LINCOLN — Behind a three-hit shutout from junior right-hander Tatum Edwards and a four-run fifth inning from the Husker offense, the 18th-ranked Nebraska softball team defeated Wisconsin 4-0 in Friday’s series opener at Bowlin Stadium.
Edwards took a no-hitter into the fifth inning and finished with her Big Ten-leading seventh shutout of the season. Edwards struck out seven and allowed only two balls out of the infield, while improving to 18-6 on the year.
Offensively, Nebraska produced three of its six hits in the four-run fifth inning. Junior Taylor Edwards and freshman Hailey Decker each recorded RBI singles in the inning. Edwards finished 2 for 2 with a walk, a run and an RBI, while senior Gabby Banda was 2 for 3 with a run scored.
Sophomore Mattie Fowler added an RBI for the Huskers, who improved to 29-8 overall and moved into a second place tie with a 7-2 conference record.
Wisconsin, which was shut out for the second time this season, fell to 28-7 on the year and 6-4 in Big Ten play. Meghan McIntosh (8-3) took the loss, allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits in five innings of work.
Wisconsin was hitless until a one-out bunt single from Maria Van Abel in the top of the fifth inning. Mary Massei was then hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second before Tatum Edwards retired the next two hitters.
Nebraska added an insurance run in the bottom of the frame and nearly added to its lead in the bottom of the sixth.
A two-out error and a stolen base put Kiki Stokes at second base, but she was thrown out attempting to score on a single from Banda.
The teams meet again at 1 p.m. Saturday for game two of their three-game series.
Wisconsin (28-7) ........................... 000 000 0—0 3 3
Nebraska (29-8) ........................... 000 040 x—4 6 2
W: Tatum Edwards, 18-6. L: McIntosh, 8-3. 2B: W, LaJeunesse.