LINCOLN–(NU Athletics July 20)–Nebraska fans will have the opportunity to see the Husker softball team play nine times at Bowlin Stadium in September and October as part of the fall exhibition season. The Huskers will host three intrasquad scrimmages on consecutive Thursdays in September before playing a total of six games against Omaha, Creighton, Colorado State and South Dakota in October.
All fall games are open to the public – including the intrasquad scrimmages – with free admission. Fans do not need a ticket to attend the games, which will feature general admission seating. Nebraska returns 16 players from last year’s squad, which played in an NCAA Regional Final and notched a top-20 national finish. The Huskers bring back seven players who started at least 53 games last season.
Shortstop Billie Andrews highlights the seven returning starters, as she was a third-team All-American last season after batting .354 with 13 doubles and 16 homers. Returning outfielders Brooke Andrews and Abbie Squier have both earned all-region and all-conference accolades in their careers. Andrews was a first-team All-Big Ten and second-team all-region selection in 2023 after batting .311 with nine doubles, 11 home runs and 45 RBIs. Squier, who has hit .321 with 17 doubles and 13 home runs the past two seasons, was a first-team All-Big Ten and second-team all-region honoree in 2022.
Sydney Gray, a 2022 all-region selection, has started 110 games at third base the past two seasons, producing 98 hits, 15 doubles, 15 home runs and 66 RBIs during that span. At second base, Katelyn Caneda is back for her sophomore season after she led Nebraska with a .366 batting average as a freshman in 2023 en route to first-team All-Big Ten accolades as well as a spot on the Big Ten All-Defensive team.
Rounding out the returning starters are catcher Ava Bredwell and outfielder Caitlynn Neal. The 2022 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Bredwell boasts a .291 career average and has started 88 games behind the plate the past two seasons. Neal started all 58 games in the outfield in 2023, when she hit .302 and tied for the team lead with 13 doubles while slugging five home runs and driving in 25 runs.
Talia Tokheim (12 starts), Alina Felix (10 starts), Abbey Newlun (7 starts), Dakota Carter (4 starts), Mckinley Malecha (3 starts), Ashley Smetter (1 start) and Haidyn Warner (1 start) also gained starting experience as underclassmen last season. Tokheim hit .359 with 10 extra-base hits in only 39 at bats before her freshman season was cut short due to an injury. Also returning from injury is pitcher Kaylin Kinney, who was limited to eight games last season, during which time she was 1-1 with a 0.84 ERA in 25.0 innings. Joining Kinney as a returning pitcher is Sarah Harness, a two-time all-conference selection at Southern Illinois who 10 games in her first season at Nebraska in 2023 and had the lowest opponent batting average (.230) of any Husker pitcher.
The fall season also gives Husker fans their first glimpse at Nebraska’s eight newcomers. The group of newcomers includes transfers Bella Bacon (infielder), Jordy Bahl (pitcher) and Peyton Cody (catcher) along with five freshmen: pitchers Emmerson Cope, Elisa Gulfin and Caitlin Olensky, infielder Samantha Bland and infielder/outfielder Malia Thoms.
Bahl was a two-time first-team All-American and two-time Big 12 Pitcher of the Year at Oklahoma, helping the Sooners to back-to-back national titles in 2022 and 2023 by posting a 44-2 record with a 0.99 ERA. Cody was an all-conference performer at St. John’s who boasts a .316 career average with 29 doubles, 20 home runs and 100 RBIs in 149 games. Bacon started six games as a freshman at Purdue in 2023, batting .250 with five RBIs.
Fall Schedule (Free & Open to the Public)
Intrasquad Scrimmages (Bowlin Stadium)
Sept. 14 5:30 p.m.
Sept. 21 5:30 p.m.
Sept. 28 5:30 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 1 (Bowlin Stadium)
York vs. Bellevue 10 a.m.
Nebraska vs. Omaha 12:30 p.m.
Midland vs. UNK 3 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 7 (Kansas City, Mo.)
2 Opponents TBA at Kansas City Urban Youth Academy
Sunday, Oct. 8 (Bowlin Stadium)
Nebraska vs. Creighton 2 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 14 (Bowlin Stadium)
Nebraska vs. Colorado State 10 a.m.
Nebraska vs. South Dakota 12:30 p.m.
Colorado State vs. South Dakota 3 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 15 (Bowlin Stadium)
Nebraska vs. Colorado State 10 a.m.
Nebraska vs. Colorado State 12:30 p.m.