Junior Kiki Stokes was honored for an outstanding opening weekend when she was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week Monday. The honor was the first of Stokes’ career.
Stokes set the table for an explosive offense that led the Huskers to a 4-1 record and the Hotel Encanto Invitational title last weekend. Stokes hit .650 in the five games, going 13-for-20 at the plate with one double, two home runs and 10 RBIs out of the leadoff spot in the Husker order. She posted a 1.000 slugging percentage and reached base at a .682 clip.
A native of Olathe, Kan., Stokes hit safely in all five games, including four multi-hit efforts. She also produced three games with multiple RBIs and scored in each of Nebraska’s five games, scoring multiple runs in four contests.
After going 1-for-3 in the season opener against Colorado State, Stokes finished 3-for-5 with a homer, three RBIs and two runs scored against host New Mexico State. Her opening day performance set the stage for a spectacular Saturday. Stokes went 6-for-8 and drove in seven runs in a pair of run-rule victories for Nebraska. She was 2-for-4 with her first career grand slam against Montana, producing a career-high four RBIs. Stokes then finished a perfect 4-for-4 with a walk against Texas Tech, producing a career high in hits. Stokes also tied her career high with three runs scored against the Red Raiders.
Stokes finished the tournament with a 3-for-4 effort against UTSA that included a walk and two runs scored. She had nine hits in her final 12 at bats at the Hotel Encanto Invitational and reached base safely in eight of her final nine plate appearances. Her final hit against UTSA was her 100th career hit.
The big weekend made Stokes the Big Ten leader in hits (13), runs scored (10), RBIs (10) and total bases (20), while she ranks second in the league in average (.650), home runs (2), stolen bases (3) and slugging percentage (1.000).
As Nebraska’s leadoff hitter, Stokes set the stage for a Husker offense that produced 55 runs in its five games last weekend, including scoring double-digit runs in four consecutive games for the first time in school history. NU will face a different challenge this weekend, when the Huskers travel to Tallahassee, Fla., for five games in three days at the Unconquered Invitational. Nebraska’s three opponents this weekend combined to post a 1.83 ERA in the opening weekend.