After riding high from a series sweep over the Minnesota Golden Gophers, the Nebraska Softball team enters week 10 of the season as a top-25 team in the nation. The Huskers are 33-9 overall, 13-0 in the Big Ten and have an 18-game winning streak. That is the longest winning streak for Nebraska Softball since 2002.
The series schedule has been adjusted due to Friday weather conditions. The teams will play a doubleheader Saturday starting at 12:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., and a single game Sunday at 1 p.m.
National Recognition for the Huskers
The Huskers were ranked No. 25 nationally in this week’s Coaches Poll, 27th in the RPI and ranked as high as 18th by Extra Innings Softball. Next on the Huskers’ road to the postseason are the Wisconsin Badgers.
Wisconsin Softball Doing Well This Season
The Badgers are having a solid season up to this point. With an overall record of 23-11 and an 8-4 record in conference play, the Badgers will not be an easy out for the Huskers this weekend. When playing in Madison the Badgers are 8-1, with that loss coming at the hands of Indiana. Wisconsin has won its last three matchups in a series against the Spartans of Michigan State. In that series, the Badgers scored a total of 19 runs while only giving up six runs all together. Even with this scoring margin in the Badgers favor as of late, it may not be enough to end Big Red’s red-hot winning streak.
Huskers Softball On A Roll
After Peyton Glatter’s grand slam and Mya Felder’s 2-run blast over the center field fence, the Huskers took the lead over the Gophers on Sunday. They never looked back after that. Huskers Softball swept Minnesota in a three-game series after an 8-1 deficit turned into an 11-8 comeback victory for the ages, in game three of the series.
Against the Gophers, the Huskers scored 29 runs while only giving up eight, all on Sunday. Nebraska 7-0 and 11-0 victories in the first two games. One of the reasons for this was how well the bottom of the batting order hit.
Glatter and Neal, who have hit in the bottom of the lineup all season, went 9-15 and 8-16, respectively, including a grand slam from Glatter. The batters at the top of the order struggled. Billie Andrews did not record a hit the entire weekend. Andrews has 18 home runs this season – which is tied for most in the conference with Rachel Lewis from Northwestern. The Huskers did not appear to miss a step with the play of Glatter, Neal and especially freshman catcher, Ava Bredwell.
Bredwell won Big Ten Freshman of the Week for this past week. After going 9-14 at the plate with six RBIs. The 2022 Huskers Softball team can get production from anywhere in the lineup and this is something that could be the difference this weekend versus the Badgers on the road.
Nebraska Versus Wisconsin Series Preview
The Huskers rank No. 1 in conference runs scored this season with 290. That is a 52-run lead over second place Northwestern. Wisconsin is ranked 11th in runs scored, with 182. While the Badgers have played almost 10 fewer games than Nebraska this season due to game cancellations earlier this year, this does not take away the fact that the Huskers are entering the series with the best offense in the conference.
Wisconsin’s Senior Kayla Konwent has a league-leading batting average of .452. She is also second in the Big Ten with a 1.394 OPS. This senior-heavy Nebraska pitching staff may be in for a tough outing going against Konwent, especially in Madison.
Wisconsin is ranked fifth in the Big Ten as a team with its 2.84 ERA this season. Nebraska is 8th with an ERA of 2.94. Wisconsin will likely send Maddie Schwartz and Ava Justman to the mound in hopes of slowing down the powerful Huskers bats.
The Huskers lead the all-time series with Wisconsin 21-12, but lost the last two matchups in April 2021, 4-3 and 9-3.
The Huskers and the Badgers will play three over the weekend starting Saturday at Noon.