#27 Nebraska Softball 2017 Preview

Nebraska Cornhuskers
Overall Rank: #27
Conference Rank: #3 Big Ten
 Nebraska Logo
Nebraska won 35 games during the 2016 season and advanced to the Columbia Regional final before losing to Missouri 9-0 in five innings. The Cornhuskers offensively are usually pretty difficult to slow down on a regular basis. Last year, Nebraska hit 65 homeruns as a team to go along with a .294 batting average to keep them in games. However, the pitching and defense is going to have to be more consistent on a game in and game out basis in order for the Cornhuskers to go on a run and get back to Oklahoma City and the Women’s College World Series.
2016: 35-21, 13-9
2016 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Rhonda Revelle
Key Departed Players:
Kiki Stokes, OF, .409 BA, 7 HR, 27 RBI
Mattie Fowler, IF, .347 BA, 3 HR, 44 RBI
Emily Lockman, P, .104.1 IP, 3.56 ERA, 45 SO
Alicia Armstrong, IF, .277 BA, 7 HR, 39 RBI
Key Returning Players:
MJ Knighten, IF, .376 BA, 21 HR, 60 RBI
Laura Barrow, IF, .295 BA, 2 HR, 13 RBI
Alyvia Simmons, OF, .245 BA, 5 HR, 13 RBI
Gina Metzler, OF, .275 BA, 0 HR, 3 RBI
Cassie McClure, P, 156.1 IP, 3.49 ERA, 113 SO
Kaylan Jablonski, P, 106.1 IP, 4.81 ERA, 73 SO
Nebraska is going to be anchored offensively by MJ Knighten, who hit .376 last season with 21 homeruns, 60 runs batted in and a.509 on-base percentage. Laura Barrow had a strong fall season and will be looking to build upon her offensive numbers from a year ago where she hit her first two homeruns of her career. Barrow has been the rock of consistency as far as durability in her first two seasons. Now the next step will be batting well over .300 and getting the runs batted in total towards the 30-35 mark this season. Cassie McClure will be the senior leader in the circle for the Cornhuskers and also had a very strong fall season. McClure has shown to be very versatile as last season she had 11 complete games and five saves. This gives Coach Revelle a great deal of flexibility in managing her pitching rotation. Kaylan Jablonski is going to have to take a big step forward as the number two starter with the graduation of Emily Lockman. Jablonski is a very interchangeable type of player as she also hit for some power at the plate but in the circle she has to get better command of her pitches after allowing 57 walks and 22 homeruns in 106.1 innings last season. This team is going to be a bit young in spots, as freshmen like Lexey Kneib, Alexis Perry and Bree Boruff are going to have to play and contribute early. But, when it’s all said and done, by the month of May Nebraska should be safely back in the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament