After playing its first 26 games on the road, the 15th-ranked Nebraska softball team opens its home schedule with a four-game homestand this week at Bowlin Stadium. Before opening Big Ten Conference play this weekend against No. 16 Minnesota, the Huskers will host Iowa State on Wednesday at 5 p.m.
Season and single-game tickets are available by calling 1-800-8-BIG-RED, visiting the ticket page on Huskers.com, stopping by the Nebraska Athletic Ticket Office across from the west side of Memorial Stadium weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by visiting the Bowlin Stadium ticket office, which opens 90 minutes prior to first pitch and is located at the main entrance to Bowlin Stadium, behind home plate. Season tickets are available starting at $57 for adults and $29 for youth and seniors. Single-game ticket prices range from $3 to $7. UNL students and kids ages six and under are admitted for free.
Fans attending Wednesday’s home opener can receive one free general admission ticket by presenting their business card. General admission seating at Bowlin Stadium includes one section of chairback seating, in addition to grass berm seating and bleacher seating on the first base concourse.
Fans unable to make it out to Bowlin Stadium on Wednesday can follow all of the action online. Nate Rohr will call the game for a free radio broadcast on Huskers.com, while live stats will also be available. Fans are also encouraged to follow @HuskerSoftball on Twitter for in-game updates, as well as team updates throughout the season.
Nebraska is coming off its first undefeated weekend of the season, as the Huskers went 3-0 at the Jayhawk Invitational in Lawrence, Kan., last weekend. NU run-ruled Jackson State and Northern Illinois to open the tournament, posting its second and third run-rule victories of the year. After outscoring the Tigers and Huskies by a combined 18-2 margin, Nebraska edged host Kansas, 1-0. Senior right-hander Tatum Edwards fired a three-hit shutout against KU to snap the Jayhawks’ eight-game win streak.
Offensively, Tatum’s twin sister Taylor homered in two of Nebraska’s three games last weekend. Taylor smacked a solo home run against Jackson State and a three-run homer against Northern Illinois. Those were her only two hits of the weekend as teams pitched Edwards carefully due to her .463 average this spring. In addition to the home runs, Edwards drew two walks and was hit by three pitches on the weekend. She reached base safely in seven of her 11 plate appearances last weekend.
Sophomores Alicia Armstrong and Hailey Decker also enjoyed strong weekends. Armstrong went 5-for-10 with her first career triple and four RBIs, while Decker also finished 5-for-10 with three doubles and four RBIs. Classmate Kiki Stokes had three hits and drove in three in her return to her home state.
Scouting the Iowa State Cyclones (16-9)
Iowa State is 16-9 on the season and the Cyclones will be playing their eighth true road game of the season on Wednesday. Iowa State is 4-3 on the road this year, one season after going winless (0-18) on the road. ISU has lost two straight and four of its last five. The Cyclones two consecutive losses have both come at the hands of Big Ten opponents, as Iowa State fell to No. 7 Michigan (6-4) and Wisconsin (6-3) last weekend in Louisville, Ky. The Huskers and Cyclones share a common opponent this season in New Mexico State. Nebraska run-ruled NMSU 11-0 in the second game of the season, while ISU split a pair of games with the Aggies in the second weekend of the year.
Iowa State is averaging 5.4 runs per game, while hitting .332 as a team with 17 home runs. The Cyclones rank 11th nationally in batting average and 56th with a .456 slugging percentage. ISU has shown great plate discipline, drawing more walks (78) than strikeouts (73). Brittany Gomez leads the way with a .438 average that includes 18 stolen bases in 18 attempts. Gomez enters Wednesday’s game tied atop the Iowa State record book with 48 career stolen bases. Lexi Slater is hitting .416 with a team-high 10 doubles, while adding four home runs and 20 RBIs. Aly Cappaert owns a .395 average with team-best totals of seven home runs and 15 walks. Jorden Spendlove is batting .361 and Rachel Hartman is hitting .347. Sarah Hawryluk (.326) and Sara Rice (.308) round out a group of seven Cyclone starters hitting better than .300. Hawryluk has also stolen seven bases, while Rice has produced a team-high 25 RBIs.
In the circle, Iowa State owns a 3.74 ERA while limiting opponents to 3.9 runs per game. Opponents are hitting .285 against the Cyclones with a .433 slugging percentage thanks to 52 extra-base hits, an average of more than two extra-base hits per game. Opponents have also hit 19 home runs against Iowa State pitching in 25 games. Katie Johnson has carried the workload as a freshman for a three-pitcher staff. Johnson has appeared in 24 of Iowa State’s 25 games, earning 22 starts and tossing 15 complete games. She has thrown more than 87 percent of the Cyclones’ total innings, compiling a 15-8 record with a 2.81 ERA in 142.0 innings. Stacy Roggentien is the only other Iowa State pitcher to earn a decision this spring, as she is 1-1 on the year with a 5.42 ERA in five appearances, one start and 10.1 innings. Paris Imholz rounds out the Cyclone staff with a 0-0 record and a 14.44 ERA in 10.2 innings.
Iowa State is led by ninth-year Head Coach Stacy Gemeinhardt-Cesler, who owns a 189-240 record at ISU. In 13 years as a head coach that includes a stint at Division II Emporia State, Gemeinhardt-Cesler owns a 342-316 career record. She has Iowa State poised to make a run at 30 wins for the first time since 1989. In 2008, Gemeinhardt-Cesler led ISU to a 29-29 record, marking the program’s only non-losing season since 1995. Gemeinhardt-Cesler is 5-7 in her career against Nebraska and Husker Head Coach Rhonda Revelle.
Husker History vs. Iowa State
Nebraska leads the all-time series with Iowa State, 66-19, but the teams have not met since 2011, the Huskers’ last season as a member of the Big 12 Conference. Nebraska swept the season series that year, snapping a three-game losing streak to the Cyclones. The teams have split the last eight games in the series dating back to 2008. From 1995 to 2007, Nebraska won 28 of the 31 meetings, including a 14-game winning streak from 1999 to 2005.
Nebraska Head Coach Rhonda Revelle is 37-12 in her career against Iowa State, including a 7-5 mark against ninth-year ISU Head Coach Stacy Gemeinhardt-Cesler. Nebraska leads the series 29-6 in Lincoln, including an 8-2 record at Bowlin Stadium.
In the most recent matchups in 2011, NU came from behind to beat Iowa State 8-7 at home, before cruising to a 10-1 run-rule victory in Ames two days later. In the meeting in Lincoln, Tatum Edwards finished 2-for-3 with a pair of home runs and three RBIs, while Taylor Edwards went 1-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs.
The information below provides a quick look at a few brief notes heading into Nebraska’s home opener against Iowa State on Wednesday.
- The Huskers are 452-255 (.639) all-time in the month of March. NU posted a 14-3 record last March.
- 25 of the 53 runs Nebraska has allowed this season have scored with two outs (47 percent).
- Nebraska has allowed one earned run or less in seven of its last eight games.
- The Huskers have allowed two or fewer runs in nine straight games.
- Six of the eight teams to beat NU this season are ranked in the top 20 this week, including five top-10 teams.
- Nebraska is 17-2 this season when recording at least five hits, but is 1-6 when totaling fewer than five hits.
- NU is 16-2 when out-hitting its opponent this spring.
- The Huskers are 16-1 this season when scoring first.
- Nebraska is 15-2 when scoring at least three runs this season and 14-1 when scoring at least four runs.
- The Huskers are 11-0 when scoring at least five runs this year, but are 0-5 when allowing five or more runs.
- NU is 15-0 when leading after four innings, 14-0 when leading after five and 13-0 when leading after six.
- The Edwards twins have homered in the same game nine times in their careers.
- Tatum Edwards is three RBIs shy of cracking Nebraska’s all-time top 10 in RBIs.
- Tatum Edwards is one shutout away from entering Nebraska’s all-time top 10 in that category.
- Tatum Edwards is expected to make her 75th career start in the circle against Iowa State.
- Taylor Edwards is four hits shy of cracking Nebraska’s all-time top 10 in hits.
- Taylor Edwards is five walks shy of matching Jennifer Lizama’s career record (124).
- Taylor Edwards is two RBIs from owning the second-highest career RBI total in school history (178).
- Taylor Edwards is three total bases from moving into Nebraska’s all-time top five in that category.
Taylor Edwards Sets First Career School Record
Senior Taylor Edwards claimed her first career school record last weekend, when she was hit by three pitches at Kansas. The three hit-by-pitches, which tied her own single-game school record, increased her career total to 35 hit-by-pitches, a new Nebraska record. She eclipsed the previous mark of 34 hit-by-pitches set by Julie Brechtel, who played for the Huskers from 2008 to 2011.
Edwards is pursuing several other Nebraska career records in her senior season. She needs six walks to break Jennifer Lizama’s career walk record (124). Edwards could also challenge Ali Viola’s school records of 213 RBIs and 53 home runs. Edwards needs 38 RBIs to break Viola’s record and 11 home runs to top Viola’s mark. Nebraska’s all-time doubles record - while a long shot - is also not beyond Edwards’ grasp, as she is just 12 doubles shy of the record.
In addition to setting her first Nebraska career record, Edwards owns two Husker season records (grand slams and hit-by-pitches), four NU game records (RBIs, runs scored, hit-by-pitches and grand slams) and a pair of miscellaneous records (consecutive games with a home run and longest hitting streak to open a season). Edwards, who also owns a share of the NCAA record for consecutive games with a home run (6) and grand slams in a game (2), set Nebraska class records for most home runs by a freshman, most walks by a sophomore and most RBIs by a junior.
Urness Ties Freshman Record
Freshman Austen Urness has been hit by nine pitches this spring. Only halfway through her freshman season, Urness has already been plunked nine times, tying for the most hit-by-pitches by a freshman in school history. Julie Brechtel was also hit by nine pitchers during her freshman season in 2008.
Urness would own the record by herself the next time she is hit by a pitch, while also becoming only the fifth Husker to be plunked 10 times in a season. Overall, Urness could challenge the school record of 16 hit-by-pitches, which was set last season by Taylor Edwards.
Urness will have to wait to continue her climb up the record book, as she will not be available to play against Iowa State after suffering an injury in Nebraska’s last game at Kansas.
Home Sweet Home
Nebraska opens its 13th season at Bowlin Stadium on Wednesday against Iowa State. The Huskers have been hard to beat at home, winning better than 76 percent of their home games with an all-time home record of 404-127. Nebraska has posted 37 consecutive seasons with a winning home record, as the last time the Huskers had a losing home record was a 3-7 mark in 1977, before softball became an NCAA sport. Since calling Bowlin Stadium home beginning with the 2002 season, the Huskers have posted a 165-62 record at home.
Despite having a slightly lower winning percentage at Bowlin Stadium compared to its previous homes, Nebraska has been very good at home the past three seasons. Since 2011, the Huskers are 43-9 at Bowlin Stadium with four losses to top-10 teams. The Huskers have won 39 of their last 45 home games dating back to 2011.
In 2011, the Huskers went 10-4 at Bowlin Stadium with three losses to top-10 teams. The next spring, the Huskers went 15-1 at home and owned the nation’s longest home winning streak before losing in the final weekend of the regular season. Last season, Nebraska was 18-4 at home, including a perfect 3-0 record during the NCAA Lincoln Regional.
Home Sweet Home for Tatum Edwards, Who is Unbeaten in Home Starts
Bowlin Stadium has served as a great home for Tatum Edwards, as the senior right-hander owns a 21-1 career record on her home field. She has thrown 134.2 innings in 26 career appearances at Bowlin Stadium, posting a 1.35 ERA, including eight shutouts in her 18 starts. A native of Murrieta, Calif., Edwards has held opposing hitters to a .162 batting average at Bowlin Stadium, while averaging nearly one strikeout per inning. Edwards has not allowed an earned run in 15 of her 26 career appearances at Bowlin Stadium, while allowing more than one earned run only six times.
As good as Edwards’ numbers at home have been, they’re even better when one looks only at her starts. Edwards is 18-0 with a 0.96 ERA in 18 career starts at Bowlin Stadium, allowing only 16 earned runs in 117.0 innings. She has not allowed an earned run in 11 of her 18 career starts at home. Edwards has gone the distance in each of her 18 career home starts, firing three one-hitters, a trio of two-hitters and five three-hitters. Edwards has allowed more than three hits in only seven of her 18 career starts at Bowlin Stadium.
Huskers and the Home Opener
Nebraska officially opens the 13th season of play at Bowlin Stadium against Iowa State on Wednesday. The Huskers are 11-1 in home openers at Bowlin Stadium and have won their last eight home openers since a 6-5 eight-inning loss in the 2005 home opener against Creighton.