Photo by Allyssa Hynes/Nebraska Communications

Huskers Hit the Road for B1G Series against Purdue

By NU Athletic Communications

LINCOLN –The Nebraska softball team (13-23, 2-7 Big Ten) hits the road this weekend for a Big Ten series against Purdue (25-18, 5-6 Big Ten) in West Lafayette, Ind., April 12-14. The Huskers and the Boilermakers will play a total of three games over the weekend. Game one is set for Friday at 5 p.m. CT. Game two will be Saturday at 2 p.m. CT, while the series finale is set for Sunday at 11 a.m. CT.

Last time out
Nebraska looks to bounce back and snap a four-game losing streak. Most recently, the Huskers lost to Creighton on Tuesday in Omaha.  The Bluejays hit four home runs en route to a 9-1 five-inning victory. Nebraska had four hits from just two players. Alyvia Simmons and Courtney Wallace both went 2-for-3 during the game. Wallace had the RBI, while Tristen Edwards scored the run.

Scouting Purdue
Purdue comes into the weekend with a 28-15 overall record, which includes a 5-6 record in conference play. Most recently, Purdue split a mid-week doubleheader with Indiana on Wednesday night. Purdue lost the first game 2-1 before winning game two 5-4 in nine innings. Last weekend, the Boilermakers took two of three from Penn State.

At the plate, Purdue is led by Jenny Behan who is hitting .373 and slugging .724. Behan leads the team in runs (39), hits (50), home runs (11) and RBIs (35). She also has 12 doubles which ranks second on the team and one triple. Additionally, Behan has drawn 20 walks this season helping her to a .450 on-base percentage. Behan leads the Big Ten in runs and is tied for second in the conference in hits. She ranks sixth in RBIs and doubles and third in homers. She also has 97 total bases which ranks third in the Big Ten.

Purdue has several other hitters batting above .300 including Kasey Wilhoit (.347), Rachel Becker (.344), Madison Douglass (.318) and Lexi Huffman (.315). Huffman leads the Boilermakers with 13 doubles. She also has four homers and 28 RBIs which both rank second on the team. Her slugging percentage of .541 also ranks second behind Behan. Becker has a team-best 30 walks and an on-base percentage of .475 which ranks seventh in the Big Ten.

In the circle, Sydney Bates has pitched a team-high 112.1 innings. She’s made 25 appearances, including 14 starts. She has an ERA of 2.49, which is a team low among regular pitchers. She has an 11-6 record and 94 of the team’s 195 strikeouts, which ranks 10th in the conference.

Kaitlynn Moody has also seen significant action in the circle for Purdue. Moody has pitched 93.0 innings. She’s made 23 appearances, including a team-high 17 starts. She’s also pitched a team-high seven complete games and has two solo shutouts. She leads the team with three saves and has 53 strikeouts. Moody has a record of 9-6 and a 2.86 ERA.

As a team, Purdue is fielding .968 which ranks fifth in the Big Ten. Purdue has 40 errors in 43 games and have given up 31 unearned runs so far this season.

Follow the Huskers
A live radio broadcast will be available on Huskers.com and the official Huskers App for all of Nebraska’s games this season. All three games will also be available on BTN Plus (subscription required). Fans can also follow the action on Twitter (@HuskerSoftball).

Wallace Making an Impact

Freshman utility player Courtney Wallace has proved to be a valuable weapon for Nebraska at multiple positions. The Omaha, Neb., native has made 27 starts and has played in all but four games for Nebraska. Wallace has made starts at four different positions this season, including pitcher (eight starts), third base (five starts), designated player (11 starts) and left field (three starts). Wallace is one of two Huskers to make starts at more than two positions this season and is the only one to make starts at four different positions. At the plate, Wallace is hitting .218, but since the Illinois series (eight games, eight starts) Wallace has been hitting .304 and slugging .696 - an improvement from her .449 season average. Overall, Wallace has 17 hits this season and 10 have been extra-base hits. Wallace has four doubles, four triples and two homers. Her team-high four triples are one short of tying the freshman single-season record. She needs six to tie the all-class record.

Simmons Back in the Lineup

Alyvia Simmons returned as one of Nebraska’s top hitters this season, but she suffered a minor injury in the middle of the season that limited her playing time. However, Simmons has bounced back quickly and is performing quite well since getting back in the starting lineup. Simmons started the first 10 games, but was unable to start several games during the middle of the season. However, she’s been back in the starting lineup for 17 of the last 18 games and is hitting .327 in that stretch, an improvement from her .288 season average. Most recently, she went 2-for-3 against Creighton, recording half of Nebraska’s four hits against the Bluejays. 

Additionally, the senior leads Nebraska starters in conference play. Through the first nine Big Ten games, Simmons has gone 10-for-29 (.345). During the Illinois series, Simmons went 5-for-12 (.417) with one run, two doubles, one triple and two RBIs. Simmons now ranks in the top 10 on Nebraska’s all-time career list. 

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