URBANA, Ill. — No. 19 Nebraska scored five times in the seventh inning to post a 6-2 win against Illinois in the opening game of Saturday's doubleheader, only to see the Illini pull off similar late-game heroics in the nightcap.
Illinois (11-16, 1-4) rallied from a two-run deficit with three runs in its final at-bat, salvaging a split with a 5-4 win.
The Illini's decisive three-run sixth inning featured two infield singles, a Husker error, a bases-loaded hit batter and a bases-loaded walk, which forced in the game-tying and game-winning runs, respectively.
Shelese Arnold (5-6) earned the win for Illinois, allowing four runs and five hits in a complete-game effort. Arnold worked around six walks.
For Nebraska (24-7, 3-1), junior right-hander Tatum Edwards (15-5) saw her eight-game winning streak snapped as she suffered the loss in relief.
Taylor Edwards hit her team-leading eighth home run of the season, a three-run shot in the top of the fifth inning that gave Nebraska a 3-2 lead. Freshman Hailey Decker added an RBI single in the top of the sixth inning to extend the lead to 4-2. The loss snapped the Huskers' six-game road winning streak, the program's longest in a decade.
In game one, pinch-hitter Courtney Breault's RBI single tied the game at 2 in the seventh inning. Freshman Kiki Stokes then worked a bases-loaded walk to give Nebraska the lead.
With two outs, Taylor Edwards cleared the bases with a three-run double. Edwards also was hit by pitches three times and walked once in reaching base safety in all five plate appearances,
Tatum Edwards — Taylor's twin sister — did not allow an earned run while striking out nine and allowing four hits.
The teams wrap up their three-game series at 11:30 a.m. Sunday. The game will air on the Big Ten Network at 2 p.m.
Nebraska ........................... 000 001 5—6 5 1
At Illinois ........................... 200 000 0—2 4 0
W: Tat. Edwards, 15-4. L: Gay, 6-10. 2B: NU, Tay. Edwards, Tat. Edwards. 3B: UI, Davis.
Nebraska (24-7, 3-1) ........................... 000 031 0—4 5 1
At Illinois (11-16, 1-4) ........................... 110 003 x—5 7 0
W: Arnold, 5-6. L: Tat. Edwards, 15-5. 2B: NU, Armstrong. HR: NU, Tay. Edwards.