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Northwestern softball ace fans 13 Huskers as Wildcats take series opener
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Northwestern softball ace fans 13 Huskers as Wildcats take series opener

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Northwestern's bats came alive in the second inning and the Nebraska offense struggled for the fourth time in five games in a series-opening 6-1 softball defeat Friday in Evanston, Illinois.

Nebraska mustered only four hits, three of them singles, against Wildcat ace pitcher Danielle Williams (16-5), who fanned 13 batters.

Tristen Edwards' solo home run in the sixth was the Huskers' only extra-base hit, and their only dent on an otherwise stellar day for the Wildcats and Williams.

NU's Courtney Wallace sat a potent Wildcat lineup in order in the first inning, but Morgan Newport's solo blast in the bottom of the second ignited a five-run inning for the Wildcats.

Angela Zedak hit a two-run homer in the frame, and Skyler Shellmyer and Rachel Lewis, the top two hitters in the lineup, added two-out RBI singles.

That was more than enough for Williams. She walked only one batter and of her 118 pitches, 80 were strikes.

Outside of the second inning, Wallace (10-8) was solid. She settled in to pitch the remainder of the game and struck out four. Wallace extended her scoreless innings streak to 21 before running into trouble in the second.

Sophomore Brooke Andrews had two hits for the Huskers, who had only two runners reach second base throughout the game.

The Huskers (21-20) are 1-4 in their previous five games since sweeping Maryland. They have scored a combined three runs in the four defeats, though they were without two of their top hitters against Iowa.

Nebraska and Northwestern (27-14) will play a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday. The second game, to start at approximately 4 p.m., will be televised on BTN.

Reach Clark Grell at 402-473-2639 or cgrell@journalstar.com. On Twitter at @LJSSportsGrell.

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