Her name is Sarah Workman, not Sarah Workhorse. That's Kansas University softball coach Tracy Bunge's unwavering dogma.
Workman tossed 10 innings without allowing a run as Kansas divided a softball doubleheader with Nebraska on Saturday afternoon at Jayhawk Field.
Workman threw a three-hitter and Leah Tabb doubled home the only run to lift Kansas to a 1-0 win in the opener.
However, Nebraska scored six runs off KU pitchers Melanie DeWinter and Christy McPhail in the first four innings and won the second game, 6-3. Workman tossed the last three innings without allowing a run.
Meanwhile, Nebraska's Jenny Voss pitched all 13 innings of the twinbill -- something Bunge refuses do with Workman.
"Number one, I have enough confidence our other two pitchers can do the job," Bunge said. "Number two, I don't want to overload Sarah. She needs to be fresh going into the Big 12 tournament."
For most of the spring, Bunge has used Workman, now 16-11 with a 1.21 earned run average in the first game of doubleheaders, then in the late innings of the second game, if needed.
Two years ago, Workman, a lanky right-hander from Orlando, Fla., usually worked both games of twinbills. But then she was forced to sit out all last season with an elbow injury.
"They're kind of nervous because of my injury," said Workman who ices both her shoulder and elbow after pitching. "Whatever."
On Saturday, she relied mostly on her curveball to baffle the Cornhuskers.
"Honestly, I don't think my riseball has resurfaced," Workman said. "But the control is back, and the curve is back."
Workman held NU's Jennifer Lizama in check, but the Huskers' second baseman hit her 11th home run of the season off DeWinter in the second and her 12th off McPhail in the fourth.
Meanwhile, KU leadoff hitter Shelly Musser went 4-for-4 in the second game and lifted her batting average to .307. Musser also boosted her league-leading stolen base total to 35 with a theft in the second game.
One of Musser's hits was a double over the right fielder's head.
"Now teams have to respect Shelly's power," Bunge said. "They can't play the infield in, and that leaves her open to drop a bunt."
Kansas, now 7-7 in the league and 26-25 overall, will conclude its conference schedule in a doubleheader against Iowa State at noon today at Jayhawk Field.
Nebraska, 9-6 in the Big 12 and 27-16 overall, will wind up at Missouri today.
Kansas has a home date with Wichita State next Tuesday before traveling to Oklahoma City for the conference tourney on May 12-15.
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