NU Welcomes Kansas to Bowlin Stadium on Wednesday
**THE START TIME FOR WEDNESDAY'S GAME HAS BEEN PUSHED UP ONE HOUR TO A 5 P.M. FIRST PITCH**
LINCOLN – The Nebraska softball team continues its seven-game homestand on Wednesday when the Huskers welcome the Kansas Jayhawks to Bowlin Stadium for a battle of former Big 12 Conference foes.
First pitch is set for 6 p.m. and tickets are available over the phone by calling 1-800-8-BIG-RED, online by visiting Huskers.com/tickets and in person at the Bowlin Stadium ticket window beginning at 5 p.m. on Wednesday. Fans can also listen to the game for free on Huskers.com, courtesy of the IMG College Husker Sports Network, or watch the game live with a subscription to BTN Plus.
The Huskers enter Wednesday’s game fresh off a three-game sweep of Penn State over the weekend. Nebraska has won 11 of its last 13 games, including nine of its last 11 Big Ten Conference games.
Nebraska, which has won seven of its last eight non-conference games, brings a five-game home winning streak into Wednesday’s game. The Huskers are 9-3 at Bowlin Stadium this spring, including a 9-0 record against unranked opponents.
NU is 10-2 in April after winning only nine games in February and March combined. Nebraska is batting .313 and averaging 5.9 runs per game this month after hitting .269 and averaging 3.6 runs per game in the first two months of the year. Defensively, the Huskers boast a 3.28 ERA in 12 games this month after posting a 5.40 ERA in their first 29 games.
The strong month has helped Nebraska improve to 19-22 this season. After opening the year with 10 consecutive losses, Nebraska is within three games of .500 for the first time since the slow start.
This Week's Top 10
1) Nebraska has won 11 of its last 13 games and nine of its last 11 Big Ten Conference games.
2) The Huskers have won more games this month (10) than in the first two months of the season combined (9).
3) Nebraska has won 10 games in April, recording the most wins this month of any Big Ten team.
4) The Huskers are of only five Big Ten teams with a winning record in conference play (9-5).
5) In a span of seven days, Nebraska posted the largest known comeback in program history (7 runs at Rutgers on April 8) and the largest known final-inning rally in school history (4 runs vs. Penn State on April 15).
6) Kansas is making its first trip to Lincoln since 2010 on Wednesday.
7) The Huskers are 9-3 at Bowlin Stadium this season and have won five consecutive home games. Nebraska has won 10 straight home games against unranked opponents.
8) MJ Knighten is one of 10 finalists for the 2017 Senior CLASS Award, the first finalist for the award in program history.
9) Fan balloting accounts for one-third of the total voting for the Senior CLASS Award, and fans can vote for Knighten at www.seniorclassaward.com.
10) Alyvia Simmons leads the Big Ten with 21 hits and nine doubles in conference play.
Huskers Hot in April
Nebraska is 10-2 this month, posting more wins in April than it did in February (2) and March (7) combined (9).
• The Huskers have posted both a seven-game and three-game winning streak this month. NU had only one three-game winning streak in the first two months of the year.
• Nebraska’s average margin of victory this month has been 2.0 runs per game. In contrast, the Huskers were outscored by an average of 2.4 runs per game in the first two months of the season.
• Fueled by the strong month, Nebraska has won 11 of its last 13 games, its best 13-game stretch since 2014.
Nebraska has fought to the last out this season, coming from behind in 11 of its 19 wins, including a pair of historic comebacks.
• Nebraska came back from a 4-0 seventh-inning deficit last Saturday against Penn State, rallying to win 5-4. That marked the Huskers’ largest final-inning comeback in Bowlin Stadium history - dating back to 2002 - and is the largest known final-inning comeback in school history, based on available records.
• The previous largest known final-inning comeback was three runs on multiple occasions, most recently in the 2016 season opener at Northern Iowa, when the Huskers trailed 4-1 heading into the seventh inning and won 7-4 in eight innings.
• One week before its comeback vs. Penn State, Nebraska rallied from an 8-1 deficit in game two of an April 8 doubleheader at Rutgers, recording the largest comeback win in NU history, based on available records.
• The previous largest known comeback in school history came on Feb. 10, 2012, when Nebraska trailed 6-0 vs. No. 8 Arizona before rallying to win, 11-10.
Knighten Up for Senior CLASS Award
Senior third baseman MJ Knighten is a finalist for the 2017 Senior CLASS Award, which recognizes student-athletes for achievements in the community, classroom, character and competition.
• Knighten was picked as one of 30 national candidates on Feb. 28, becoming the sixth Husker to be named a candidate for the award.
• On April 13, Knighten was selected as one of 10 finalists for the award, becoming the first Senior CLASS Award finalist in program history. The winner will be announced at the Women’s College World Series in June, and fans can vote for Knighten at www.seniorclassaward.com, with fan balloting accounting for one-third of the vote.
Scouting Kansas (21-22)
Kansas brings a 21-22 record into Wednesday’s game, and the Jayhawks are looking to snap a five-game losing streak after being swept at home last weekend in a three-game series with No. 10 Oklahoma. KU boasts an 18-13 record against non-conference opposition this season.
Nebraska and Kansas share five common opponents this season in Iowa, Lamar, Oklahoma, Omaha and Wichita State. The Huskers posted a 2-5 record against that group while the Jayhawks went 3-4.
Kansas is batting .282 as a team and averaging 4.6 runs per game. KU has been held to two or fewer runs three times during its five-game losing streak and has been held to one run or less nine times in its last 16 games.
Jessie Roane paces the Jayhawks with a .340 batting average, one of five starters hitting above .300. Roane also leads KU with 13 doubles and 32 RBIs. Lily Behrmann is batting .325 with nine doubles, three homers and 17 RBIs, and she has drawn a team-high 25 walks to post a team-best .442 on-base percentage. Emily Bermel is hitting .320 but has started only 21 of Kansas’ 43 games. Erin McGinley boasts a .317 average and leads KU with 27 runs and 16 stolen bases. She is a perfect 16-of-16 in stolen bases this season and has never been thrown out in 19 career stolen-base attempts. Harli Ridling rounds out the .300 hitters with a .304 average, and she has slugged a team-high eight home runs while ranking second on the team with 29 RBIs.
Defensively, Kansas ranks 28th nationally with a .973 fielding percentage. The Jayhawks boast a 3.46 ERA and allow an average of 3.8 runs per game, including posting seven shutouts. Opponents are hitting .294 against Kansas pitching.
Alexis Reid is the Jayhawks’ ace, as she has thrown nearly two-thirds of the team’s total innings. Reid has compiled a 13-15 record with a 3.21 ERA in 170.1 innings. She has appeared in 31 of Kansas’ 43 games, including 29 starts, 17 complete games and four shutouts. Opponents are hitting .296 against Reid, and she has posted a strikeout-to-walk ratio of better than 2-to-1, registering 101 strikeouts against only 46 walks. Sarah Miller has seen the most action behind Reid, posting a 3-4 record with a 3.57 ERA in 49.0 innings. Mandy Roberts has also seen extensive action this season, appearing in 17 games - all in relief - and compiling a 3-3 record with one save and a 4.49 ERA in 39.0 innings. Ania Williams has thrown only 12.2 innings this season, but she is 1-0 with a 1.66 ERA. All four of her appearances have been starts, and she has struck out 16 and allowed only four singles in her 12.2 innings. Williams has not pitched since tossing 1.2 innings against Purdue on March 3. Sophia Templin (1-0, 4.88 ERA in 14.1 IP) rounds out the Jayhawk staff.