Well, hell, I went to Michigan last week so why stop now. While thirteen or fourteen of you are reading this mid-morning today, I’ll be rolling south down Highway 75 to see if the Huskers can keep this train rolling. I’ve about beaten the horse to death about how you cannot count these ladies out, but the challenge will definitely level up this weekend when and if they meet the Cowgirls of Okie State.
The Huskers play the University of North Texas first and digging into them a little, I had to rub my eyes a little to make sure I wasn’t going a little color blind and was on the Mean Green’s page, because after poring over their stats - and yes, I know numbers are meaningless without context but…?
Folks, we may be playing our Texas doppelgänger. Read on.
The schedule promised four common opponents. After a slew of cancellations for North Texas due to a combination of a plague of locusts and a Darrell Royal tribute statewide BBQ festival, there ended up being only one. (Sorry. I made up the part about the locusts.)
vs. North Texas
UNT 12 KU 4
UNT 9 KU 5
KU 9 UNT 4
KU 13 NU 5
NU 6 KU 4
NU 5 KU 3
KEY PLAYERS - NORTH TEXAS
The Mean Green feature a high average, high power top five in the batting order which have the ability to punish top pitchers. On the mound, the innings are split fairly even between two pitchers who don’t put up dominant strikeout numbers but limit runs and baserunners and keep their team in games.
OF Lexi Cobb - BA .414 OPS 1.112 6 HR 23 RBI 41 RunsScored
IF Kailey Gamble - .345 - 1.158 - 16 - 52 - 28
P Ashley Peters - 19-6 2.47 ERA 1.12 WHIP 159 IP 147 K’s 32 BB
P Skylar Savage - 14-7 - 2.84 - 1.21 - 145.2 - 119-43
Notes: I’m not being lazy with IF - the Mean Green website is keeping those infield positions secret! Also, Skylar Savage is great name. Would be a great fit in a Power 5 football conference.
KEY PLAYERS - NEBRASKA
So the doppelgänger thing.
Google definition - an apparition or double of a living person. (“he has been replaced by an evil doppelgänger”)
Anyway, copy the above paragraph and replace “Mean Grean” with “Huskers”.
SS Billie Andrews - .327 - 1.153 - 19 - 49 - 52
2B Cam Ybarra - .375 - 1.088 - 10 - 39 - 36
OF Abbie Squier - .369 - 1.012 - 7 - 24 - 43
P Olivia Ferrell - 19-7 - 2.09 - 1.37 - 164 - 155-75
P Courtney Wallace - 17-6 - 3.11 - 1.48 - 139.1 - 92-60
WHY THE HUSKERS WILL WIN
- They rebounded from some stumbles near the end of the regular season to gut out three in a row against some of the country’s best pitchers in claiming the Big Ten title including a final which was basically a Michigan home game. It’s ok to call them battle-tested now.
- The Mean Green has some power but the Huskers have more and hit for higher average with a bottom of the order that provides more threats.
- Ferrell and Wallace. If you get to one, the other will step in.
- In case you’re just jumping on board this train - and if you are? Welcome! - these Huskers are the Comeback Kids. If North Texas did their homework, it might be a bad thing because they’ll see the Huskers have come from behind in 18 of their 40 wins. An early UNT lead might only make them nervous.
WHY THEY MIGHT NOT
- Hey, these guys pulled a pretty solid upset in the final storming to their own league title. I’m not diving deep enough to see if they do this comeback stuff too.
- But like I said -there’s a great deal of similarity between these two teams. Who knows how much of it goes beyond the numbers?
- I’m pretty sure the Huskers’ coaching and senior leadership will insure they don’t look ahead to the Cowgirls. But if it gets too tempting…
Before we toss that 1st pitch? We have some more post-season awards for your Nebraska Cornhuskers!
1ST TEAM ALL-REGION MIDWEST
1B Mya Felder
2B Cam Ybarra
2ND TEAM ALL-REGION MIDWEST
OF Abbie Squier
P Olivia Ferrell
3RD TEAM ALL-REGION MIDWEST
SS Billie Andrews
3B Sydney Gray
P Courtney Wallace
- Billie Andrews 3rd team? Um, ok.
- The entire infield and both starters were honored
- Congrats also to All Region 2nd Team P Kamryn Meyer and 3rd Team 3B Jamie White and OF Izzy Eltze of UNO. They made it in the Central Region which included Oklahoma, Coastal Carolina, Baylor, Appalachian St. (NC) and Kennesaw St (GA). As opposed to being in the same region with..Lincoln.
So that’s it. But just so you’re all in the right frame of mind? Here’s Hearts on Fire from the Rocky 4 Director’s Cut. Feel the adrenaline. (Use earbuds or crank the volume in the car. Don’t cheat yourself. Go Big Red.)