NU Rallies From Seven-Run Deficit To Top Minnesota, 11-8

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Dillon Galloway/Nebraska Communications

The Nebraska softball team (33-9, 13-0 Big Ten) tied the program record with the largest comeback in school history, rallying from an 8-1 deficit to defeat Minnesota 11-8 for its 18th consecutive win.

Ava Bredwell, Caitlynn Neal and Peyton Glatter combined for nine of the 13 hits with eight RBIs to lead the Big Red offense. The six, seven and eight-spot hitters all finished 3-for-4 on the day.

In the circle, Olivia Ferrell recorded the win, moving to 17-4 on the year. Ferrell pitched 4.1 innings, holding the Gophers to three hits and two runs while striking out four.

For Minnesota, Emily Leavitt (8-8) earned the loss as the Gophers moved to 19-18-1 on the year and 5-7 in the Big Ten. Leavitt pitched 5.2 innings, giving up 13 hits and 11 runs.

The Gophers were the first to score with a lead-off solo homer from Lauren Espalin over the left field fence in the top of the first inning. UM went on to score one in the top of the second with a solo homer from Sara Kinch over the center field fence to take an early 2-0 lead.

NU responded in the bottom of the second. Mya Felder hit an infield single. With one out, Bredwell singled up the middle. After a strikeout, Glatter added a single to right field. Brooke Andrews was walked to bring in the first run for Nebraska and cut Minnesota’s lead to 2-1.

A six-run inning for the Gophers stretched the lead in the top of the third. An error put a runner on first followed by a walk to advance a runner to scoring position. Back-to-back ground out plays advanced the runners and then scored one. Two walks loaded the bases. Olivia Ferrell came in to pitch, but walked her first batter, to bring in a run. Emily Hansen smashed a ball over the left-center field fence for a grand slam to take an 8-1 lead.

The Big Red cut the deficit to four with three runs in the bottom of the third. Cam Ybarra led off with a walk. With one out, Felder reached on a fielder’s choice with Ybarra out at second. Singles from Abbie Squier and Bredwell loaded the bases. Neal singled to left field, scoring two. Glatter singled to left field, to score one, cutting Minnesota’s lead to 8-4.

Nebraska tied it up in the bottom of the fifth. Felder started the inning off with a single to right center. With one out, Bredwell singled followed by a single from Neal. With the bases loaded, Glatter smashed a grand slam over the right-center field fence to tie the game at 8-8.

After retiring nine in a row, Ferrell walked a batter with two outs in the top of the sixth. A single down the left line put a runner in scoring position, but a ground out fielder’s choice got the Huskers out of the inning.

In the bottom of the sixth, NU added three more. Cam Ybarra led off with a walk. With one out, Felder smashed a two-run homer over the center field fence. Abbie Squier was hit by a pitch and scored after a double from Neal. Nebraska finished the come-from-behind victory to defeat Minnesota, 11-8.

The Huskers return to action next weekend for a three game series in Madison, Wis., against the Badgers.

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