Photo by Stephanie Carpenter/Nebraska Communications

Huskers Host Jackrabbits in Mid-Week Doubleheader

By NU Athletic Communications

LINCOLN –The Nebraska softball team returns home to Bowlin Stadium on Wednesday afternoon to host South Dakota State. The Huskers and the Jackrabbits will play a doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m.

Last Time Out
The Huskers are coming off a 4-0 trip to Lawrence, Kan., for the Jayhawk Invitational. Nebraska topped Green Bay, Northern Iowa, Tulsa and host Kansas over the weekend. Kaylan Jablonski led the team in the circle, picking up three wins, which included two complete games. She pitched 18.0 innings, had seven strikeouts and finished the weekend with an ERA of 1.17. On offense, freshman Ally Riley had the hot bat. Riley played in three games and went 4-for-8, with two RBIs. Tristen Edwards and Jablonski also had good weekends offensively. Edwards batted .400, with three doubles and a homerun. She also slugged .800. Jablonski batted .333 and also had a home run.

Worth Noting
The Huskers’ victory over Northern Iowa marked Rhonda’ Revelle’s 950th win as the head coach of Nebraska.

Scouting South Dakota State
South Dakota State enters Wednesday’s doubleheader with a 14-7 record. The 14 wins mark the program’s best start through 21 games under fourth-year coach Krista Wood. Previously, SDSU’s best start under Wood was eight wins through 21 games (2015 and 2017).

Most recently, the Jackrabbits finished 8-2 at the USF Under Armour Showcase in Clearwater, Fla. SDSU beat Penn, Niagara, Central Michigan, Seton Hall, Central Connecticut State, Maine, Quinnipiac and Denver State. The team fell to Loyola Chicago and Bethune-Cookman.

At the plate, the Jackrabbits are led by senior Abbey Murphy, who is batting .446, with 33 hits, six doubles, one triple and 20 RBIs. Murphy has started all 21 games for SDSU and is the only regular hitter batting  above .400. She is getting help from Julia Anderson, Brittney Morse, Baily Janssen and Ali Herdliska, who all have 21 starts as well, and are averaging above .300.

In the circle, senior Madison Hope has pitched 66.1 innings and has an 8-1 record, with a 3.93 ERA. Hope has pitched four complete games, including two solo shutouts. She also as one save. Freshman Taylor Compton has also seen significant action for the Jackrabbits, pitching 56.2 innings through 17 appearances and 11 starts. Compton has an ERA of 6.35 and a 5-6 record. She also has pitched four complete games, including one complete shutout. Additionally, Compton has earned two saves.

Minimizing Errors

The Huskers' fielding percentage is at an all-time high so far this season at .978. If Nebraska continues this pace, it would set the school record for fielding percentage, as the current record is .973. Despite having almost a completely different infield from last year, that at times includes five first-years at respective positions, the Huskers have just 14 errors through 22 games. Last season, NU had 32 errors through 22 games and was fielding .947. Addtionally, the Huskers rank second in the conference in fielding percentage, and 15th nationally.

Ally Riley Making Noise On Offense

Freshman Ally Riley started the season as the backup catcher behind Bri Cassidy, but when the Husker bats went quiet, Riley moved into the batting order. After her latest performances, it’s possible she could find a spot in the regular lineup.  Freshman Ally Riley started the season as the backup catcher behind Bri Cassidy, but when the Husker bats went quiet, Riley moved into the batting order. After her latest performances, it’s possible she could find a spot in the regular lineup.  Riley has played in nine games and is batting .364, which currently leads the team. Riley has eight hits, with one double, one run and five RBIs. She is also slugging .409. In the Wichita State series, Riley, along with fellow freshman, Olivia Ferrell, led the offensive efforts on the team. Riley went  3-for-8 with three RBIs. Together, her and Ferrell, went 5-for-12 (.417) over the weekend, while the rest of the team was 10-for-58 (.172). At the Jayhawk Invitational, Riley also led the team at the plate. going 4-for-8, with two RBIs. 

A Double Threat

Senior Kaylan Jablonski has been a huge factor for the team both on defense and on offense. She entered the 2018 season as the only Husker pitcher to have significant experience in the circle and was expected to be  a leader for the pitching staff. The Omaha, Neb., native has embraced the role. Jablonski has the save or win in 11 of the Huskers’ 15 wins this season. Additionally, her four saves are more than the rest of the Big Ten teams have combined. Senior Kaylan Jablonski has been a huge factor for the team both on defense and on offense. She entered the 2018 season as the only Husker pitcher to have significant experience in the circle and was expected to be  a leader for the pitching staff. The Omaha, Neb., native has embraced the role. Jablonski has the save or win in 11 of the Huskers’ 15 wins this season. Additionally, her four saves are more than the rest of the Big Ten teams have combined. At the plate, Jablonski lead the starters with a batting average of .348 and a slugging percentage of .609. She also is tied for first on the team with four homers and one triple. She ranks second in doubles (six) and third in RBIs (10).

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