A first-inning blast by Creighton’s Alexis Cantu staked the Bluejays to a 2-0 lead, but it turned out to be just the shot that Nebraska pitcher Tatum Edwards needed to settle into a rhythm.
Edwards responded by retiring the next 15 batters and fended off a seventh-inning rally as Nos. 19 and 22 Nebraska held off the Jays 4-3 in front of 334 at the CU Sports Complex.
Edwards said she was able to slow things down and locate the ball better after Cantu belted the 3-1 offering over the left-field fence.
“After that inning, I just settled in really well, and I was just able to hit my spots a little bit better,” said Edwards, who finished with 11 strikeouts. “I think I had more of a clear picture of what I needed to do with my spin.”
The Huskers led 4-2 going to the bottom of the seventh, but the Bluejays (19-10) were able to muster a threat when Cantu drew a leadoff walk and Bri Lingl followed with a double down the line.
A one-out single by Blair Lowe scored Sammy Snygg, who was pinch-running for Cantu, to cut the Nebraska lead to 4-3.
Kelsey Allender followed by drawing a walk to load the bases with one out.
But Edwards was able to answer the challenge, striking out pinch-hitter Kim Jacobson and leadoff batter Ellen Homan to seal the win for Nebraska (26-7).
NU coach Rhonda Revelle said the seventh-inning fireworks have become a staple in her history of facing Creighton coach Brent Vigness’ teams.
“Brent and I have 20 years putting Nebraska and Creighton teams on the field, and I’ll bet there have been close to a hundred games between us, and (it came down to) the seventh inning of our games a lot of times,” Revelle said.
“So I don’t know if there’s some interesting energy about the seventh inning. Doesn’t matter if we’re in Lincoln or Omaha.”
Creighton’s Liz Dike broke Edwards’ string of setting down 15 in a row with a two-out single in the sixth inning to bring Amy Baker and her team-leading 11 homers to the plate.
But Edwards was up to the challenge as she struck out Baker looking.
Vigness said he was appreciative of how his team fought back and hopes it helps in this weekend’s three-game series against Bradley with first place in the Missouri Valley Conference on the line.
“We were in a position there in the end where we found a way to get that one run back, and then had the go-ahead run at second base,” Vigness said.
“Our mindset is really good. I think this game will help prepare us (against Bradley).”
Creighton will put its Valley-leading 5-1 record on the line when it hosts the second-place Braves (4-1) in a doubleheader at noon on Saturday, followed by the series finale at noon Sunday.
Nebraska will end its seven-game road trip with a three-game series at Iowa starting at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
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