Cornhuskers deny Ducks a trip to the World Series

EUGENE — Freshman Emily Lockman allowed two runs on eight hits over seven innings and Nebraska defeated Oregon 4-2 Sunday to advance to the Women's College World Series for the first time since 2002.

Lockman (15-5) struck out five for the 14th-seeded Huskers (45-14), who fell 4-3 in 11 innings to the third-seeded Ducks (50-11) earlier Sunday to force the deciding game in the best-of-three Super Regional.

"With this team it is a very special win. I don't think anybody outside of our team thought that Nebraska softball would get here, but we did," Nebraska coach Rhonda Revelle said.

Gabby Banda and Taylor Edwards both singled and scored to put the Huskers up 2-0 in the top of the first, but Samantha Pappas singled to right center with the bases loaded in the bottom half to even the game at 2.

The Huskers went ahead when Alicia Armstrong's single scored Courtney Breault in the third inning. Mattie Fowler added an insurance run in the sixth inning when her single scored Armstrong.

"I just knew that if I played my game and threw my pitches then I'd be OK and I trusted my team behind me," Lockman said.

Jessica Moore (27-6) allowed three runs on seven hits over three innings in the loss at Oregon's Howe Field.

"You're never ready for it to end, especially when you have a team like this," Oregon coach Mike White said.

Pappas' RBI single in the 11th inning gave Oregon a 4-3 victory to force Game 3. Pappas scored Janie Takeda, who singled to lead off the inning then stole second.

Reliever Cheridan Hawkins (18-6) went seven innings for the win.

Tatum Edwards hit a home run to lead off the game for the Huskers, but Takeda's fielder's choice grounder scored Janelle Lindvall to even the score for the Ducks in the second inning.

Nebraska took the lead in the fourth when Brooke Thomason hit an RBI single before scoring on a throwing error to give the Huskers a 3-1.

Lindvall hit a solo homer for the Ducks in the sixth to close the gap. Oregon tied it in the top of the seventh when Courtney Ceo went to third on an error and scored on Kaylan Howard's groundout.

Tatum Edwards (30-9) allowed all four Oregon runs on 14 hits, going all 11 innings for the Huskers.

"We had a lot of energy and momentum going into the second game. It went back-and-forth the whole series and we weren't able to grab control. Things just fell their way," Moore said.

The Huskers, who have dropped just one game in the postseason, won Saturday night's opener 5-2.

The Women's College World Series opens Thursday in Oklahoma City.

It is Nebraska's seventh overall trip to the championship tournament, but the Huskers have never won the national title.

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