NU Takes Three-Game Winning Streak to Wichita State
LINCOLN – The Nebraska softball team takes a three-game winning streak to Wichita, Kan., for a Monday evening matchup with the Wichita State Shockers.
Both the Huskers and Shockers are coming off three-game sweeps over the weekend. Nebraska (7-16) swept two-time defending Western Athletic Conference champion New Mexico State at Bowlin Stadium, wrapping up the sweep with a 4-1 win on Sunday before hopping on a bus to head to Wichita.
Wichita State (15-10), which lost in extra innings to 13th-ranked LSU last Thursday, opened its Missouri Valley Conference schedule with a home sweep of Drake last weekend, outscoring the Bulldogs 24-9.
Fans can watch Monday’s 5 p.m. game on ESPN3 or listen to the game for free on Huskers.com.
Following Monday’s game at Wichita State, the Huskers host Omaha on Wednesday at 3 p.m. before beginning welcoming No. 8 Minnesota to Lincoln for a three-game series to open Big Ten Conference play on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The Huskers have won five of their last nine games and are 7-6 over their last 13 games.
Nebraska totaled 34 hits and 20 runs in its three-game series against New Mexico State, one week after managing only 10 hits and two runs in a three-game series at No. 21 Arizona State. Defensively, NU committed three errors in the NMSU series after making eight errors in the ASU series. Husker pitching also held the Aggies to 10 runs and five extra-base hits one week after surrendering 28 runs and 14 extra-base hits to the Sun Devils.
This Week's Top 10
1) The Huskers have played a nation-leading 11 games against teams ranked in the NFCA poll. No other team in the country has played more than nine games against current top-25 teams.
2) Nebraska has played 16 of its 23 games against teams who are either ranked (12) or receiving votes (four) in this week’s NFCA top-25 poll.
3) According to the most recent NCAA rankings, Nebraska’s opponent winning percentage of .715 ranks second nationally.
4) The Huskers are 5-2 this season in their seven games against teams that are not currently ranked or receiving votes in the NFCA top-25 poll.
5) NU has used a different batting lineup in all 23 games.
6) Nebraska is looking to snap an 11-game road losing streak dating back to last season. The Huskers are 0-6 in road games this season.
7) The Huskers have won a season-high three straight games and are 7-6 over their last 13 games.
8) Nebraska is hitting .319 over its last 13 games after hitting just .180 in its first 10 games.
9) The Husker pitching staff boasts a 3.67 ERA over the last 13 games after posting a 6.13 ERA in the first 10 games of the season.
10) MJ Knighten has produced 17 hits in her last 12 games after totaling only four hits in her first 11 games. Knighten is 17-for-40 (.425) over the last 12 games with five doubles and two homers.
Noting Nebraska's Sweep of New Mexico State
Nebraska posted its first winning weekend of the season and first three-game winning streak by sweeping a three-games series from New Mexico State over the weekend in the Huskers’ first home games of the season.
• Nebraska had at least 10 hits in all three games, totaling 34 hits in the series while batting .374.
• The Huskers have now produced at least 10 hits in six consecutive games against unranked opponents.
• NU produced 11 extra-base hits in the NMSU series with nine doubles and two homers. In its three-game series at No. 21 Arizona State the previous weekend, Nebraska had only one extra-base hit, a solo home run.
• Nebraska had at least three extra-base hits in all three games of the New Mexico State series. In the first 20 games of the season, the Huskers had only four games with three-or-more extra-base hits.
• NU tied its season high with four doubles in game two of Saturday’s doubleheader.
• Nebraska stole seven bases in the final two games of the series after totaling only 11 stolen bases in the first 21 games of the season.
• The Huskers stole a season-high four bases on Sunday.
• NU turned four double plays in the three games, including setting a season high with two double plays in game one on Saturday and game three on Sunday.
• Nebraska tied its season low by limiting New Mexico State to one run and one earned run on Sunday.
• NU allowed only five extra-base hits in the series. The Huskers had allowed at least one extra-base hit in 20 of their first 22 games before holding NMSU without an extra-base hit in the series finale on Sunday.
• Nebraska had allowed a home run in nine straight games before holding New Mexico State without a home run in the final two games of the weekend.
• The Huskers rallied from a late four-run deficit in the series opener, winning for the first time this year when trailing after five innings (had been 0-11) and after six innings (had been 0-10).
• In game one, Nebraska rallied to win when trailing after six innings for the first time in 29 games dating back to a win over Purdue last April.
• Nebraska won the series opener despite being out-hit, 14-10, marking the first game the Huskers have won this season when being out-hit (had been 0-14).
• Individually, sophomore Alyvia Simmons and freshman Tristen Edwards both produced their first career three-hit game over the weekend, while junior Taylor Otte recorded her first career multi-hit game.
Scouting Wichita State (15-10)
its last five after sweeping Drake in a three-game series to open Missouri Valley Conference play over the weekend. The Shockers’ lone loss in their past five games was a 4-3 eight-inning setback last Thursday to No. 13 LSU, when Wichita State was one out away from an upset before an error allowed the tying run to score in the top of the seventh inning. WSU is 3-2 at home with losses to No. 13 LSU and No. 9 Oklahoma.
Offensively, Wichita State is batting .322 and has hit 24 home runs in 25 games, helping the Shockers average 5.9 runs per game. Seven regulars in the lineup are hitting above .315.
Kelli Spring leads the team with a .383 average and nine stolen bases in nine attempts. Mackenzie Wright is hitting .378 with a team-high nine doubles, and she has added 17 RBIs. Laurie Derrico owns a .375 average and leads the Shockers with six homers and 27 RBIs. Mauriana Jamele is batting .339, while Madison Perrigan is hitting .333 with six doubles, four homers and 20 RBIs. Ashley Johnson (.320) and McKenzie Adams (.317) are also hitting above .300, while Macklin Hitz has hit five home runs to complement a .296 average and Paige Luellen has homered six times while posting a .292 average.
In the circle, Wichita State boasts a 3.10 ERA while limiting opponents to 4.3 runs per game. Katie Malone, a native of Crete, Neb., is the Shockers’ ace and has thrown nearly 70 percent of Wichita State’s total innings while appearing in all 25 games. She has compiled a 13-6 record with a 2.46 ERA in 114.0 innings. She has struck out 92 and walked only 35. Bailey Klitzke has seen the most action behind Malone, posting a 2-2 record with a 4.04 ERA over 13 appearances and six starts totaling 34.2 innings. Jenni Brooks (0-2, 5.57 ERA in 16.1 IP) rounds out the staff.