Junior right-hander Tatum Edwards fired a one-hit shutout to lead the 14th-ranked Nebraska softball team past Penn State, 2-0, on Monday afternoon in the regular-season finale at Nittany Lion Softball Park.
Edwards allowed only a two-out sixth-inning single to Cassidy Bell, while tossing her ninth shutout of the year and improving to 25-8 on the season. Edwards faced the minimum over the first 5.0 innings, allowing only three total base runners on the single and a pair of walks, while striking out six.
With the win, Nebraska clinched the No. 2 seed for this week’s Big Ten Tournament at Bowlin Stadium. The Huskers finished the regular season with a 39-12 record, including a 16-6 mark in Big Ten Conference play. The win was also Nebraska’s 15th road victory of the season, the most in school history.
Penn State fell to 16-32 overall and 5-17 in league play with the loss. Macy Jones (12-17) suffered her second loss of the weekend, allowing two runs on seven hits in a complete-game effort.
For the third straight game, Nebraska scored in the top of the first inning, taking a 1-0 lead on a two-out solo home run from junior Taylor Edwards.
The Huskers then grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning. Sophomore Jordan Bettiol reached on a one-out infield single before stealing second base. She then scored on a clutch two-out, RBI single from senior Gabby Banda.
Nebraska missed a chance to add to its lead in the top of the sixth. Taylor Edwards began the frame with a single, before senior Brooke Thomason followed with a bunt single. Senior Courtney Breault then moved both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt before a pair of foul outs to first base ended the inning.
Penn State mounted its first threat in the bottom of the sixth. A one-out walk was followed by a two-out single. With runners on first and third and two outs, Lauren Yao lined a 1-2 pitch toward right field, but sophomore first baseman Mattie Fowler reached out and snagged the line drive to end the inning.
The Nittany Lions were then retired in order in the seventh, as Tatum Edwards wrapped up her ninth shutout of the year.
Behind Tatum Edwards’ dominance, Nebraska out-hit Penn State, 7-1. Taylor Edwards went 2-for-3 and hit her 12th home runs of the season, while Bettiol finished 2-for-2 and was hit by a pitch to reach base safely in all three plate appearances.
With the regular season complete, Nebraska turns its attention to the Big Ten Tournament. The tournament begins on Thursday at Bowlin Stadium, with the Huskers opening play at 7 p.m. on Friday against the winner of Thursday’s game between Purdue and Michigan State.