Before the game 1,060 fans (a record this season) took time out to honor the seniors who were playing in their last game at Bowlin Stadium. It was easy to tell from the presentation that the team would come out hard, willing to leave it all out on the field as their own tribute to the senior class.
It was such an emotional time that senior pitcher Ashley DeBuhr was a little shaken early in the game. "I think I let emotions get to me just a little bit the first couple batters," she said.
The Husker women's softball team has had some ups and downs this season, with a 9-7 record in conference play and a 36-16 record overall. But against the Cowgirls of Oklahoma State (NU swept the series 2-0), they showed a determination knowing this season is not yet over, with the post-season still in front of them.
The overall feel after the game was that the team's focus is turning to the next stage of the season, and they are feeling confident they have the right things going for them to make a good run.
"We are going in strong, we are going to fight. Nobody better take us lying down because this team is on top of its game, and we are ready to fight tooth and nail to get where we have to. We have one goal this season and we are doing our best to make it," said sophomore first baseman Crystal Carwile.
Right now this team is playing solid, with great pitching from senior leader Ashley DeBuhr and they are getting sound defense from the field players. The team has really tried to create opportunities for things to happen and as Carwile told me, they developed a strategy to try and to get things done.
"Just play one person at a time. We have really just slowed things down, one pitch at a time, and one batter at a time, and getting the job done. As you look at it, we aren't promised another game. We really want to live every game as it's our last and if you do that good things will happen," she said.
Not only was the team ready to make a splash before entering the post-season, they were there to get the job done for the seniors. As a spectator you could really pick up on the team's chemistry which leads them to be such a successful bunch. Senior leader Jaime Borg was willing to let me in on some of how the bond is made and used on the field.
"The team chemistry is really built off the field, you can show up here everyday and the same people are going through the routines but it's really supporting your teammates off the field, in the classroom, and hangin' out together, getting to know each other, better than just teammates, but as people," said Borg.
Husker fans expect a solid run from this team in the post-season. They are a tight knit group and they enjoy going out there and playing for each other. This group of women has shown to be very unselfish when it comes to making the big plays and they know the meaning of team effort.
Carwile said it perfectly. "It was base hit, double, base hit, double. No one was really big, it was just getting the job done, and it was fun. And what we are all about right now is winning and getting it done right now."
This team wants to finish the
regular season strong (two games against
Right now, they are playing unselfish ball and feel that they on track to keep the season alive. In my opinion we haven't heard the last of these Lady Huskers!