Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Brooke Andrews Becoming ‘Ms. Clutch’ for Husker Softball

March 30, 2023

Brooke Andrews is on fire and that is not an understatement. The junior outfielder, and sometimes infielder, has delivered at the plate consistently throughout the first half of the season.

Andrews has set career highs in almost every offensive category and it isn’t April yet. Through the first 34 games, she is batting .344 with 33 hits, 22 runs scored, seven doubles, eight home runs and 31 runs batted in. She is slugging .667 and has an on-base percentage of .379.

To compare those stats to years before, her best to date was last season. She batted .248 with 27 runs scored, 27 hits, six doubles, one triple, five home runs and 16 RBIs. She slugged .459 and had a .322 OBP.

Andrews spoke with Behind the Plate’s Nate Rohr following a doubleheader at Iowa on Tuesday where she went 4-for-7 with two home runs, one double, three RBIs and two runs scored.

“I’m really just focusing on my swing this year and (you know) whatever happens, happens,” Andrews said about her new-found power game. “The home runs have just been coming a lot more often this year so, I’m not complaining.”

Andrews has homered in four of her last six games with two of them coming in the same situation. Huskers down by a run in the bottom of the sixth inning with two runners on. Both dingers lifted Nebraska to victory.

“Brooke has really been an important part of our offense this year,” said head coach Rhonda Revelle following the Huskers’ 3-1 home-opening win over Iowa State. “If you go back and look at her numbers and when she is putting them up, it’s really at critical times and important times for us.”

But she isn’t the only Andrews in the lineup. Her younger sister, Billie, has been a force in the Nebraska lineup since she stepped foot on campus her freshman season.

“Everyone talks about how it (the ball) comes off Bilie’s bat,” Revelle continued. “It comes off Brooke’s bat just like that.”

Andrews’ history of prolific offense began in high school. She was a four-year starter at Gretna and was a four-time all-conference honoree. She was honored by the Lincoln Journal Star and Omaha World Herald three times as one of the top players in her class.

She finished her high school career with a .445 batting average (.542 as a senior), 147 runs scored, 130 RBIs, 36 home runs and 52 stolen bases in 110 games. Andrews was also a key member of her Nebraska Gold club team.

But her development as a collegiate student-athlete has been a slower process. Her freshman season in 2020 was cut short due to COVID. She started 31 games in 2021 and 35 in 2022.

“I definitely got a lot more experience from freshman year playing a lot of games against a lot of good teams. Even playing with my teammates, they are good too,” said Andrews. “Just being able to experience a whole lot of situations have helped me become the player I am today.”

The player she is today has really stood out to her oldest sister, Nicole Butler, who is a coach in the Nebraska Gold organization.

“I think she’s more aggressive, but also disciplined,” she told Hail Varisty in a text. “She looks much more confident in the box and confident than she has in previous years and I’m guessing that has to do with maturing and understanding the game more. She understands her role and strengths and doesn’t try to be something she’s not. I think she’s just more tough overall.”

Andrews is ranked No. 5 in the Big Ten in home runs (8), No. 6 in RBIs (31), OPS (1.157), total bases (64). Her slugging percentage (.667) is good for eighth.

The rest of the season is mostly conference play where she will help Nebraska defend its Big Ten Tournament title and reach the NCAA Tournament but, she also has set some personal goals that she wants to accomplish.

“For myself, just continuing to be a consistent hitter and making quick adjustments in the game. Keep seeing pitches, keep getting base hits and keep scoring runs for my team,” she responded. “Defensively, going hard after every ball in my range and get outs for our pitchers.”

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