The Nebraska softball team (23-9, 3-0 Big Ten) opened conference play with a sweep of Purdue in Lincoln over the weekend.
The series marked the sixth-consecutive Big Ten series win dating back to 2022 and includes four series sweeps at Bowlin Stadium.
Brooke Andrews capped off a high-scoring 9-7 win on Friday night with a three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning. She finished the game 2-for-3 with five RBIs and was one of six Huskers who had multiple hits in the contest.
Mya Felder led the Huskers on Saturday, going 3-for-4 with an RBI and run scored in a 4-1 win. She also powered the Nebraska offense with a solo homer on Sunday in route to a 4-2 victory.
The Huskers have now won 18 of their last 21 games. They head to Iowa for a midweek doubleheader on Tuesday and return home to host Michigan in a three-game series this weekend.
Brooke Andrews Is Having a Career Year
Andrews is having the best year statistically in her career and its only March. Andrews is batting .326 with 29 hits, 20 runs scored, six doubles, six home runs and 28 RBIs through the first 32 games.
In comparison, her best season before this was last year. She batted .248 with 27 hits, 27 runs scored, six doubles, one triple, five homers and 16 RBIs in 55 games.
Her last two home runs have come at clutch times. Both were three-run dingers and lifted the Huskers to victory.
What a day for Brooke Andrews and #Huskers softball!
Andrews met with the media following the win, sharing thoughts on that three-run home run and more.
🎥: @Maren_Angus https://t.co/dz6QxtBh7K
— Hail Varsity (@HailVarsity) March 23, 2023
Sarah Harness Pitched Well
On Friday night, Sarah Harness earned the win after pitching four innings in relief. She gave up two hits while striking out four.
She got the start again on Sunday. She pitched 3.1 innings and held Purdue to two hits and one run. She struck out three.
Harness didn’t get the decision on Sunday so she improved to 8-3 overall on the year.
Settin' the tone early. 🤙@harness_sarah strikes out the side & sits down Purdue in order in the first. pic.twitter.com/UkGvxQk3V2
— Nebraska Softball (@HuskerSoftball) March 26, 2023
Courtney Wallace Needs to Be More Consistent
Courtney Wallace started Friday’s game and only lasted three innings. She gave up six hits and seven runs (five earned). She walked five and struck out three. But the most surprising stat is that she threw 93 pitches and faced 22 batters.
Her pitch count was extremely high compared to the 58 Harness threw to 17 batters in four innings.
Wallace improved her performance on Saturday with a complete-game gem. She held Purdue to one hit and scoreless though six innings. She surrendered two hits including a solo homer in the seventh.
The home run was the only baserunner to pass first base on Saturday.
On Sunday, Wallace improved to 14-5 after entering in the fourth inning. She pitched 3.2 innings of relief and only allowed one hit.
The solo home run on Saturday was the only extra-base hit for Purdue in the series.
Katelyn Caneda Making Case for Big Ten Freshman of the Year
Freshman Katelyn Caneda continues to lead the Husker with a .407 batting average and is one of four Huskers to start all 32 games this season.
Caneda ranks sixth in the conference in batting average.
The favorite right now for the award has to be Taryn Kern of Indiana. She is batting .450 with 11 home runs and 35 RBIs.
Maren covers softball for Hail Varsity and co-hosts the Behind the Plate with Maren and Nate podcast.