The Nebraska softball team (34-20) fell to No. 19 Northwestern, 8-0 in five innings, in the Big Ten Tournament Semifinal game on Friday night in Urbana, Ill. 

The Wildcats (37-11) tallied eight runs on 10 hits while Skyler Shellmyer, Hannah Cady and Angela Zedak all finished with two hits. Danielle Williams moved to 18-1 on the season with the win for the Wildcats. Williams pitched the complete game, holding NU to four hits while striking out three. 

The Husker offense was led by Courtney Wallace who finished 2-for-2 on the day. Abbie Squier and Ashley Smetter each added a hit. Wallace (23-14) recorded the loss in the circle, pitching the first inning and giving up three runs on three hits. Sarah Harness pitched the final three innings, allowing five runs on seven hits. 

Northwestern took an early 3-0 lead in the first inning. With one out, Kansas Robinson hit a single up the middle. With two outs, a walk put runners on first and second. Back-to-back doubles from Nikki Cuchran and Zedak scored three.

The Huskers looked to score after Wallace reached scoring position with a single and a stolen base in the top of the third, but NU was unable to capitalize and went into the bottom of the inning trailing, 3-0.

The Wildcats added three runs on four hits in the bottom of the third inning. A walk and a single put runners on first and second. A fly out recorded the first out, but moved the runners to second and third. Zedak added her second double of the game, scoring two, but getting thrown out at third. A solo homer from Maeve Nelson scored the third run of the inning as Northwestern extended their lead to 6-0. 

Two hits and three walks added two more runs for the Wildcats in the fourth inning. A single and two walks loaded the bases. A single from Hannah Cady drove in two runs as Northwestern extended the lead to 8-0. 

NU looked to rally in the top of the fifth. Squier led off with a single to right field, but a line into a double play cleared the bases. With two outs, Wallace hit an infield single followed by a single to left field from Smetter, who entered as a pinch hitter. Billie Andrews was walked to load the bases, but the Big Red was unable to capitalize, stranding three. Northwestern advanced to the Big Ten Tournament Final with the 8-0 run-rule victory. 

Nebraska will await word on the postseason tournament when the NCAA announces its 64-team field on Sunday, May 14, at 6 p.m. (CT) on ESPN2.

Throwers Lead Huskers to Three Titles on Day One

The Nebraska track and field team secured three gold medals - all in throwing events - on the first day of the Big Ten Outdoor Championships at the Robert C. Haugh Track & Field Complex in Bloomington, Ind., on Friday. 

Rhema Otabor and Arthur Petersen swept the javelin titles, while Tanessa Morris was victorious in the women's hammer throw. The Huskers dominated the javelin with a 1-2-3-4 finish for the women and a 1-2 finish for the men. 

Otabor, the NCAA leader in the women's javelin, claimed gold after a throw of 189-9 (57.85m). Maddie Harris, a two-time Big Ten champion in the event, was the runner-up with a mark of 184-9 (56.33m). Harris ranks second nationally in the event. Mirta Kulisic completed the sweep of the medals for the NU women by placing third at 174-3 (53.12m). Finally, Eniko Sara came in fourth for the Big Red with a toss of 164-4 (50.08m). The Husker women totaled 29 points in the event.

The Husker women have won the javelin gold medal at the last four Big Ten Outdoor Championships and at seven of the last nine conference meets dating back to 2014. 

Petersen and Dash Sirmon claimed the gold and silver medals, respectively, in the men's javelin. Petersen launched the javelin 252-8 (77.03m) on his final attempt, though his first attempt of the day (248-6, 75.75m) put him in the lead which he never relinquished. The school record holder improved twice on his opening throw, becoming the first Husker man to win a conference javelin title since 2003. Sirmon, a true freshman, was right on his heels with a personal-best throw of 247-2 (75.35m) to finish second. That throw also moved him to No. 3 on NU's all-time chart. Petersen and Sirmon rank sixth and ninth, respectively, in the nation. 

Morris was the women's hammer throw champion after a season-best throw of 205-11 (62.76m), the second-best throw in school history. A senior transfer from Montana, Morris achieved her winning throw on her second attempt and held off Wisconsin's Chloe Lindeman, the Big Ten leader in the event entering the meet. It marks Nebraska's first women's hammer throw title since joining the Big Ten in 2012. Also in the women's hammer throw, Taylor Latimer placed fifth at 195-3 (59.53m) and Hillevi Carlsson was sixth at 192-11 (58.80m), for a total of 17 team points for the Husker women. 

The Husker women have 46 points with three of 21 events completed, putting them in first place after day one. The NU men have 18 points through four events and are in fourth place. 

Till Steinforth is the leader in the decathlon after five events with 4,289 points, which leads by 307 points. Steinforth started the day with event wins and personal bests in the 100m (10.66) and long jump (25-5 1/4, 7.75m). He also set a personal best in the shot put of 46-2 3/4 (14.09m) to place third in that event. Steinforth finished the day with a personal best of 48.06 in the 400m to finish second in that event. Kolby Heinerikson is in ninth place with 3,457 points. 

After day one of the heptathlon, Madi Scholl is in seventh place with 3,186 points and Kerrigan Myers is ninth with 3,125 points. Scholl won the heptathlon high jump with a clearance of 5-8 1/2 (1.74m), and she set personal bests in the shot put of 40-0 1/2 (12.20m) and 200m at 26.54. Myers also had a shot put PR of 37-1 (11.30m) and a 200m PR of 25.58.

Four Huskers moved on from six preliminary races on Friday to advance to the finals on Sunday: Omar Rodgers (400m hurdles), Cory Berg (400m hurdles), Karlie Moore (400m hurdles) and Kavian Kerr (200m). 

Day two of the Big Ten Outdoor Championships begins on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. (CT) with the multi events. Field events begin at 1 p.m. with the men's shot put, and running events start at 3 p.m.