Tatum Edwards hit a walk-off, three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning to power the 19th-ranked Nebraska softball team to a 5-2 win in game one of a Friday doubleheader against the Iowa Hawkeyes. NU took the nightcap 9-1.
In game 1, Nebraska trailed 1-0 through five innings, after Iowa's Brianna Luna led off the game with a solo home run. After missing several scoring chances, the Huskers finally found the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Tatum Edwards got things started by reaching on a one-out single before freshman MJ Knighten drew a one-out walk. With two outs, sophomore Kiki Stokes then grounded a ball that appeared headed up the middle, but Iowa shortstop Megan Blank made a great sliding stop.
Blank then delivered a throw from her knees to second base attempting to get the third out, but the ball was dropped by the second baseman, allowing Edwards to score the tying run. Junior Kylee Muir then lined an RBI single that tipped off the glove of the Iowa first baseman to give the Huskers a 2-1 lead.
That lead would not hold up, as a one-out error kept Iowa alive in the top of the seventh. With two outs, a wild pitch put the tying run in scoring position before Luna delivered again for the Hawkeyes, this time with an RBI single through the left side. A hit batter and an intentional walk loaded the bases, before Edwards kept the game tied with a ground out.
Sophomore Dawna Tyson then began the bottom of the seventh with a leadoff single. After freshman Lotte Sjulin pinch ran for Tyson, senior Taylor Edwards singled to put runners on first and second. Sophomore Hailey Decker got Sjulin to third with a fly out to deep right field. Tatum Edwards then stepped to the plate with runners on first and third and one out and blasted a towering home run down the left field line for the walk-off winner.
Edwards was 2-for-4 in the game with three RBIs and two runs scored. She also earned the victory in the circle, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits in a complete-game effort. Edwards improved to 15-9 on the season with the win, while Nebraska moved to 28-13 overall and 6-4 in Big Ten Conference play.
Kayla Massey (6-12) took the loss for Iowa, which fell to 10-21 on the season and 5-7 in league play. Massey allowed five runs on 10 hits in a complete-game effort.
Lockman was outstanding in the circle, retiring 18 of the 20 batters she faced, allowing only a walk and a solo home runs. She added four strikeouts to improve to 14-4 on the season.
At the plate, Taylor Edwards was 1-for-3 with a grand slam and three runs scored, while Tatum Edwards was 1-for-3 with a three run homer. Tatum had a pair of three-run homers in the doubleheader, including a walk-off homer in the bottom of the seventh. Freshman MJ Knighten and sophomore Dawna Tyson added a pair of hits for the Huskers, while sophomore Hailey Decker also recorded two hits and drove in two.
With the win, Nebraska clinched its third consecutive Big Ten series win, improving to 29-13 overall and 7-4 in league play. Iowa fell to 10-22 overall and 5-8 in conference action with its fourth straight loss. Shayla Starkenburg (3-7) took the loss, allowing eight runs (seven earned) on eight hits in 3.0 innings.
Neither team had a hit until freshman Kat Woolman led off the bottom of the third with a single up the middle. Tyson followed with a sharp single to right before a fielder's choice marked the first out of the inning. Decker then delivered an RBI single to right to score Woolman with the game's first run. Tatum Edwards followed with a towering three-run home run down the left field line to give Nebraska a 4-0 lead.
Iowa then recorded its only hit in the top of the fourth on a two-out, solo home run from Kayla Massey.
Nebraska answered with four more runs in the bottom of the fourth. Singles from Muir and Tyson, coupled with a Hawkeye error, loaded the bases with none out. Taylor Edwards then doubled the Huskers' run total with a grand slam to left center. The homer was Edwards' 12th of the season and her third career grand slam.
The Huskers wrapped up their seventh run-rule victory of the season two batters into the bottom of the sixth. Taylor Edwards was hit by a pitch to begin the frame before scoring on an RBI double from Decker.