Photo by Isabel Thalken/Nebraska Communications

NU Faces Three Foes, Set for Six Games This Week

By NU Athletic Communications

LINCOLN –The Nebraska softball team (15-27, 4-11 Big Ten) begins one of its busiest weeks of the season, playing six games against three different opponents in the next six days. 

The Huskers begin the week by hosting South Dakota for a mid-week game on Tuesday at 4 p.m. Then Nebraska will travel to Iowa City, Iowa,  on Wednesday for a doubleheader against the Hawkeyes beginning at 4 p.m. Then, NU returns home for a three-game series against Maryland April 26-28. Game one against the Terrapins is Friday at 5:30 p.m. Game two is Saturday at 1 p.m. and will serve as Nebraska’s Senior Day, while the series finale is scheduled for Sunday at 11 a.m.

Last Time Out
Nebraska looks to bounce back after getting swept at home by No. 18 Minnesota last weekend. Alyvia Simmons led the Huskers against the Gophers going 4-for-9 (.444) at the plate. Simmons also had two runs and two doubles over the weekend.

Scouting South Dakota
South Dakota comes into Tuesday’s game with a 30-21 record which includes an 11-4 record in Summit League play. Most recently, USD was swept in a three-game series by North Dakota State over the weekend. The Coyotes didn’t score a run in the series, while NDSU scored a total of 19.

Jamie Holscher leads the Coyotes on offense with a .385 batting average through 51 starts. Holscher leads the team in hits (60), doubles (12), home runs (10), RBIs (46) and slugging (.667). She also has one triple and 13 walks.

In the circle Alexis Devers (12-11) and Dustie Durham (12-8) are splitting most of the action this season. Devers has 28 appearances and 26 starts, while Durham has 30 appearances with 20 starts. Devers has a team-low 3.09 ERA with 140.1 innings pitched and 76 strikeouts. Durham has an ERA of 3.28 with 113.0 innings pitched and 61 strikeouts. USD has is fielding .951 with 72 errors. The Coyotes have given up 52 unearned runs this season.

Scouting Iowa
Iowa enters the mid-week matchup with a 17-24 record, which includes a 3-12 record in conference play. Most recently, the Hawkeyes went 1-2 against Rutgers last weekend, winning the series finale to avoid the sweep. Iowa is in a bit of a slump, having lost 15 of its last 18 games, dating back to March 22. Junior DoniRae Mayhew leads the Hawkeyes at the plate with a .301 average through 41 starts. Mayhew has a team-high 34 hits, eight doubles and five home runs. She also has 18 RBIs on the season. Mallory Kilian has also started every game so far this season. She is hitting .242 which ranks third among regular players. She also has 15 runs, seven doubles, a team-high three triples, one home run and 15 RBIs. As a team, Iowa isn’t hitting with a lot of power. The Hawkeyes are slugging just .319 with 14 home runs this season.

In the circle, Allison Doocy has carried most of the load. The junior has made 33 appearances, including 27 starts, which ranks second in the conference. Doocy has also pitched 19 complete games. Doocy has a record of 13-13 and ERA of 2.26. She also has 172 strikeouts in 170.2 innings pitched. Her strikeouts rank fourth in the conference and her innings pitched ranks second.

Scouting Maryland
Maryland enters the weekend series with a 20-23 record which includes a 4-11 record in conference play. However, the Terrapins are scheduled to play a doubleheader against Rutgers on Tuesday before coming to Lincoln. Most recently, Maryland lost two of three games against Penn State last weekend. The Terrapins lost games one and two before winning game three to avoid getting swept. 

On offense, JoJo McRae leads the team, hitting .336 through 43 starts. She has 33 runs, 39 hits, one double, one triple and one home run. The Terps are without a key part of their offense in Taylor Okada. Okada led the Terps with a .426 batting average and a .455 on-base percentage from the leadoff position through 26 starts, before suffering a season-ending injury in mid-March. 

Sydney Golden leads the Maryland pitching staff with a 3.46 ERA and 123.1 innings pitched. She has made 26 appearances, including 21 starts and seven complete games. She has a record of 12-9 and has a team-high 55 strikeouts

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. Fans can also follow all the action on Twitter (@HuskerSoftball). Nebraska will also appear on television three times this week. Both games against Iowa and Sunday’s game against Maryland will be televised on BTN and will also be available on BTN2Go and the BTN2Go mobile app. The other three remaining games will be streamed on BTN Plus (subscription required).

Huskers vs. Iowa

Tristen Edwards and Bri Cassidy have had a history of success against the Hawkeyes. Both are hitting .333 against Iowa in their careers. Last season, Cassidy went 1-for-2 in the double header, while Edwards went 3-for-6 with three runs, a double and a home run against the Hawkeyes in 2018. In the circle, only Olivia Ferrell has ever faced the Hawkeyes. Last season, Ferrell earned the win against Iowa in the doubleheader. She pitched 5.0 scoreless innings and gave up just six hits. She also had one strikeout. 

Huskers vs. Maryland

The last time Nebraska played Maryland was in 2016 and only three Huskers remain from that roster - Alyvia Simmons, Madi Unzicker and Bri Cassidy. During the 2016 three-game series, Simmons started all three games and went 3-for-6 (.500) with five runs, one double, one home run, two RBIs and four walks. Simmons slugged 1.167 against the Terps, which led the team. She also had an on-base percentage of .700. Simmons hopes to continue the trend this weekend. 

Huskers Honor Seniors on Saturday

Following Saturday’s game, Nebraska will honor its four seniors - Alyvia Simmons, Bri Cassidy, Regan Mergele and Madi Unzicker for their dedication and influence on the program. The group has made more than 550 combined appearances for the Huskers.

Huskers Host Fan Appreciation Weekend

As the Huskers conclude their home schedule this weekend, Nebraska is celebrating the tremendous support of Husker fans by hosting Fan Appreciation Weekend. Fans will enjoy events and giveaways all three days during the Maryland series. On Friday, the first 500 fans will receive a free Huskers visor. On Saturday, admission for all fans will be free. Additionally, the first 1,000 fans will receive t-shirts and there will be raffle giveaways after each inning. Following the game, Nebraska will celebrate Senior Day. The Huskers will recognize seniors Bri Cassidy, Regan Mergele, Alyvia Simmons and Madi Unzicker for their dedication to the Nebraska softball program over the years. On Sunday, the first 500 fans will receive a free Huskers license plate frame. The weekend will conclude with an autograph session with the Nebraska softball team immediately following Sunday’s Game.

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