The Cornhuskers were a little streaky last year, closing with a 35-21 record and just 13-9 in the Big Ten, but the roster did enough good things to reach the NCAA Tournament. Head coach Rhonda Revelle simply understands how to keep her team in the mix – she’s earned coach of the year honors in three major conferences and has 20 NCAA Tournament appearances on her resume.
Setting the tone in uniform is senior infielder MJ Knighten, who is a two-time all-NFCA and Big Ten first team selection. She hit .376 last year (with an imposing .509 on-base percentage) and clubbed 21 home runs with 60 RBI. Another potent bat rests in the hands of junior infielder Laura Barrow, who hit .295 and started 52 games.
Senior pitcher Cassie McClure handled multiple roles; she was one of 12 pitchers nationally with 15 wins and five saves. Kaylan Jablonski had 18 starts as a sophomore, winning eight games. Two juniors – Taylor Kadavy and Caitlin Bartsch – saw very limited action in the circle last year but could be asked to do more in 2017.
NOTE: The Cornhuskers had the unusual experience of getting three pitchers to toss more than 100 innings in a season. McClure threw 156.1 innings, Jablonski tossed 106.1, and Emily Lockman (10-5 overall) threw 104.1 innings.