Huskers Hang on For Nine-Inning Victory

Columbus, Ga. – The third time was the charm for the 21st-ranked Nebraska softball team, as the Huskers held off a ninth-inning rally after Mississippi State twice tied the game in its final at bat before falling to the Huskers, 7-6, in a wild and dramatic nine-inning thriller.

Nebraska led 5-4 before Mississippi State rallied to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh. The Huskers then grabbed the lead in the top of the eighth before the Bulldogs used a two-out single to prolong the game. 

In the ninth, sophomore Kimberly Fuller was placed on second base to start the inning in accordance with the international tie breaker. She advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored what proved to be the game-winning run on a sacrifice slap off the bat of sophomore Meghan Mullin. 

Just as the eight previous innings were, the ninth would not be easy for Nebraska. A leadoff single put Bulldogs at first and third before the key play of the game. Sophomore catcher Brittany Pascale was unable to handle an offering from senior right-hander Ashley DeBuhr and the ball bounced to the backstop. 

Sammie Jo Bailey tried to score from third on the play, but Pascale recovered to throw to sophomore Crystal Carwile at the plate to get Bailey in a bang-bang play. 

On the play, Jessie Bailey advanced from first base all the way to third to represent the tying run with only one out. After the earlier rallies, DeBuhr dug down and recorded a strikeout before Pascale and Carwile teamed up again on a game-ending ground out that lifted the Huskers to victory. 

DeBuhr allowed a career-high 13 hits and was tagged for six runs (five earned) against a scorching hot Mississippi State offense that pounded out 33 runs in their previous two games at the Leadoff Classic. DeBuhr (4-2) also struck out 11 while walking three in a complete-game effort for Nebraska (6-5). 

Sara Hickerson (0-2) took the loss in relief for Mississippi State (10-5). Hickerson gave up five runs (three earned) on six hits in 5.1 of work. Starter Stephanie Comeaux went 3.2 innings, allowing two runs on four hits while striking out only two. 

The scoring started early as Mississippi State jumped on top 1-0 by manufacturing a run in the top of the first.  

After having just two baserunners through the first three innings, Nebraska strung together four hits in the top of the fourth to take a 2-1 lead. Senior Devin Porter and Carwile led off the frame with back-to-back singles. 

Comeaux retired the next two batters before DeBuhr reached on an infield single to load the bases. Senior Carmen Kier then ripped a bases loaded, two-run single up the middle to give the Huskers the lead. 

Kier's two-run single snapped an 11.0 inning scoreless streak for Comeaux and also marked the end of her day as she was replaced by Hickerson, who got out of the inning without any further damage. 

Mississippi State answered right back in the bottom of the fourth, with the help of a key mental error by the Husker defense. Consecutive singles put runners at first and second with no outs before DeBuhr recorded a strike out. Hayle Guess then laid down a bunt that was fielded cleanly by DeBuhr, but no one covered first base and Guess was safe to load the bases. 

After giving the Bulldogs an extra out, DeBuhr recorded a strikeout before Bramlett laced an 0-2 pitch off the glove of Carwile at first and down the right field line for a two-run double that put Mississippi State back in front, 3-2. 

The Huskers responded in the top of the fifth with a three-run inning. Mullin led off with an infield single, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a two-out single off the bat of Carwile. 

Carwile promptly stole second and scored on a single off the bat of Pascale. Pascale, who was able to advance to second after the ball got past the left fielder, was then lifted for sophomore pinch runner Darcy Rutherford. 

Rutherford came home to put Nebraska up 5-3 when sophomore Haley Long ripped the first pitch she saw for a double into the right field corner. 

Another Nebraska miscue helped the Bulldogs pull to within a run in the bottom of the sixth. With runners on first and second and two outs, Courtney Bures hit foul ball behind home plate that bounced in and out of the glove of Pascale. Bures then delivered an RBI single to cut the Huskers' lead to 5-4. 

Mississippi State tied the game in the seventh with the aid of a Husker mental error. Following a leadoff single another sacrifice bunt attempt turned into much more as no one covered first base again for Nebraska and the Huskers' threw to a vacated first base, which put the tying runner on third and she eventually scored on a sacrifice fly. 

That set the stage for the extra-inning dramatics. Long's second RBI of the day gave Nebraska a 6-5 lead in the eighth, before Mississippi State's two-out single in the bottom of the inning forced the pivotal ninth. 

Long finished 2-for-4 with a pair of key RBIs in the win. Kier recorded her second hit of the season and first two RBIs, as she finished 1-for-3 with a walk. Carwile (2-for-5) and Pascale (2-for-4) also recorded multi-hit games while adding an RBI each. Carwile also scored three runs. 

With the win, Nebraska finished pool play in third place with a 2-2 record. The Huskers now advance to the bronze bracket, where they will face the Georgia Bulldogs at 8 a.m. on Sunday in the first game of the double-elimination portion of the tournament.

Box Score

                            The Automated ScoreBook
                       #21 Nebraska vs Mississippi State
                 Feb 24, 2007 at Columbus, Ga. (South Commons)

 

Nebraska 7 (6-5)

 

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB

------------------------------------------------------

Mullin, Meghan rf........  2  1  1  1   1  0  2  0   0

Gonzalez, Crystal cf.....  2  0  0  0   1  1  0  0   1

Porter, Devin ss.........  5  1  1  0   0  1  1  3   0

Carwile, Crystal 1b......  5  3  2  1   0  0  7  0   2

Pascale, Brittany dp/c...  4  0  2  1   0  1 13  2   0

 Rutherford, Darcy pr....  0  1  0  0   0  0  0  0   0

Long, Haley lf...........  4  0  2  2   0  0  1  0   0

DeBuhr, Ashley p.........  4  0  1  0   0  1  0  1   1

Kier, Carmen 3b..........  3  0  1  2   1  1  1  3   0

Barrett, Whitney 2b......  3  0  0  0   0  1  2  1   2

 Hupp, Alex ph...........  1  0  0  0   0  1  0  0   2

 Fuller, Kimberly 2b.....  0  1  0  0   0  0  0  0   0

Waldecker, Jamie c/dp....  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  1   0

Totals................... 33  7 10  7   3  7 27 11   8

 

Mississippi State 6 (10-5)

 

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB

------------------------------------------------------

Chelsea Bramlett 2b......  4  1  2  2   0  1  0  3   0

Nakita Boyce lf..........  5  0  1  0   0  3  2  0   2

Courtney Bures ss........  3  0  1  1   0  0  1  3   0

Katie Cooley rf/dp.......  4  0  2  2   1  0  0  0   3

Sammie Jo Bailey 1b......  4  1  3  0   1  0 17  0   2

 Rachel Hurley pr........  0  1  0  0   0  0  0  0   0

Jessie Bailey 3b.........  5  1  3  0   0  0  1  2   2

Katie Johnson c/dp.......  3  0  0  0   0  3  0  0   2

 Michelle Kinney rf......  2  0  0  0   0  2  0  0   0

Hayle Guess cf...........  4  0  1  1   0  0  0  0   1

Blair Hewett dp/c........  2  2  0  0   1  1  6  3   1

Stephanie Comeaux p......  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  2   0

 Sara Hickerson p/c......  1  0  0  0   0  1  0  2   0

Totals................... 37  6 13  6   3 11 27 15  13

 

Score by Innings                    R  H  E

-------------------------------------------

Nebraska............ 000 230 011 -  7 10  3

Mississippi State... 100 201 110 -  6 13  1

-------------------------------------------

 

E - Mullin(1); Kier(4); Barrett(3); N. Boyce. LOB - Cornhuskers

8; Bulldogs 13. 2B - Long(4); C. Bramlett. HBP - C. Bures. SH - Mullin 2(3);

Gonzalez 2(2); C. Bramlett; C. Bures. SF - H. Guess. SB - Gonzalez(2);

Carwile(2); C. Bramlett; C. Bures.

 

Nebraska               IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF  NP

--------------------------------------------------

DeBuhr, Ashley......  9.0 13  6  5  3 11 37 44 190

 

Mississippi State      IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF  NP

--------------------------------------------------

Stephanie Comeaux...  3.2  4  2  2  2  2 13 17  53

Sara Hickerson......  5.1  6  5  3  1  5 20 23  81

 

Win - DeBuhr (4-2).  Loss - S. Hickerson (0-2).  Save - None.

WP - S. Hickerson 2. HBP - by DeBuhr (C. Bures). PB - Pascale 2(2).

Pitches/strikes: DeBuhr 190/122; S. Comeaux 53/34; S. Hickerson 81/58.

Start: 6:19 pm   Time: 3:03   Attendance:


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