NCAA SOFTBALL REGIONAL: ARIZONA STATE 5, NEBRASKA 2
BATON ROUGE, La. — Arizona State's lone extra-base hit Friday made Nebraska pay for earlier mistakes in the Sun Devils' 5-2 victory in the NCAA tournament's Baton Rouge Regional.
Bethany Kemp's double with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning cleared the bases and broke the 2-2 tie that the No. 23-ranked Sun Devils had forged earlier in the inning at LSU's Tiger Park.
The first-round game was scoreless through five innings, despite Arizona State loading the bases in the first and fifth innings on walks from Nebraska starter Emily Lockman. The junior from Corona, California, finished with 10 walks in 5 2/3 innings.
Nebraska took a 2-0 lead in the top of the sixth, scoring the first run before a 57-minute weather delay, and the second one just after play resumed.
Second baseman Laura Barrow led off with a single before center fielder Kiki Stokes followed with her second single of the game. A wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position before a sacrifice fly to left field by shortstop Alicia Armstrong brought home Barrow.
Senior catcher Steph Pasquale then drove home Stokes after the weather delay with an RBI single up the middle.
Lockman got the first out in the bottom of the sixth before issuing a walk. Arizona State left fielder Elizabeth Caporuscio then hit a ball to short that Armstrong bobbled before her throw sailed into right field. That scored a run and got Caporuscio to third.
"That was just a fundamental error. It was just a physical error," Nebraska coach Rhonda Revelle said. "She picked up her head a little early and made a poor throw. That happens."
After Lockman got the second out, she hit the next batter before issuing another walk that loaded the bases for Kemp's bases-clearing double.
Despite outhitting ASU 6-4, Nebraska dropped to the losers bracket where the 34-22 Huskers will play Texas Southern in an elimination game Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Texas Southern lost to host LSU in Friday's other firstround game.
If the Huskers defeat Texas Southern, they would play the loser of the 11 a.m. Arizona State-LSU game 30 minutes after the conclusion of their game with Texas Southern.