Brooke Andrews powered the Nebraska softball team to a 9-7 victory over Purdue to open conference play on Friday night at Bowlin Stadium. After quickly falling behind 0-2 in the count, Andrews worked the count full and blasted the game-winning three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Andrews led the Huskers (21-9, 1-0 Big Ten), finishing 2-for-3 with five RBI. Andrews was one of six Huskers who recorded two hits in tonight’s game. The Boilermakers (15-14, 0-1 Big Ten) were led by Alex Echazarreta and Olivia McFadden, both tallying two hits. NU held Purdue to no extra-base hits on the night.
Sarah Harness moved to 8-3 on the season, earning the win for the Huskers. Harness pitched 4.0 innings, giving up two hits while striking out four. Courtney Wallace started in the circle for NU, pitching 3.0 innings, giving up six hits and seven runs (five earned).
Mo Wimpee (4-3) recorded the loss in the circle for Purdue. Wimpee pitched 1.2 innings, giving up two hits including Andrews’ three-run homer. Three other Purdue pitchers saw time in the circle including Madi Elish who gave up three hits and five runs in the first inning, Alex Echazarreta and Alexa Pinarski.
The Boilermakers got on the board first with two runs in the first inning. With one out, two singles put runners on first and second. A hit batter loaded the bases while a walk scored the first Purdue run. With two outs, a passed ball on a strikeout scored the second run of the inning. The Boilermakers took the early 2-0 lead.
The Huskers responded with five runs in the bottom of the first. Billie Andrews led off with a single. Caitlynn Neal reached on a fielder’s choice as Andrews advanced to second. Mya Felder loaded the bases with a walk. Sydney Gray hit a single to center field, scoring Andrews. Katelyn Caneda followed with a single to center field to score Neal. A fly out from Brooke Andrews scored Felder followed by a single from Ava Bredwell to score Gray. Abbie Squier had a sacrifice bunt, scoring Caneda and giving Nebraska the 5-2 lead.
Purdue tied the game with three runs in the top of the second. Two walks and a single loaded the bases. A sacrifice fly scored one. It was followed with a single that scored two runs on two defensive errors. The Huskers went into the bottom of the second, tied 5-5.
Nebraska regained the lead with one run in the bottom of the second. Billie Andrews led off with a single, advancing to second on a fielder’s choice as Neal was safe at first. With one out, Gray walked to load the bases. Caneda reached on a fielder’s choice as the second out was recorded at home. Brooke Andrews singled up the middle, scoring Neal as NU went ahead, 6-5.
After a quiet third inning, Purdue took the lead in the fourth with two runs. A walk put a runner on first and then she stole second. A single scored the runner. A bunt and a single put runners at first and third. A fly out, scored another run, giving Purdue the 7-6 lead.
The Big Red took the lead after a three-run homer from Brooke Andrews in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, Gray was walked followed by a single from Caneda. After falling behind in the count 0-2, Brooke Andrews worked the count full and then blasted the game-winning homer as NU went ahead, 9-7.
Purdue looked to come back in the seventh, loading the bases with two outs, but a foul fly out stranded three baserunners and secured the 9-7 Nebraska win.
The Huskers return to action Saturday, March 25, at 1 p.m. (CT) for the second game of a three-game series against Purdue. Fans can listen to the action live on the Huskers Radio Network and Huskers.com with the call from Nate Rohr and Mattie Fowler Burkhardt. The game will also be streamed live on BTN+ (subscription required).
- Brooke Andrews tied her career-best with five RBI.
- Andrews has tallied the most RBI (28), hits (28) and home runs (6) in a season in her career this year. Her previous bests in RBI (16), hits (27), and home runs (5) all occurred in 2022.
- Dakota Carter made her first start as a Husker in tonight’s game.
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