April 24, 2014

Two great pitchers set to square off against each other in NU-CU softball showdown

The 20th-ranked Nebraska softball team hosts Creighton on Wednesday in the first of two meetings with the Bluejays this season, at Bowlin Stadium. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.

NU’s Tatum Edwards ranks 30th nationally among all active Division I pitchers with 58 victories and 24th with 19 career shutouts. CU’s Becca Changtrom returns home to Lincoln, she ranks 9th among all active Division I pitchers with 84 complete games in her career, while ranking 12th in strikeouts (763).

Creighton had won 10 consecutive games and 15 of its last 16 before being swept at home in a three-game series with Georgetown last weekend.

Nebraska leads the all-time series with Creighton, 81-37, and the Huskers have won eight of the last nine meetings dating back to 2009.

NU’s Decker named softball player of the week

Sophomore second baseman Hailey Decker celebrated her 20th birthday Monday by being named the Big Ten Player of the Week.

Decker went 9-for-15 (.600) with one double, three homers, nine runs scored and 10 RBIs last week. She averaged more than two hits, two runs and two RBIs per game, while posting a 1.267 slugging percentage and a .625 on-base percentage. Decker also stole a base and was perfect defensively at second base. She produced at least two hits in all four games, tied one school record and established career highs in hits, runs and RBIs.

Nebraska went 3-1 with a midweek road win at UNO and a road series victory at No. 23 Northwestern over the weekend.

Nebraska hosts Creighton Wednesday in a nationally-televised matchup on BTN. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.

Tournament time finally here for Nebraska and Creighton (VIDEO)

Creighton and Nebraska will face each other on Sunday with victories by both teams on Friday. (photo/GoCreighton.com)

Creighton and Nebraska will face each other on Sunday with victories by both teams on Friday. (photo/GoCreighton.com)

The state of Nebraska has its eyes on San Antonio as both the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Creighton Bluejays play their second round NCAA Tournament games, Friday. Here’s a look at our teams and their opponents.

NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS

Nebraska was one of the surprise stories, finishing fourth in the Big Ten after being picked to finish last.  In doing so, they reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1998. The Cornhuskers have never won a tournament game in six tries all-time. The Huskers were just 4-7 against the RPI Top 50 this season, but have wins over Wisconsin on March 9th and an impressive win at Michigan State.

Tim Miles from San Antonio…courtesy of Huskers.com

BAYLOR BEARS

Baylor is back in the NCAA Tournament after going 10-2 over its final 12 games, including a run to the Big 12 tournament final, where it fell to Iowa State in the finals. Senior guard Brady Heslip (11.8 ppg) and senior forward Cory Jefferson (13.5 ppg, 8.4 rpg) lead the team, along with solid play from point guard Kenny Chery (11.6 ppg, 5.0 apg).  Baylor has reached the Elite Eight in its last two tournament appearances, in 2010 and 2012.

CREIGHTON BLUEJAYS

The Bluejays are trying to get  to the Sweet 16 (and perhaps beyond) for the first time since 1974. McDermott (26.9 ppg) enters the tournament with 3,105 career points, needing 61 points to pass Alphonso Ford for No. 4 on the all-time NCAA scoring list. Creighton has eight wins against the RPI Top 50 this season, including a pair of 20-plus-point blowouts of Big East regular season champion Villanova.

Watch Creighton practice from San Antonio, courtesy of GoCreighton.com

LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE RAGIN CAJUNS

UL Lafayette stunned a red-hot Georgia State team for the Sun Belt tournament title, punching its first NCAA ticket since 2005. Head coach Bob Marlin makes his third NCAA appearance, after guiding Sam Houston State to the Dance in 2003 and 2010. Louisiana fell to RPI Top 50 opponents Louisville (113-74) and Baylor (87-68) this season. The Ragin’ Cajuns have been one-and-done in each of their last four trips to the event.  Guard Elfrid Payton (19.1 ppg, 5.9 rpg) and forward Shawn Long (18.7 ppg, 10.5 rpg) are big concerns for Greg McDermott.

 

 

Husker baseball rallies to beat Creighton in the bottom of the tenth

Nebraska sophomore Jake Placzek sent a 1-2 pitch from Creighton closer Jake Peter into center field scoring Austin Christensen from second base to give Nebraska a 5-4 come-from-behind victory over Creighton, Wednesday night at Hawks Field.

The Bluejays took the lead in the top of the 10th when a bases loaded wild pitch from NU pitcher Josh Roeder. Roeder picked up the win and moved to 2-0 on the year. Creighton’s Peter retired Michael Pritchard and Pat Kelly to start the bottom of the 10th, but three-straight two-out singles from freshman Ryan Boldt, Christensen and Placzek led to the Huskers’ rally.

Christensen went 2 for 4 with two RBIs for Nebraska who improved to 12-7. Creighton falls to 9-6-1.

These two teams will meet again in Omaha on Tuesday, April 8 and Tuesday, April 29

Three Huskers advance to Big Ten wrestling finals

Juniors Jake Sueflohn (149), James Green (157) and Robert Kokesh (174) each won their respective semifinal matches on Saturday to advance to Sunday’s Big Ten Finals at the Kohl Center.

The Huskers are in sixth place heading into Sunday’s action with 68 points. Penn State (122) narrowly leads Iowa by one point in the team race, while Minnesota (86), Ohio State (73.5) and Illinois (69.5) round out the top five.

Sueflohn, the top seed at 149 pounds, battled fifth-seeded Eric Grajales of Michigan in the semifinals and emerged with an 8-6 decision. Sueflohn, a Wisconsin native, advances to the Big Ten Finals for the second consecutive year and extends his winning streak to 16 matches. He will battle No. 3 seed Jason Tsirtsis of Northwestern on Sunday for the conference crown.

Green also advances to the conference final for the second straight time following his 7-3 triumph over Minnesota’s Dylan Ness. Green, the No. 2 seed at 157 pounds, improves to 28-1 on the season and will face No. 4 seed Derek St. John of Iowa for the first time since Green’s victory on Jan. 18.

Kokesh, the top seed at 174 pounds, completed the trio of Huskers in the finals after his 3-2 decision over fellow South Dakota native Logan Storley in the semifinals. Kokesh earned a first-period takedown to build a 2-1 lead before Storley escaped in the second to knot the score heading to the third stanza. Starting from the down position, Kokesh escaped and held on for the win to pick up his 99th career victory.