EVANSTON, Ill. — Northwestern University Women’s Softball clinched back-to-back Big Ten regular season championships after beating Nebraska, 10-9, Sunday.

The win represents the first time that Wildcats Softball has claimed back-to-back Big Ten Titles since the 1986-87 seasons.

Game Recap

The Wildcats did their damage at the plate in the top of the first and fifth innings.

After going down 2-0 in the top of the first, Hannah Cady delivered the lead right back to Northwestern, hitting a 3-run home run on a 3-2 count with one out in the bottom half of the inning. Maeve Nelson would round out the Wildcats scoring in the first with a 2-out, RBI double to give Northwestern a 4-2 lead after one.

However, the Cornhuskers didn’t roll over. Behind a trio of home runs, Nebraska added four across the second and third innings, giving them a 6-4 advantage by the time the fifth inning arrived.

The Cornhuskers added three more runs in the top of the fifth, courtesy of a leadoff solo home run, an RBI hit-by-pitch with the bases loaded, and a run-scoring strike three wild pitch.

Down 9-4 heading into the bottom half of the fifth, the Wildcat bats exploded for six runs (all with two outs) to storm back and take the lead a second time — and this time — for good.

Cady was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning before Nikki Cuchran hit into a double play.

From there, Angela Zedak worked a four-pitch walk, Nelson singled to short, Kelsey Nader singled to third, and they all came home on a pinch-hit single to left field from Kendall Peterson.

With the score now 9-7, Skyler Shellmyer drove in Peterson from second on an RBI single and followed it up by stealing second herself. Then, the wheels started to fall off for Nebraska.

Kansas Robinson battled to a 3-2 count before working a walk, then Shellmyer and Robinson advanced to second and third on a wild pitch. Next, Jordyn Rudd reached base on an error by Cornhusker’s pitcher Courtney Wallace, which led to Shellmyer crossing home plate for the game-tying run.

Knotted at 9-9 with runners on the corners, Robinson ran home on a Wallace wild pitch to take the lead, 10-9, at the end of five.

Danielle Williams went on to toss scoreless frames in the sixth and seventh innings to close the door on Nebraska, and deliver a Big Ten title-clinching victory for Northwestern.

The Northwestern Wildcats celebrate and hoist the 2023 Big Ten regular season championship trophy. (Credit: Ryan Kuttler/Northwestern Athletics)

Williams earned the win on the mound for the Wildcats, tossing 3.0 innings of one-run ball while striking out three.

Cady finished the day pacing Northwestern at the plate, going 1-3 with a home run and 3 RBIs. Nelson, Peterson and Shellmyer each notched two-hit days for the Wildcats as well.

Next, Northwestern (33-10, 18-2) travels to Piscataway, New Jersey for a three-game series against Rutgers to round out the regular season before the Big Ten Tournament commences on May 10.