Kaylin Kinney’s first plate appearance against Maryland softball on Sunday was a productive one.
There were two outs and two runners on in the first inning. Kinney swung at Haley Ellefson’s pitch, and the ball rocketed off the bat. Kinney’s ball flew over the left-center field fence and bounced off the Bowlin Stadium scoreboard.
Tristen Edwards, Cam Ybarra and Kinney took a lap, and the Cornhuskers took an early lead. The Terps would never recover.
Maryland was swept by Nebraska after falling by mercy-rule, 8-0, on Sunday. The Terps couldn’t keep the Cornhuskers off the bases through three pitching changes.
Maryland showed promise in the first inning. Jaeda McFarland reached on a dropped third strike, and Taylor Okada followed with a single to advance McFarland.
Trinity Schlotterbeck reached on a fielder’s choice, and McFarland was thrown out at third.
Ellefson drove a hard single up the middle and Okada took a chance. She ran past third base and sprinted home. Rylie Unzicker fielded the ball from center field and she fired it to Nebraska catcher Ally Riley.
Okada slid to get under Riley’s tag, but she was called out, and the Terps lost one of their only scoring chances of the game.
Both teams got into trouble on defense in the first inning, but the Cornhuskers were able to capitalize. Kinney’s homer put her side on the board early.
Nebraska didn’t let up for the rest of the game. In the second inning, Unzicker singled through the right side with two runners on. Edwards and Brooke Andrews both scored on the play to push the Cornhuskers’ lead to 5-0.
Nebraska loaded the bases in the third frame. Kinney, Riley and Abbie Squier all singled to put Maryland into a jam.
Brooke Andrews took the plate looking to clear the bases. She popped up to Campbell Kline in left field. Kinney tagged up on third and sprinted to the plate. The throw from Kline wasn’t enough to catch Kinney, and the Cornhuskers led by six.
After Unzicker struck out looking in the fourth, Billie Andrews stepped up to the plate ready to swing. Jennifer Brann pitched one down the middle, and Andrews delivered.
The ball flew high over the heads of Kline and McFarland in the outfield and over the left-center field wall. Nebraska was just one run away from a mercy-rule finish.
And Ybarra finished the job. Immediately after Billie Andrews in the order, Ybarra took the plate and swung at another Brann pitch. Ybarra’s ball went the opposite direction, soaring over JoJo McRae’s head in right field and over the fence.
Those two solo shots finished the game for the Cornhuskers and sealed the sweep.