May 20, 2006
IOWA CITY, IA – No. 14 Nebraska scored three runs in the top of the sixth and held on for a 3-1 victory over Illinois State Saturday night at Pearl Field. Nebraska (44-11) advances to play No. 4 California (46-12) Sunday in the regional final at 12 p.m. (CDT). The regular season Missouri Valley champion Illinois State Redbird’s season concludes with a record of 38-16.
Both Nebraska and Illinois State scored its first run of the game via throwing errors. Illinois State started the bottom of the fourth with back-to-back bunt singles by Tricia Gaither and Randi Patton to table set the frame. Nebraska pitcher Ashley DeBuhr got the next two batters to strikeout and was on the verge of getting out of the jam, but a throwing error by thirdbaseman Carmen Kier allowed Gaither to cross the plate and give the Redbirds the early 1-0 advantage.
Nebraska’s KoKo Tacha tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the sixth when she scored from second base after Illinois State pitcher Shannon Nicholson overthrew the first baseman on a Jessica Yoachim bunt attempt. After an intentional walk to Jamie Waldecker, Trisha Tannahill registered the game-winning RBI single to right center that plated Yoachim. The Cornhuskers added an insurance run on an RBI groundout that scored pinch runner Jamie Borg to increase their lead to 3-1. Only one of the three runs were earned.
DeBuhr struck out 14 batters and was credited with her 26th win of the season. The junior retired the last ten batters to help propel the Cornhuskers to the regional finals. She allowed no earned runs, only two hits and did not walk any Redbirds.
Nicholson threw five and one third innings, allowed one earned run, three hits, three walks and struck out four in receiving her sixth loss of the season. Stacy Birk relieved Nicholson in the sixth and retired all five batters she faced.
WP – DeBuhr (26-9)
LP – Nicholson (16-6)
LOB – NEB (3); ISU (2)