The 22nd-ranked Nebraska softball team takes a five-game winning streak into a challenging five-game schedule at the Cathedral City Classic in Cathedral City, Calif., this weekend. In one of the nation's most prestigious tournaments, the Huskers will face four top-20 teams at the Big League Dreams Complex, which features scaled-down replicas of famous ballparks.
Nebraska opens the schedule with a matchup with No. 19 Oregon on Friday. The Huskers then take on Cal Poly in the first of two games on Saturday, before a tough close to the weekend. Nebraska's second game on Saturday is against 11th-ranked Missouri, before the Huskers close the tournament with back-to-back games on Sunday against No. 8 Texas and fifth-ranked Washington. Both the Longhorns and Huskies are unbeaten this season, while Missouri has lost only once and Oregon has lost just twice.
Fans can follow all of the games from Cathedral City this weekend by listening to Nate Rohr call all of the action, but start times may be delayed if earlier games are running behind schedule.
The Husker offense faces a stiff challenge this week after lighting up the scoreboard through the first two weekends. Nebraska is batting .377 as a team and averaging nearly nine runs per game. The Huskers have scored at least 10 runs seven times through 11 games this season. While the bats have been hot, Nebraska will run into some strong pitching this weekend.
Oregon's ace Jessica Moore has earned first-team all-region honors in each of her first two seasons and the challenge only gets tougher from there. Missouri ace Chelsea Thomas is a returning All-American who led the country in ERA last season and is a member of the USA National Team. Texas boasts a two-time All-American in ace Blaire Luna, while Washington's Kaitlin Inglesby shut out the Huskers in the season opener to kickstart a superb start to her sophomore campaign.
The Huskers have a 1-7 overall record against Thomas, Luna and Inglesby. Thomas is 2-1 against Nebraska with a 1.40 ERA, and she has struck out 27 and allowed only six hits in 20.0 innings. Luna is 4-0 in her career against NU with a 0.28 ERA. In 24.2 career innings against the Huskers, Luna has allowed only one run and just seven hits, while striking out 36. Inglesby has only pitched against Nebraska once, but she threw a two-hit shutout against the Huskers in the season opener.
On the flip side, NU's pitching staff has allowed two earned runs or less in six of the last eight games.
Courtesy: Nebraska Media Relations