Mergele gives Huskers a shot in the arm in sweep of Boilermakers
The Nebraska softball team had its formula down for a doubleheader sweep of Purdue on Saturday: lead very early, give up that lead, finish strong.
The Huskers shrugged off a series-opening loss Friday with a pair of wins Saturday, 7-5 and 9-4, in West Lafayette, Indiana.
Finishing both wins for Nebraska (15-24, 4-8 Big Ten) was senior pitcher Regan Mergele, who had appeared in only three innings in league play before Saturday.
Mergele (2-6) pitched four scoreless innings, striking out five, in the first game as NU rallied from a 5-2 deficit. She entered in the sixth inning of the second game and pitched two more scoreless innings, including a 1-2-3 seventh.
NU scored seven runs in the final four innings to close out the second game after trailing 3-2 through three innings.
In the that game, Samantha Owen cashed in a bases-loaded situation in the fourth inning with a three-run double to put the Huskers ahead of Purdue (29-17, 6-8) for good 5-3.
Tristen Edwards hit a solo homer in the the sixth to put the Huskers up 6-4, and Peyton Glatter added an RBI double and Alyvia Simmons a two-run double in the NU ninth.
Courtney Wallace allowed all four runs in five innings of work and got the win.
In the opener, the Huskers trailed 5-2 in the top of the fifth before Edwards doubled home pinch runner Rylie Unzicker, who had stolen second and advanced to third on a throwing error. Later in the inning, Madi Unzicker made it 5-4 with an RBI single.
In the sixth, Edwards drew a walk to load the bases before Owen reached on an error that scored two runs and gave the Huskers their second lead of the game. Lindsey Walljasper’s double to right scored Edwards to put Nebraska up 7-5.
The Huskers took a short-lived lead in the top of the first, with Madi Unzicker and Wallace delivering run-scoring singles.
Purdue struck back in the bottom of the first with three runs, two of them on Madison Douglass’ single to tie the game.
The Boilermakers extended their lead in the third with back-to-back solo home runs.
Nebraska snapped a five-game losing streak with the win in the first game.
The Huskers return home to face Minnesota next Friday at 5:30 p.m.