Huskers blank Creighton on Lockman 2-hitter
Lincoln - Freshman right-hander Emily Lockman tossed a two-hit shutout and the Husker offense hit three home runs as the 16th-ranked Nebraska softball team completed a season sweep of the Creighton Bluejays with a 6-0 win on Wednesday night at Bowlin Stadium.
Lockman was in control from the start while improving to 14-3 on the season. She did not allow a runner past second base and allowed only two balls out of the infield. Lockman added seven strikeouts, and she did not allow a hit over the final 4.2 innings.
With Lockman keeping Creighton of the scoreboard, all six Husker runs came courtesy of home runs. Sophomore Mattie Fowler got things started with a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Senior Brooke Thomason hit a towering solo home run of her own in the bottom of the fourth, before a grand slam from senior Courtney Breault put the game out of reach in the bottom of the sixth.
Breault tied her career high with four RBIs in the win, while homering for the third time in four games. Fowler's home run was her fourth of the season, while Thomason slugged her sixth home run of 2013.
With the win, Nebraska improved to 35-10 on the year. Becca Changstrom (19-7) took the loss for Creighton (26-13), allowing six runs on five hits in a complete-game effort.
Nebraska missed a chance to take an early lead in the bottom of the first inning. Freshman Alicia Armstrong drew a leadoff walk and stole second with one out. Junior Taylor Edwards then struck out, but reached first safely on a wild pitch. Edwards stole second to put runners on second and third with one out before a ground out and a strikeout prevented any runs from scoring.
Fowler then gave Nebraska a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning with a one-out solo home run to right field.
Thomason added a monster solo home run in the bottom of the fourth to give Nebraska a 2-0 lead. Thomason's blast to right field hit the 'N' on the Alex Gordon Training Complex.
A pair of walks gave Creighton its best scoring chance with runners on first and second with two outs in the top of the sixth, before Lockman escaped the jam.
Taylor Edwards and Thomason then began the bottom of the sixth with back-to-back walks. Freshman Hailey Decker followed with an infield bunt single that loaded the bases with no outs. Breault then blasted a 1-1 pitch into the wind and over the fence in center for a grand slam. The grand slam was the first of her Husker career, and the fifth grand slam for Nebraska this season, believed to be a school record.
Leading 6-0, Lockman then retired the side in order in the seventh to wrap up her fourth shutout of the season.
The Huskers wrap up their regular-season home schedule this weekend with a three-game series against No. 9 Michigan at Bowlin Stadium. The series begins on Friday, but Saturday is the World's Largest Softball Tailgate with free food and admission into the tailgate and the game.
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