Photo by Stephanie Carpenter/Nebraska Communications

Huskers Head to Atlanta for Big Ten/ACC Challenge

By NU Athletic Communications

The Nebraska softball team (5-1, 0-0 Big Ten) travels to Atlanta, Ga., this weekend to take on Georgia Tech and Boston College as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Indiana will join Nebraska as the other Big Ten team at the site.

Nebraska will play both Georgia Tech and Boston College twice over the weekend for a total of four games. The Huskers start action on Friday, Feb. 16 against Georgia Tech at 3 p.m. CT. On Saturday, NU plays Boston College at 9 a.m. CT and Georgia Tech at 2 p.m. CT. The Big Red finishes the weekend on Sunday, playing Boston College at 9 a.m.

Last Time Out

Nebraska is coming off a 5-1 weekend at the Kajikawa Classic, which included wins against No. 19 BYU and No. 15 Utah.

The Huskers started the weekend with a thrilling eight-inning comeback win over No. 19 BYU on Feb. 9. The Huskers scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh to push the game to extra innings and won in the eighth inning after Tristen Edwards hit a two-out game-winning RBI single. The victory was the Huskers' first season-opening win against a ranked opponent since 2007, when NU beat No. 24 Auburn 1-0 in eight innings. Friday night, Nebraska recorded its only loss of the weekend to No. 23 Arizona State. The Big Red picked up a pair of wins on Saturday, including a 5-0 shutout of No. 15 Utah, where senior Kaylan Jablonski pitched six scoreless innings. She also led the Huskers on offense, finishing with two hits, including a solo home run. In the afternoon game, Nebraska beat San Diego State, 5-3, thanks to clutch hitting by the Huskers. The team hit 7-for-13 with two outs and scored all of its runs with two outs. On Sunday morning, Nebraska dominated CSUN, 9-1, in five innings. Every starter got at least one hit against the Matadors. Edwards led the way with three hits, one run and one RBI. Bri Cassidy hit a three-run homer and Alyvia Simmons and Lexey Kneib each had two hits on the day. Nebraska finished the weekend with a 3-2 win over Seattle thanks to tough pitching by Jablonski and Ferrell and offensive efforts by Edwards and Jablonski.

Scouting Georgia Tech

The Yellow Jackets return two pitchers in senior Emily Anderson and sophomore Brooke Barfield. Anderson has led the Jackets in ERA and win-loss percentage since 2016 and led the team in strikeouts last season with 111. Seniors Kelsey Chisholm and Malea Bell are expected to help Georgia Tech on offense. Chisholm led the team in RBIs, home runs and stolen bases last season.

Georgia Tech opened its season last weekend at the Sand Dollar Classic in Gulf Shores, Ala., and only played two games, as all others got rained out. Georgia Tech lost to both Lipscomb (1-0) and Florida A&M (8-6) and will play a mid-week game Wednesday night against cross-town rival Georgia State before taking on the Huskers on Friday.

After the first weekend, Anderson is one of 62 pitchers in the nation without an earned run. Against Lipscomb, she threw all eight innings for five strikeouts and five hits, but earned the loss to move to 0-1 on the season. Brook Barfield also has seen some action in the circle this season, pitching 4.2 innings and giving up just one earned run. She has an ERA of 1.50.

Georgia Tech has already had some newcomers who have made an immediate impact on the team. In the season opener, three freshmen made their collegiate debuts. Lilly Hooper started at third, Saige Pye started at the designated player spot and Skye Webb started in left. Webb also got her first career collegiate hit in the first game. Her hit was just one of two hits that game. In the second game, freshman Naomi Dickerson (0-1) made her debut in the circle. Classmates Cameron Stanford and Breanna Roper also got starts in center field and shortstop, respectively.

Scouting Boston College

Boston College started the season 1-4 at the Aggie Classic in College Station, Texas, last weekend. The Eagles lost to Texas Tech, Texas A&M twice and Houston. Boston College defeated Texas State in the final game of the classic. The Eagles will take on Indiana on Friday, before they face the Huskers on Saturday.

The Eagles are led in the circle by senior Jessica Dreswick who set a single-season record in 2017, winning 22 games and earned All-ACC first-team honors. She recorded the team’s only win of the season. Allyson Frei (0-4) joins Dreswick in the circle. Despite not playing in 2017 due to injury, Frei is a force to be reckoned with. She led the team in ERA as a freshman and earned NFCA Mid-Atlantic All-Region second team honors.

The two serve as captains this year, along with senior shortstop Chloe Sharabba, who was second on the team in home runs (8) and slugging percentage (.533) last season. After the first weekend, she  leads the conference in doubles and ranks third in hits and on base percentage.

Follow the Huskers

All Nebraska games will air on Huskers.com (radio), courtesy of the IMG Husker Sports Network. Additionally, both games against Georgia Tech will be available on WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN mobile app.

 

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