LINCOLN — Pinpointing one or two things that cost Nebraska in Wednesday’s 5-3, eight-inning loss to Kansas wasn’t easy.
Husker coach Rhonda Revelle said many things went wrong in the setback, which dropped NU to 19-23 entering a crucial Big Ten weekend series at home against Illinois.
“I thought they fought really hard tonight. I just didn’t think we played very well,” Revelle said. “On defense we had a couple of costly errors that ended up scoring runs. We had some leadoff walks that ended up scoring runs.
“We had two base running mistakes that ended up not getting runs that would have yielded runs. I don’t know that you can put one thing to it. There are a plethora of things we can pick from tonight. We didn’t execute well.”
A two-run double by Kansas third baseman Jessie Roane in the top of the eighth inning gave the Jayhawks the runs they would need for the win that improved their record to 22-22.
The game in front of an announced crowd of 379 at Bowlin Stadium was delayed 1 hour, 25 minutes because of heavy rain, lightning and a brief hailstorm that blew through Lincoln shortly after the first pitch.
Nebraska starter Cassie McClure got only three pitches in before the game, which had been moved up one hour to avoid stormy weather, was paused at 5:04 p.m.
Once action resumed, it took a few batters for McClure to settle in. She surrendered a leadoff walk to Lily Behrmann followed by back-to-back singles by Erin McGinley and Roane to load the bases.
A sacrifice fly to deep center field by Harli Ridling scored Behrmann and moved McGinley to third. McClure fought back to get a called third strike on Becki Monaghan and foul ball out by Taylor Dodson to get out of the inning.
After Nebraska left two runners on base in the bottom of the first inning, Kansas scored another run before getting an out in the second. Brittani Reid led off with a double to right-center field, then stole third base before an RBI single by Taylor McElhaney drove Reid home for a 2-0 Jayhawks lead.
The Huskers tied the score with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second. With two outs, Alexis Perry coaxed a walk from Kansas ace Alexis Reid before Laura Barrow singled, moving Perry to second.
Alyvia Simmons then stroked a double to left field that sailed over Reid’s head to the fence. That gave both Perry and Barrow enough time to score.
Another double in the fourth inning by Simmons moved her season total to 14 and ties her for seventh on Nebraska’s all-time season leaders list. It also was the third game this season that the sophomore from Overland Park, Kansas, has had more than one double.
Kansas regained the lead in the top of the third with an unearned run, but the Huskers got the equalizer two pitches into their half of the third.
Catcher Austen Urness lined a 1-0 pitch over the right-field fence to even the score at 3-3. It was the redshirt junior’s third home run and Nebraska’s 26th of the season.
Nebraska left the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning, forcing the extra inning.
The Huskers’ three-game series with Illinois is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday.
An event dubbed the world’s largest softball tailgate at noon Saturday will precede game two at 3 p.m. before Sunday’s noon finale.
Kansas (22-22)……………..111 000 02—5 9 1
At Nebraska (19-23)……….021 000 00—3 8 3
W: Alexis Reid, 14-15. L: Kaylan Jablonski, 10-12. 2B: KU, Erin McGinley, Brittani Reid, Becki Monaghan, Jessie Roane. NU, Alyvia Simmons (2). HR: NU, Austen Urness. A: 379.