Cyclones offense falters against No. 16 Nebraska

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ISU pitcher Breeana Holliday pitches during the game against Baylor on May 1 at the Southwest Athletic Complex. Baylor won the game 10-1. Holliday pitched five innings, allowing three runs on eight hits in the losing effort.

Zach Gourley

The Cyclone softball team (21-26, 3-13 Big 12) dropped its final home game of the season to the No. 16 Nebraska Cornhuskers (37-12, 7-9 Big 12) on Thursday.

Hoping to help usher the Cornhuskers out of the Big 12 conference with a rude farewell, the Cyclones’ offense was nowhere to be found in the 10-1 loss.

Nebraska pitcher Ashley Hagemann was dominant through six innings of work, giving up just one run on three hits to the Cyclones.

“She has a really good curve ball and she has a lot of pitches that naturally break up, and I think that it is hard to lay off of that,” ISU coach Stacy Gemeinhardt-Cesler said of Hagemann. “She’s done a really good job for them.”

Gemeinhardt-Cesler went through three of her own pitchers during the course of the game, as the Cyclones struggled to stop the powerful Nebraska offense.

Freshman Breeanna Holliday garnered the start for the Cyclones and lasted until the third inning, when Brooke Thomason smashed a three-run homer to put Nebraska up 5-0.

Lauren Kennewell then entered to pitch for the Cyclones, but the junior right-hander gave up two runs in the fifth inning and struggled in the sixth, walking three batters while giving up three more runs.

The lone run came to the plate for the Cyclones in the bottom of the fifth inning off of Erin Johnson’s first collegiate home run.

“My first at-bat, I let the first pitch go and it was straight down the middle. So I knew that they probably put down in the book that I wasn’t going to swing on the first pitch,” Johnson said. “So I knew I was going to get a good first pitch and I just saw it down the middle, and I got out ahead of it and it worked out.”

Kennewell would eventually give up five runs on two hits in two and two-thirds innings of work before being pulled out in favor of Tori Torrescano, who finished off the final inning.

“It’s one of those games where all of a sudden you realize you’re down 10-1 and you don’t know where it came from,” Kennewell said.

The Cyclones will finish their season this weekend with a doubleheader at No. 6 Missouri. The first game of the series will be on Saturday at 2 p.m.