The 14th-seeded Nebraska Cornhuskers and the 11th-seeded Washington Huskies will open up the College Softball World Series in Oklahoma City on May 30 at 12 p.m. EDT.
Nebraska (45-14), making its seventh World Series appearance, earned a spot in the field by winning two of three games against third-seeded Oregon in last week’s NCAA Super (May 25-26) regional in Eugene, Ore. With their Super Regional victory, the Cornhuskers snapped the Ducks’ nation-leading 24-game home winning streak on May 25, then rebounded from a disappointing 11-inning game two loss on May 26 to earn a 4-2 victory over the Ducks in the rubber match of the series later in the day.
Washington (43-15), appearing in their 11th World Series and first since 2010, has breezed through the opening two rounds of the NCAA Tournament. The Huskies are 5-0 this postseason, outscoring its opponents 15-2, including a two-game sweep at sixth-seeded Missouri in the NCAA Super regional.
Washington and Nebraska have played 11 common opponents this season: Arizona, Cal, Florida State, Illinois, Michigan, Nebraska-Omaha, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State and Stanford. The Huskers posted a 15-8 record against that group, while the Huskies went 12-7.
Washington leads the all-time series 8-3. The two teams last met in 2012 preseason tournaments with the Huskies winning both matchups (4-0 and 6-3).
Rhonda Revelle, Nebraska: Revelle has posted a 799-421 record in her 21-years at Nebraska. She has led the Cornhuskers to the NCAA Tournament 17 times, six conference titles and three World Series appearances.
Heather Tarr, Washington: Tarr has posted a 362-162 record and has led the Huskies to the NCAA Tournament in each of her nine seasons with the club. She guided Washington to a national title in 2009.
Players to watch:
Tatum Edwards, Nebraska, RHP/OF: Edwards was named the 2013 Big 10 Pitcher of the Year. She went 30-9 with a 1.81 ERA on the mound this year, including 4-1 with a 1.62 ERA in 39.0 innings during the NCAA Tournament. At the plate, Edwards has swatted 11 home runs and 11doubles on the season.
Brooke Thomason, Nebraska, OF: Thomason, an all-Big-10 selection, is batting .335 with nine home runs and 56 runs batted in on the season. She ranks second in school history with 175 career RBIs. This postseason, Thomason is hitting .350 with two home runs and 10 RBIs.
Victoria Hayward, Washington, OF: Hayward, an All-Pac 12 first team selection, led the team with a .380 average. She also has five home runs, six doubles, five triples, 21 runs batted in and 21 stolen bases. Hayward went for 4-6 with two runs batted in and a run scored in the Super Regionals.
Kaitlin Inglesby, Washington, RHP: Inglesby is 22-7 with a 1.87 ERA in 168.1 innings of work. She has 12 complete games, including four shutouts, and has recorded 130 strikeouts. At the plate, Inglesby is hitting .361 with 11 home runs and 60 runs batted in.
Hooch Fagaly, Washington, 1B: Fagaly, who was only 1-for-5 in the Super Regionals, is batting .348 on the season with 10 long balls and 47 runs batted in.
Bryana Walker, Washington, RHP: Walker is 19-7 on the season with a 2.81 ERA in 1780.0 innings of work. She has recorded 197 strikeouts but also has surrendered 25 home runs.
Prediction: In a very close matchup, it is likely that the game will be decided by which team can get the key hit. Washington wins the game 3-2.