The Nebraska softball team finished eighth in the final ESPN.com/USA Softball and USA Today/NFCA top-25 polls, released on Tuesday. National champion Oklahoma earned the top spot in both polls.
The No. 8 ranking was Nebraska’s third-highest finish since the polls began in 1995 and the highest since NU finished sixth in 2002. The Huskers earned a spot in the final top 25 for the 14th time in the 19 years the USA Today/NFCA poll has existed. Nebraska began the year unranked and receiving no votes in either poll.
The Huskers finished 45-16 in 2013, posting the fifth-most victories in school history. Following a second-place Big Ten Conference finish, Nebraska earned a No. 14 national seed for the NCAA Tournament. The Huskers were selected to host an NCAA Regional at Bowlin Stadium for the fifth time since the facility opened in 2002, but for the first time since 2007 and for the first time as a No. 1 seed. Nebraska went 3-0 at its home regional, advancing to the first NCAA Super Regional in school history and capturing its first NCAA Regional crown since 2002.
Nebraska then went 2-1 at No. 3 Oregon to earn the seventh trip to the Women’s College World Series in school history and the first since 2002. The Huskers fared well in Oklahoma City, despite an 0-2 record. Both losses at the WCWS – and all three of Nebraska’s postseason losses – came in extra innings to top-10 opponents.
One of only four teams to defeat top-ranked Oklahoma in 2013, Nebraska finished with five victories over teams that finished the season ranked in the top 10 in both polls. The Huskers return seven starters and 12 letterwinners for the 2014 season.
Photo Courtesy Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications