ANN ARBOR, Mich. — After getting within one game of .500 less than two weeks ago, Nebraska ended its softball season Thursday with a four-game losing streak when Penn State eliminated the Huskers 5-0 in the first round of the Big Ten Conference softball tournament.
The Huskers finished the season at 24-29 after a sweep of Northwestern in late April moved NU’s record to 24-25. Purdue swept Nebraska in the final three games of the regular season before Penn State eliminated NU and advanced to play Illinois in Friday’s 12:30 p.m. quarterfinal game.
Nebraska got just two hits — a double by Tristen Edwards in the second inning and a single by Kaylan Jablonski in the fourth after MJ Knighten opened the inning with a leadoff walk.
The Huskers were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and twice had a runner at third base with fewer than two outs but failed to score. Penn State had more timely hitting, going 4-for-10 with runners in scoring position, including three hits with two outs.
Nittany Lions pitcher Marlaina Laubach recorded her third shutout of the season and improved her record to 12-11 with the win. PSU chased Nebraska starter Cassie McClure from the game with two out in the top of the second inning.
The loss was the final Nebraska game for four seniors — Knighten, McClure, Rachel Arthur and Lotte Sjulin.
Penn State (23-32) …… 210 010 1—5 8 0
Nebraska (24-29) ……… 000 000 0—0 2 0
W-Marlaina Laubach (12-11). L-Cassie McClure (11-9). 2B-PSU, Rebecca Ziggler; N, Tristen Edwards. HR-Ziegler.