SB: Huskers get walk-off blast in extras to drop Penn State 2-1 in series opener

Photo by Pat Radigan

Husker Austen Urness touches home after hitting a game-winning home run as part of a 2-1 win over Penn State on Friday.



Husker Leaders
Austen Urness

4-4, HR

Kaylan Jablonski

8.0 IP, 5 K, 0 BB

Story by Pat Radigan

Nebraska needs just two hitters in the bottom of the eighth to polish off a win over Penn State in game one of three over the weekend.

Austen Urness had Penn State pitcher Marlaina Laubach figured out all day, but she waited until the her last at bat to really cash in on the advantage.

And she only needed one pitch.

As the ball drifted over the fence in right-center for a walk-off, solo home run, all that was left was for Urness to do was gracefully tap the plate with her toe and be bombarded by her teammtes in celebration after handing the Huskers a 2-1 win over the Nittany Lions.

Urness went 4-for-4, including her second home run of the year, and provided a spark on a slow day at the plate for both teams in the series opener at Bowlin Stadium. That provided just enough offense, combined with a complete game and five strike outs from Kaylan Jablonski, to get Nebraska back in the win column after seeing an 8-game win streak snapped earlier this week.

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8   R H E
PSU 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0   1 5 3
NU 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1   2 6 1

Jablonski returned to the mound at Bowlin with a bang, and didn’t give up a hit until the third inning as she came out strong. A squeeze play in the fifth brought a Penn State run home via the bunt, but that would be all they got as Jablonski kept Nebraska in a good position to walk away with the win.

In addition to the five batters she struck out, including four swinging ‘K’s, Jablonski did not surrender a walk and threw a first pitch strike to 23 of the 28 batters she faced.

Outside of Urness’ big day, Nebraska got just two hits, but was able to manufacture a run in the fifth to keep even with PSU. Alexis Perry got a single to lead things off after the Nittany Lions put their run on the board, before Bree Boruff came on for Perry as a pinch runner and eventually advanced to third after an error on Penn State’s infield.

MJ Knighten followed that up with a sacrifice fly to get Nebraska’s other RBI on the afternoon, giving the Huskers the run they needed to force extras and set the stage for the dramatic conclusion.

How It Happened:

It looked like the Huskers were going to take the momentum early, but Penn State did a good job of keeping the game scoreless. Despite Jablonski’s early dominance, though, it was PSU that struck first.

The good news? Quality defense by the Huskers limited the damage and allowed NU to bounce back.

It didn’t take long for Nebraska to get it’s response, either.

And despite Nebraska’s best attempt to keep things going, Penn State did a good job of keeping the Huskers off the board over the next two innings.

… but it could only last so long.

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