The Nebraska softball team wraps up non-conference play and an eight-game road trip on Wednesday, when the Huskers travel to Omaha to face in-state rival Creighton at 6 p.m. at the CU Sports Complex.
Nebraska and Creighton are meeting for the second time this season, after the Huskers claimed a 3-0 victory over the Bluejays on April 11 at Bowlin Stadium. Husker ace Ashley Hagemann keyed that victory, as she tossed a one-hit shutout with 14 strikeouts. With Hagemann keeping Creighton’s powerful bats at bay, the bottom of the Husker order produced NU’s three runs. Senior Madison Drake went 1-for-2 with a pair of RBIs out of the No. 8 spot, while freshman Jordan Bettiol - making her only start over the last 25 games in place of a sick Brooke Thomason - added an RBI of her own.
With a win in the first meeting, Nebraska will be looking to sweep the season series from Creighton for the third straight season and the 11th time in Head Coach Rhonda Revelle’s 20 seasons at Nebraska. The Huskers have won six straight games against Creighton dating back to a 3-0 home loss in 2009. Nebraska has won the last three games in Omaha, including a 10-2, five-inning victory last season that marked Nebraska’s first-run-rule victory in the series since 1997 and just its second in the 115 all-time meetings between the two schools.
Wednesday’s meeting will be the 116th game between the in-state schools, as Nebraska has faced Creighton more than any other opponent in school history. The Huskers lead the all-time series, 79-36, as Nebraska’s 79 victories against Creighton unofficially mark the fifth-most victories over one opponent in NCAA history.
In addition to looking to sweep the season series from the Bluejays, Nebraska will also be looking for its 30th win on Wednesday as well as finishing with a winning record on its eight-game road trip. The Huskers enter Wednesday’s matchup with a 29-17 overall record. Nebraska has posted 30 victories in 13 of the last 14 seasons and 24 total times in school history. A win would also give Nebraska a 5-3 record on its eight-game road trip, which ties for the longest stretch of consecutive road games in school history. The Huskers have won three of their last four games on the road trip, taking two of three games at Ohio State last weekend and defeating UNO last Wednesday. The 1-0 victory over the Mavs marked NU’s 12th consecutive non-conference win in the state of Nebraska. The Huskers have won 21 of their last 23 non-conference games in their home state, including a 4-0 record in Omaha during that stretch.
Fans can listen to Nate Rohr call all of the action on Wednesday for free on Huskers.com.
Scouting the Creighton Bluejays (24-19-1)
Creighton enters a Tuesday conference matchup against Drake with a 24-19-1 overall record. The Bluejays swept Evansville at home last weekend to improve to 8-3 at the CU Sports Complex this season. The Huskers and Bluejays share four common opponents this season in Arkansas-Pine Bluff, New Mexico State, South Dakota and South Dakota State. Nebraska posted a 6-0 record against that group, while Creighton went 7-2-1. The Huskers also defeated Creighton, 3-0, in Lincoln on April 11.
Creighton is led by a powerful offense that is averaging 1.0 home run and 5.9 runs per game. The Bluejays are batting .294 as a team, and Creighton has produced a double-digit run total 10 times this season, including eight games scoring at least 12 runs.
Individually, five Bluejay starters are hitting above .333. Amy Baker leads the way with a .361 average. She has added team-high totals of seven doubles and 42 RBIs, while hitting six home runs and drawing 31 walks. Bri Lingl is hitting .360 with five doubles, seven home runs and 37 RBIs. Allie Mathewson owns a .347 batting average and leads CU with 51 hits, 39 runs and 13 stolen bases. Transfer Alexis Cantu has brought another big bat to the Bluejay lineup, as she is hitting .343 this season with a team-high 13 home runs. She has added 38 RBIs and leads Creighton with a .765 slugging percentage, 39 walks and a .544 on-base percentage. Ellen Homan rounds out the group of .300 hitters, as she is batting .338 on the year with eight stolen bases and a .411 on-base percentage.
In the circle, Creighton owns a 3.49 ERA, and the Bluejays are allowing an average of 4.2 runs per game while fielding at a .955 clip. Lincoln native Becca Changstrom has been the Bluejays’ ace, throwing more than half of the team’s total innings. Changstrom is 14-10 on the season with a 2.37 ERA in 142.0 innings. She has struck out 139 and walked 58, while tossing three shutouts and holding opponents to a .218 average. Cantu has seen the most action behind Changstrom, posting a 7-4 record with a 4.41 ERA in 58.2 innings. Sammy Snygg is 3-4 on the year with a 4.39 ERA in 51.0 innings, while Brittany Telecky (0-1, 4.72 ERA in 29.2 IP) and Kylie Hovinga (0-0, 21.00 ERA in 1.1 IP) round out the Creighton staff.
Nebraska leads the all-time series with Creighton, 79-36. The Huskers have won six straight in the series after CU had won four straight to marks its longest winning streak in the series. Nebraska’s 79 wins over Creighton are the fifth-most victories over one opponent in NCAA history, according to research by the Florida State Media Relations office. The Huskers own more victories over Creighton than any other opponent in school history. Nebraska leads the all-time series in Omaha, 30-20. Husker Head Coach Rhonda Revelle is 51-13 in her career against Creighton and 48-11 against Bluejay Head Coach Brent Vigness. Overall, Revelle is 112-30 in her career against teams from the Missouri Valley Conference.
In the first meeting this season in Lincoln, Nebraska claimed a 3-0 victory behind a dominant performance from Ashley Hagemann in the circle. Hagemann tossed a one-hit shutout against the Bluejays, allowing only a sixth-inning single to Amy Baker. Hagemann added 14 strikeouts and only two walks in the win. Offensively, Madison Drake went 1-for-2 with a pair of RBIs in the win, while Jordan Bettiol was 1-for-3 with an RBI. Tatum Edwards walked in each of her three plate appearances and scored twice. For Creighton, Becca Changstrom tossed a five-hitter and allowed only two earned runs, while walking five and striking out four.
In last year’s meeting in Omaha, Nebraska scored in all five innings, including four in the second and three in the third. Ashley Guile and Taylor Edwards each had four RBIs in the win, while Tatum Edwards homered. Tatum Edwards also earned the win in the circle, allowing one earned run in 3.1 innings.
Several Huskers have enjoyed outstanding careers against Creighton. Taylor Edwards is 3-for-4 in her career with a home run, six RBIs and a .667 on-base percentage against the Bluejays. Nikki Haget is 10-for-20 (.500) against CU, while Guile and Brooke Thomason each own six career RBIs against Creighton. In the circle, Hagemann is 3-0 against Creighton with a 1.77 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 23.2 innings (13.0 per seven innings).
The information below provides a quick glimpse of a few statistics and brief notes heading into Wednesday’s final non-conference game at Creighton.
Huskers Posting Impressive Offensive Marks
- Nebraska is 9-3 this month and owns an all-time record of 476-232 (.672) in the month of April.
- The Huskers are 7-8 on the road this season, including a 4-3 record on their eight-game road trip.
- Nebraska is 11-0 at home this season, and the Huskers’ 14-game home winning streak ranks fourth nationally.
- NU has allowed 165 runs through 46 games this season, after allowing 116 runs in 55 games last season.
- The Huskers have committed 58 errors and allowed 45 unearned runs through 46 games this season. In 55 games last year, Nebraska committed 43 errors and allowed only 14 unearned runs.
- Twenty-seven percent of the runs Nebraska has allowed have been unearned (45 of 165).
- Nebraska is allowing an average of 1.0 unearned run per game.
- Thirty-six percent of the runners who have scored against Nebraska (59 of 165) reached base by a walk or HBP.
- Overall, batters who have walked or been hit by a pitch score an average of 1.3 runs per game this season.
- Fifty-five percent of the runners who have scored against Nebraska (91 of 165) reached base on a walk, HBP or error.
- Nebraska is “giving” the opponent an average of 2.1 runs per game this season when combining unearned runs and runners who have scored after reaching base on a walk or hit-by-pitch.
- Nebraska has let the opponent reach base more this season on walks, hit batters and errors (249), than the opponent has earned its way on via a hit (238).
- Between the walks, hit batters and errors, NU is “giving” the opponent an average of 5.4 base runners per game.
- In its 17 losses, Nebraska has allowed 31 unearned runs (1.8 per game), walked and hit 109 (6.4 per game) and allowed a walk or hit batter to come around and score 42 times (2.5 per game).
- Taking out any overlap from the totals above, errors and free passes are costing NU 3.8 runs per game in its losses.
- The Huskers have scored 92 runs through their first 15 conference games this season, after scoring 59 total runs through their 18-game Big 12 schedule last season.
- In three starts against in-state opponents this season (Creighton and UNO), Ashley Hagemann is 3-0 with a 0.32 ERA in 22.0 IP. She has not allowed a run over her last 21.1 innings during that stretch, throwing shutouts against Creighton and at UNO in her last two starts. Hagemann has allowed only nine hits in those three starts, while striking out 45 and walking only seven for a more than 6-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
- Hagemann averaged 11.5 strikeouts for every walk she allowed in four appearances last week, after averaging 2.0 strikeouts for every walk she allowed entering last week.
- With her next victory, Hagemann will pass pitching coach Lori Sippel for fifth place on NU’s all-time wins list.
- Taylor Edwards has walked 24 times over her last 18 games, including nine multiple-walk games.
- Ashley Guile drew the 100th walk of her career last weekend. She is one of four Huskers to reach that mark.
With 10 games remaining in the regular season, Nebraska’s offense has already posted some of the top single-season marks in school history. The Huskers are currently on pace to post the top on-base percentage in school history for the second year in a row, while averaging the most runs per game in school history. The 2012 Huskers also currently own the third-best slugging percentage in school history, the fourth-best batting average, the fifth-highest doubles total and the sixth-highest RBI and runs scored totals.
Junior Brooke Thomason and sophomore twins Tatum and Taylor Edwards combined to hit four home runs in game one of last Saturday’s doubleheader at Ohio State, with Tatum homering twice and Taylor and Thomason going deep once. The power barrage gave Thomason 26 career home runs, Taylor 23 and Tatum 21. Nebraska has three players in the same lineup with 20 career home runs for only the second time in school history (also 1998). This year, however, marks the first time an NU lineup has featured three non-seniors with 20 career home runs.
Fowler Delivers in Extra Innings
Freshman Mattie Fowler has been clutch for Nebraska in extra-innings this season. The Huskers are 3-0 in extra-inning games this year, scoring once in the top of the eighth inning to win all three times. Fowler has figured prominently into each of those three victories. In the eighth inning this season, Fowler is 3-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored. She drove in the game-winning run with a two-out, RBI single in Nebraska’s 5-4 win at Minnesota on April 1. Last Wednesday at UNO, Fowler singled and scored the game-winning run in the Huskers’ 1-0 win at UNO. Then last Saturday, Fowler produced the game-winning RBI single in NU’s 3-2 win at Ohio State.