In a matchup of two of the nation's top senior pitchers, a three-run homer powered UNO to a 3-2 victory over the 19th-ranked Nebraska softball team on Tuesday at Bowlin Stadium.
Following a pair of infield singles, Campbell Ditto lined a two-out, three-run homer in the top of the third inning to put the Mavericks on the board. Ditto's home run was the only ball UNO hit out of the infield all game.
Nebraska was held scoreless until the seventh inning, when senior Taylor Edwards blasted a two-out, two-run homer to left. Sophomore Hailey Decker followed Edwards' home run with a single before senior Tatum Edwards reached on an error to put the tying run on second and the winning run on first. But the Huskers' rally came up one-run short, as sophomore Alicia Armstrong was thrown out on a bang-bang play to end the game.
Ditto's home run spoiled a solid outing from senior right-hander Tatum Edwards, who lost for just the second time in 23 career starts at home. Edwards fired a four-hitter with three of the hits being infield singles. She added five strikeouts in a complete-game effort, while falling to 14-9 on the season.
UNO ace Dana Elsasser, who entered the game with the fourth-best career ERA of any active Division I pitcher, threw a six-hitter to earn her first victory over Nebraska in six career starts. Elsasser improved to 18-6 this spring.
With the win, UNO picked up its first victory over Nebraska with both teams competing in Division I. The Mavericks improved to 21-13 this season, while the Huskers fell to 26-13.
Nebraska was unable to mount much offense against Elsasser, as the Huskers did not get a runner past first base in the first six innings. Taylor Edwards drew a leadoff walk and was stranded at second in the bottom of the first. In the bottom of the third, freshman MJ Knighten and sophomore Kiki Stokes recorded back-to-back two-out singles, before a ground out ended the threat.
Elsasser had retired nine of the last 11 batters before sophomore Dawna Tyson ignited Nebraska's two-out, seventh-inning rally with a single. Tyson's single came after freshman Kat Woolman flew out to the warning track in center.
Taylor Edwards hit her 11th home run of the season, while finishing 1-for-3 with a walk and a pair of RBIs. Knighten was 2-for-2 with a walk, reaching base safely in all three plate appearances.