Game one of a doubleheader between two of the nation's hottest teams was no contest on Wednesday, as the 19th-ranked Nebraska softball team extended its winning streak with a 12-0 five-inning victory over the Wisconsin Badgers at Goodman Diamond.
The Huskers picked up their 11th straight win and 12th consecutive conference victory with its seventh run-rule victory in the past nine games. NU (37-13 overall and 15-4 in Big Ten play) also posted its sixth straight shutout, the third-longest streak of consecutive shutouts in school history. Nebraska takes a 40.2-inning scoreless streak into game two of the doubleheader.
While Nebraska won for the 11th straight game, Wisconsin saw its school-record 13-game winning streak snapped. The Badgers (30-16, 12-6) entered the doubleheader with the nation's third-longest win streak.
Nebraska pounded out 10 hits in the victory, including a trio of timely home runs. Senior Taylor Edwards hit a second-inning grand slam, her twin sister Tatum launched a two-run homer in the fourth and sophomore Hailey Decker added a grand slam of her own in the fifth.
Taylor Edwards was 1-for-2 with a pair of walks and a season-high five RBIs, while Decker was 2-for-4 with two runs and five RBIs. Sophomore Kiki Stokes was 2-for-2 with a pair of runs, while freshman Kat Woolman scored a career-high three runs. Eight of Nebraska's nine hitters produced a hit. Sophomore Dawna Tyson was the lone Husker held hitless, but she was hit by a pitch and put down a sacrifice bunt.
The offensive support was more than sophomore right-hander Emily Lockman required, as Lockman tossed her fourth consecutive shutout. In improving to 18-4, Lockman won her eighth straight decision. Lockman allowed only four hits and struck out five while stretching her scoreless innings streak to 25.1 innings.
Cassandra Darrah (18-11) took the loss for Wisconsin, allowing 12 runs on 10 hits in a complete-game effort.
Nebraska jumped out to a dramatic 4-0 lead in the top of the second. A pair of infield singles from freshman MJ Knighten and Stokes put Huskers on first and second with two outs before Tyson was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Taylor Edwards then quickly fell behind in the count 0-2 before fouling off 11 two-strike pitches. Then on the 16th pitch of the at bat, Edwards crushed a grand slam to left center.
The Huskers nearly added to their lead in the top of the third.
Sophomore Alicia Armstrong reach on an error before Knighten walked. Armstrong moved to third on a foul out from junior Kylee Muir, before Knighten stole second to put runners at second and third. Stokes then lined a 3-2 pitch right at the shortstop to end the inning.
Nebraska did add to its lead with three more runs in the top of the fourth. Woolman began the frame with a leadoff single, and she moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Tyson. Following a foul out, Decker delivered a clutch two-out, RBI single to plate Woolman with Nebraska's fifth run. Tatum Edwards then launched a towering two-run homer down the left field line to cap the three-run frame and give NU a 7-0 lead.
In the top of the fifth, Muir and Stokes reached on back-to-back singles before Woolman reached on a fielder's choice where no out was recorded to load the bases. Following a fly out that was not deep enough to score Muir, Taylor Edwards drew a bases-loaded walk to force in a run before Decker blasted Nebraska's second grand slam of the game to make it 12-0.
Lockman then allowed the first two runners to reach in the bottom of the fifth before retiring the next three hitters. The right-hander did not allow a Badger to advance past second base in the game.