her twin, Taylor Edwards set one school record and tied another. Edwards walked in each of her four plate appearances, including an intentional walk in her final plate appearance. The four walks tied the Nebraska record for walks in a game, while Edwards' second walk was the 125th of her career, as she passed Jennifer Lizama as the Huskers' all-time walk leader.
While the Edwards twins led the way, it was a team effort that propelled Nebraska to its second-largest victory of the season, against a team it had defeated by only a single run three times in the past four meetings. Sophomore Hailey Decker had a career day hitting behind Taylor Edwards, making UNO pay for pitching around the Husker catcher. Decker was 2-for-4 with a two-run single and her first career grand slam. Her six RBIs were a career high and the highest total by a Husker this season.
The Huskers had just six hits in the win, but tied their season high with eight walks. Four of the six hits went for extra bases, including back-to-back doubles from freshman MJ Knighten and sophomore Kiki Stokes in the sixth inning. Nebraska was 4-for-10 with runners in scoring position in the win.
With the victory, the Huskers improved to 21-10 and moved to 8-1 on the road. UNO fell to 19-11 with the loss. Dana Elsasser (16-5) took the loss for the Mavericks. Elsasser allowed 10 runs in a complete-game effort. She entered the game with the third-best career ERA of any active Division I pitcher.
The Huskers converted the game's first hit into a pair of runs in the top of the third. Taylor Edwards walked to lead off the inning before being replaced on the basepaths by Decker, who reached on a fielder's choice. Tatum Edwards then blasted the next pitch deep to right center for a two-run homer.
In the top of the fourth, junior Kylee Muir drew a one-out walk, sophomore Dawna Tyson was hit by a two-out pitch and Taylor Edwards walked for the third time in the game. With the bases loaded and two outs, Decker then delivered a two-run single down the right field line as the Huskers doubled their lead to 4-0. Tatum Edwards then added an RBI single through the left side to cap the three-run inning and push the lead to 5-0.
Nebraska closed out its fourth run-rule victory of the season with a five-run fifth inning. Knighten and Stokes began the frame with back-to-back doubles, as the Huskers stretched their lead to 6-0. Freshman Kat Woolman then reached on a one-out walk before Taylor Edwards was intentionally walked to load the bases with two outs. For the second straight inning, Decker made the Mavericks pay for pitching around Edwards, as she launched a grand slam off the scoreboard in left center for her first career grand slam that wrapped up the scoring.
Nebraska continues its road trip with a three-game road series at No. 23 Northwestern this weekend.