Home runs from Kat Woolman and Taylor Edwards powered the 15th-ranked Nebraska softball team to a 3-2 victory over No. 16 Minnesota, as the Huskers split a Sunday doubleheader with the Golden Gophers.
Nebraska grabbed a 1-0 lead after one inning thanks to a pair of Minnesota errors. But the Gophers rallied with single runs in the third and fourth innings to take a 2-1 lead. Woolman tied the game in the bottom of the fourth on a two-out, solo home run. The homer was the first of her career and it marked the first home run Minnesota ace Sara Moulton had allowed in 111.1 innings this spring.
The Gophers nearly got the run back in the top of the fifth. Tyler Walker reached on a one-out single and was at second with two outs. Kaitlyn Richardson then beat out an infield single and Walker attempted to score from second on the play but was thrown out at the plate.
With the game still tied, Taylor Edwards gave Nebraska a 3-2 lead when she became just the second player to homer against Moulton this season, lining a home run over the center field fence to lead off the bottom of the fifth.
That would prove to be the game's final run, but Nebraska's work was not done. The Huskers had to dodge a big scoring threat in the seventh inning to post their 20th victory of the year. A leadoff error put the tying runner at first base for Minnesota. After a strikeout, Walker singled to put runners on first and second with one out. Tatum Edwards then fell behind Erica Meyer 3-1 before coming back to strike Meyer out. Richardson, the Gophers' leading hitter, then reached on an infield single for the second straight at bat. But in a repeat of the fifth inning, the runner on second tried to score on the infield single, and Nebraska threw her out at the plate to end the game.
With the win, the Huskers avoided being swept for just the second time since joining the Big Ten Conference prior to the 2012 season. Nebraska improved to 20-10 with the victory and moved to 1-2 in Big Ten play. Minnesota fell to 24-4 and dropped to 2-1 in conference action.
Senior right-hander Tatum Edwards (10-6) earned her 10th win of the season, allowing only one earned run in a complete-game effort. Sara Moulton (16-3) took the loss for Minnesota, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits in 4.1 innings, including surrendering the first two home runs of her season.
Woolman finished 2-for-3 to produce her first career multi-hit game, in addition to slugging her first career home run. Taylor Edwards hit her ninth homer of the season and the 45th of her career.
After hosting a four-game homestand, Nebraska hits the road on Wednesday for a matchup at UNO.