The Nebraska softball team (15-26, 4-10 Big Ten) was unable to knock off No. 18 Minnesota (31-10, 12-1 Big Ten) on Saturday afternoon, falling to the Gophers by a score of 8-3.
The Huskers had six hits on the day. Alyvia Simmons went 1-for-2 with two walks and a run. Tristen Edwards went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, while Lindsey Walljasper, Courtney Wallace and Rylie Unzicker each had one hit.
Walljasper (7-10) started and pitched 4.0 innings. She gave up six runs - five earned - on six hits. She also had four walks and two strikeouts. Regan Mergele pitched 3.0 innings of relief. She gave up two runs on three hits and had two walks and one strikeout.
Minnesota's Sydney Smith improved to 10-4 on the season. She pitched a complete 7.0 innings and gave up three runs on six hits. She also had four walks and three strikeouts.
Simmons drew a leadoff walk in the first but Nebraska couldn't capitalize off the base runner.
Minnesota took a 1-0 lead in the third off one hit and one Husker error. A single put a runner on base. She stole second and Nebraska attempted to throw her out. However, a misplay allowed the ball to get into the outfield and the runner scored.
The Gophers did damage in the fourth, scoring five runs and extending their lead to 6-0. A solo home run scored one run. Then, Minnesota loaded the bases with one out after two walks and a single. Nebraska retired the next batter for the second out, but an infield single scored one run and a triple cleared the bases.
In the fifth, the Huskers threatened by putting two runners in scoring position. Owen drew a walk and Carson Fischer pinch ran for her. Madi Unzicker reached on an error, while Fischer was safe at second. A ground out moved both runners over, but another grounder ended the inning.
In the sixth, Minnesota loaded the bases with two outs with a single, a hit batter and a walk, but the Huskers got out of the jam with a pop up. In the bottom of the inning, Simmons broke up Minnesota's no-hitter, singling up the middle. Edwards followed with a double to put both runners in scoring position with no outs. Walljasper singled to score Simmons. Wallace got a hit to load the bases with one out, but a double play ended the inning.
The Gophers hit a two-run homer in the seventh bringing the score to 8-1. In the bottom of the inning, Nebraska attempted a comeback effort. Rylie Unzicker singled with one out and Payton Huscroft drew a walk to put two runners on. Simmons also walked to load the bases and Edwards singled to score two runs. However, it wouldn't be enough as Minnesota retired the next two batters.
The series finale is set for Sunday at noon. A live radio broadcast will be on Huskers.com. The game will also be televised on BTN and will be available on BTN2Go. Fans can also follow the action on Twitter (@HuskerSoftball).