LINCOLN — Pitchers took center stage Tuesday night in Nebraska’s crisply played softball doubleheader against Iowa.
The Big Ten foes combined for just seven hits in the first game, in which the Hawkeyes edged the Huskers 2-1.
Nebraska bounced back in the nightcap to take a 3-0 decision and earn a split of the twin bill before 511 at Bowlin Stadium.
Playing in the nicest weather of the season, the teams raced through their 14 total innings in 3 hours, 1 minute.
“That was old-fashioned softball,” Nebraska coach Rhonda Revelle said. “Back in the olden days, like my days when I played (1980s), it was really customary to see a 1-0 game, a 2-1 game. You didn’t always see a lot of scoring because you would see pitchers who could dominate.
“Both offenses were having to work their tails off to try to generate something.”
Hawkeyes ace Allison Doocy limited the Huskers to three hits in the opener while striking out five and issuing no walks on just 78 pitches. She outdueled Nebraska ace Kaylan Jablonski, who was almost as impressive.
The senior from Omaha Skutt allowed just four hits, walked one batter and struck out five on 80 pitches.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a better pitched doubleheader on both sides of the ball,” Revelle said. “If I’m not the coach of one of the teams, it’s probably only fitting that each team comes away with a victory tonight.”
Tristen Edwards and Jablonski each had two hits in Game 2. It was those two who got things started in the bottom of the fourth inning to produce the first Nebraska run.
A single through the left side by Edwards and one by Jablonski up the middle set up Madi Unzicker with a chance to drive in a run. The junior first baseman did just that with a single to center that Iowa’s Allie Wood had trouble fielding.
That bobble gave Edwards just enough time to keep chugging around third base and race home with the first run of the game.
Iowa had a terrific chance to tie the game in the top of the fifth, but left fielder Gina Metzler came up with a big throw to end the inning. After fielding a single by Aralee Bogar, Metzler scooped the ball up and gunned down Cheyenne Pratt, who was attempting to score from second base.
Metzler had a similar play against Indiana on Saturday, and had the assist on the final play of a game two years ago that secured Nebraska’s 1-0 victory over then-No. 1-ranked Michigan.
“I wasn’t too surprised because I knew she was quick and it was at a point in the game where they would try to take a risk,” Metzler said. “It’s nice all coming forward like that (because) I can see the runner in front of me.”
The Huskers added two insurance runs in the sixth inning. A double by Edwards brought home pinch runner Bree Boruff, who was able to score on a fielding error by Sarah Kurtz; Edwards also advanced to third base.
That chased Shaw from the game as Iowa brought Doocy back in to try and slow the Huskers. Jablonski then laid down a bunt on the first pitch she saw from Doocy that allowed Edwards to score Nebraska’s third and final run.Iowa’s runs in the first game both came on a sacrifice flies. The first one, scored in the fourth inning, followed a double by Taylor Libby, with McKenzie Schneider having the fly ball to left that plated Libby.
Edwards tied the game in the bottom of the fourth inning with a one-out home run to left-center field. It was the team-leading 11th home run of the season.
The Hawkeyes got the winning run home in the top of the sixth inning. Lea Thompson and Bogar had back-to-back, one-out singles, with Thompson advancing to third on Bogar’s single to right field.
Nebraska will host Purdue in a doubleheader scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. Friday at Bowlin Stadium. The schedule change was made because of inclement weather expected to hit the Lincoln area Saturday and Sunday.
Iowa 010 001 0—2 4 0
At Nebraska 000 100 0—1 3 0
W: Allison Doocy (12-8). L: Kaylan Jablonski (19-9). 2B: I, Taylor Libby. HR: N, Tristen Edwards.
Iowa (19-18, 6-5) 000 000 0—0 6 2
At Nebraska (28-14, 6-6) 000 102 x—3 7 1
W: Olivia Ferrell (8-4). L: Lauren Shaw (3-7). S: Jablonski (6). 2B: N, Tristen Edwards, Taylor Otte. A: 511.