The festivities surrounding Nebraska softball’s Senior Day drew more than 1,000 fans on Saturday afternoon in Lincoln but it was a junior who provided the heroics and her family that provided the comedic relief.
Abbie Squier has gotten used to her dad, Jon, becoming the center of attention in the stands. He sits next to the Huskers’ dugout and can be heard yelling many things that don’t quite make sense.
“Honestly, I don’t even think about them and they just fly out of my mouth,” Jon Squier said with a huge smile. “Sometimes I wish they wouldn’t but sometimes I’m like ‘that one was good comedy.’”
Those Squier sayings have been written down over the years and made into t-shirts worn by several parents of Husker players.
“He coached me when I was little and he would always say things like, ‘Shut ‘em down, right out of the gate, feed the wolf,’” Squier said through some giggles. “He’s said them ever since I can remember.”
Abbie grew up attending Husker games. She graduated from Lincoln Southwest High School and is currently one of three team captains. Last season, she was named first team All-Big Ten and National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Second-Team All-Midwest Region.
“It’s fun (being a Husker),” said Squier about being a part of the team she dreamt of playing for. “Especially on weekends like this when the weather is nice and Bowlin is packed. I look into the stands at all the little girls and there’s no better feeling than knowing that I was there one day and I can make an impact on them.”
With one out in the bottom of the sixth inning, trailing Ohio State by one with runners on the corner, Squier executed the squeeze play perfectly to tie the game. Two batters later, the Huskers took a 4-3 lead.
In the top of the seventh, Squier made a leaping catch in left field that most likely saved the game and preserved the win to end Nebraska’s four-game losing streak.
“I was going to do anything to get us on the right side of the scoreboard,” Squier said. “It’s been tough. We’ve lost a lot of one-run games and if I was going to have a chance to score runs for our seniors and get a win on Senior Day, I was going to do it. That was my mentality.”
As soon as the tying run scored, Jon could be seen high-fiving other fans as his daughter breathed new life into the home crowd. One of those fans happened to be Abbie’s sister, Katie, who was proudly wearing a red t-shirt that read “A little more giddy up.”
Her shirt happens to be one of the many that can be seen throughout the season at Husker softball games thanks to the notes she has been taking.
Towards the end of last season, the shirts were passed out and Jon was completely oblivious it to it all until someone pointed it out. A year later, the shirts are proudly worn by those who have them.
“When they revealed those, it was funny. I took a lot of ribbing for it but it was all in good fun.”
Abbie admitted that she doesn’t necessarily hear him when she’s in the box but she does hear him when she is in the field.
“The most embarrassing part is sometimes when I’m in the game I will say things that he says,” she laughed. “I catch myself and I’m like yeah, I am my father’s daughter.”
When asked about his daughter taking after him, he had a simple response.
“I apologize for whatever comes out of her mouth,” Jon said. “I have no explanation for that but she has heard me say things for a long, long time.”
The Squiers will be following the Huskers on the road for the Big Ten Tournament next weekend and to wherever they could end up for Regionals. The classic sayings are sure to follow as well
“I will be at the conference tournament,” he said. “I try to maintain a low profile. At least that’s my mindset going in and it just doesn’t happen.”
Maren covers softball for Hail Varsity and co-hosts the Behind the Plate with Maren and Nate podcast.