CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Nebraska ended its eight-game losing streak Sunday with a 6-3 victory over Illinois in its final Big Ten game of the regular season.
Olivia Ferrell (9-7) pitched a complete game, scattering nine hits and giving up three earned runs. Taylor Otte led the offense, going 3 for 4 with a double, a homer and a career-best four RBIs.
Illinois scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning before the Huskers (31-22, 9-13 Big Ten) bounced back in the third to take the lead for good. Ferrell led off with a single before Sarah Yocum and Gina Metzler reached base on errors.
Tristen Edwards’ sacrifice brought home Ferrell before Otte’s three-run home run put the Huskers ahead 4-2. The Illini (36-17, 13-8) got one run back in the bottom of the third before the Huskers sealed the victory with two runs in the seventh.
The Huskers will play Michigan State at 4:30 p.m. Thursday in the first round of the Big Ten tournament at Wisconsin. Nebraska will be the No. 9 seed and the Spartans (24-25, 10-12) the No. 8 seed. Nebraska won the regular-season series between the teams 2-1.
Nebraska (31-22, 9-13)……004 000 2—6 8 0
At Illinois (36-17, 13-8)……201 000 0—3 9 2
W: Ferrell, 9-7. L: Oestreich, 15-9. 2B: N, Edwards, Otte. HR: N, Otte. I, Thomas, Abello.