Junior shortstop Billie Andrews connects on a pitch during a game against Big 10 opponent Purdue. Andrews has put together a solid season at the plate, batting .357 in her third year as a starter for the Huskers (Photo courtesy of Nebraska Athletics).
Junior shortstop Billie Andrews connects on a pitch during a game against Big 10 opponent Purdue. Andrews has put together a solid season at the plate, batting .357 in her third year as a starter for the Huskers (Photo courtesy of Nebraska Athletics).

When junior shortstop Billie Andrews arrived at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as a freshman from Gretna, she struggled early. Fast-forward two years later and she is a top 100 player in collegiate softball according to D1softball.

Andrews dominated in high school over her four years on the varsity softball team at Gretna. She posted a .434 batting average, 57 home runs and 139 runs batted in over a 116 game career before she departed for Nebraska. Following her four-year run at Gretna she stayed close to home and continued her career at Nebraska.

The dedication and passion Andrews exhibited earned her an opportunity to be a part of something special with the Huskers. What she has done on the field is what catches headlines, but for Andrews it is about being a part of something with people that share her drive.

“The relationships I have made at the university and on the team have been one of the most fulfilling things that I have gotten here,” Andrews said. “The girls I have played with will be people that I will have those relationships with for a long time.”

Head coach Rhonda Revelle and her team have worked to build a culture at Nebraska that welcomes not only working together on the field but also building relationships that carry off of it. 

“This group has worked very hard to build a great culture here.” Revelle said. “In order to build trust and have those relationships on the field you have to know the person beyond the player and I think this group has really come together in that way.”

During her freshman year at Nebraska, Andrews struggled early in the season but bounced back from those initial struggles and posted a solid first season sporting a .317 batting average, seven home runs and 31 RBI. She followed up that first season with a stellar sophomore campaign that included a .330 batting average, 20 home runs and 51 RBI. Andrews was named to the First-Team All-Big Ten in 2021 and the Second-Team All-Big Ten in 2022. 

“For me, the accolades have been a feeling of accomplishment and an indication that my hard work was paying off,” Andrews said. “I have put in a lot of work in the offseasons and the success that I am having on the field is directly correlated to the hard work that comes off the field. Getting that acknowledgement is a push for me to be great this year and continue getting better.”

Among Andrews’ list of accomplishments, one of the most impressive came before the start of her 2023 season. She was named one of the top 100 Division I softball players to watch list courtesy of D1Softball. Andrews was number 58 on the list prior to her junior season. She was also listed at the eight spot on D1Softball’s list of top 10 shortstops. 

“I have been coaching for 20 years and I have never seen a player like Billie ever,” Head coach of Gretna softball Bill Heard said. “She was just different, she was our student manager of the team while she was an eighth grader and she was already the best player there.”

With continued and increased attention on Andrews as she continues to get better and better each year at Nebraska, Revelle said she feels that despite the extra noise that Andrews will stay focused on her craft and continue working to get better.

“When Billie came in we knew the kind of work ethic she had in high school and that she was going to come in ready to work.” Revelle said. “But in a way she really blends in because her teammates around her have that same mentality to continue working to get better.”

Andrews has continued her high level of play as a junior this season, as she has so far accumulated a .357 batting average, 11 home runs and 22 RBI in 46 games. The team has shared in the success as through 37 games the Huskers have gone 32-14, which is good enough for fourth in the Big Ten as they boast a 12-5 record within the conference. 

While the offensive side of the ball has been a strength for Andrews, her fielding has taken a leap forward during the 2023 season. She has improved her fielding percentage from .912% her freshman year up to .925% last season and now boasts a .970% fielding percentage this season. That uptick in fielding percentage is a clear indicator that Andrews has worked to improve her defensive acumen this offseason and the rewards have been in the form of a huge improvement in her defensive statistics.

“In the past couple of seasons (my fielding) it hasn’t been at the level that I wanted and that I know that I can be better,” said Andrews. “I have worked hard to be better for myself as well as my team and every ground ball that comes my way I will give 100%.”

Andrews has shown flashes of brilliance for some time. Heard felt that the minute Andrews stepped onto the field at Gretna, she was the most talented player on it. That belief was placed well as Andrews, despite missing more than 20 games due to injuries, performed well for her four-year career at Gretna.

“We knew before she even walked into the building as a freshman what we had with her,” Heard said. “When we watched her in practice it was just crazy, the plays she made and how hard she worked. We actually had to remind her to relax at times because of how hypercompetitive she is.”

Student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduating in 2023. Sports Media and Communications and Broadcasting News double-major. Worked for the Fremont Tribune, Daily Nebraskan as well as with the Fremont Moo baseball team as their soundboard operator during the Summer of 2022.