The Nebraska softball team clinched its first road series in College Park, Maryland, over Easter weekend with two wins in the three-game series against Maryland.
All three games of the series were shutouts. The Huskers won by scores of 3-0 and 4-0 and lost by a score of 2-0. Sunday’s victory marked the 11th shutout of the season which is the most in a single-season since 2014 (18).
Series won. ✔️ pic.twitter.com/ol6tC6Nltp
— Nebraska Softball (@HuskerSoftball) April 9, 2023
Courtney Wallace improved to to 17-8 with a game one win. She pitched the final four innings and held Maryland to one hit and struck out four. Her win total matches her career-high from the 2022 season.
Sarah Harness earned the win on Sunday to move to 9-4 on the year. She pitched five complete innings and gave up one hit, struck out three and walked three.
Brooke Andrews joined the double-digit home run club with her 10th of the season on Friday. She continues to smash every previous offensive career-high she has set and now ranks fifth in the conference for home runs and seventh for RBIs (36).
𝗕𝗢𝗢𝗠.@brookeandrews_ sends one over the scoreboard to put the Huskers up 3-0! pic.twitter.com/M0GQJj6E4y
— Nebraska Softball (@HuskerSoftball) April 7, 2023
The Huskers continue Big Ten play on the road this weekend at Indiana. The Hoosiers just saw their historic 23-game winning streak come to an end at Minnesota where the Gophers won the series.
Here are five things Nebraska will have to do to win the series against one of the hottest teams in the country.
Keep Taryn Kern off the Bases
Indiana freshman Taryn Kern is, at the rate, the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and could be in the running for Big Ten Player of the Year.
She set a program record over the weekend with her 17th home run of the season. Kern leads the conference in slugging (1.019), on-base percentage (.592), OPS (1.611), RBIs (49), home runs (17), walks (28) and hit by pitch (14).
Limit the Damage
Indiana has the best team batting average in the conference with .329, Nebraska is behind them at .316.
The Hoosiers have scored a conference-high 290 runs and also lead the league in doubles (73), home runs (57), RBIs (272), total bases (598), slugging (.578), on-base percentage (.434), stolen bases (86-for-100).
Indiana may lead the conference offensively but the Hoosiers are 12th (out of 14) in pitching. The pitching staff’s earned run average is 3.90 and the strikeout-to-walk ration is 180-to-89.
They have allowed the most hits and runs to opponents with 284 and 174.
Make the Defense Work
It may sound cliché but putting the ball in play forces the defense to make plays and the Hoosiers actually lead the league with 49 errors.
Their .956 fielding percentage is 12th but, ironically, they have turned 16 double plays which is tops in the conference.
Ride the Momentum
The game doesn’t know who is supposed to win but for the first time this season, Indiana is on a two-game losing streak in the conference.
With a 9-2 record, Indiana sits behind Northwestern atop the standings and Nebraska at 7-4 is in fifth. A series win for the Huskers could really flip the script and put Nebraska towards the top of the conference.
Maren covers softball for Hail Varsity and co-hosts the Behind the Plate with Maren and Nate podcast.