LINCOLN — After the Nebraska softball team gave 21-year NU coach Rhonda Revelle her 771st and 772nd career victories Friday night, the Huskers gathered in the infield to honor her for No. 768 that came 12 days earlier.
It was No. 768 on the road on March 3 that made her NU’s all-time leader in coaching victories in any sport.
“She deserves this,” said Tatum Edwards, who was the winning pitcher in both games Friday against New Mexico State and hit a long home run to end the second game. “She’s a great person on and off the field.”
With hundreds of fans and the visiting New Mexico State Aggies lining the field, NU honored Revelle by playing a four-minute video of tributes from opposing coaches and university personnel.
Athletic Director Emeritus Tom Osborne spoke of his longstanding respect for Revelle.
Revelle said Osborne and former NU volleyball coach Terry Pettit were her mentors because they were pictures of consistency. Then Revelle said she shared her honors with associate head coach Lori Sippel, who has assisted Revelle throughout her 21 years at Nebraska.
The honors came after NU’s first home games of the season and after the 21st-ranked Huskers extended their winning streak to seven games and ran their record to 18-5. They play New Mexico State again at 2 p.m. Saturday at Bowlin Field.
Both games Friday ended with walk-off homers, the first by center fielder Kiki Stokes for a 4-1 victory and the second by Edwards for an 8-0 win completed in the fifth inning because of the eight-run rule.
Stokes, a freshman leadoff hitter, had a career night. Prior to Friday, she had only two runs batted in for the season. Her seventh-inning home run in game one came with two runners on base, and a single in game two added a fourth RBI.
The timely home run, which broke a 1-1 tie, was the first of her Husker career to go over the fence. (She had an inside-the-parker.) “She’s basically been a bunt-and-slapper,” said Revelle. Said Stokes: “It was a good hit; a good moment.”
Nebraska scored its only other run in the fourth inning when freshman Dawna Tyson drove in Taylor Edwards — NU’s first base runner of the game — with a two-out single to right field. Tyson ended the night with four hits in six at-bats.
The Huskers had gone three straight innings without a base runner before the 10th. Junior pinch-hitter Kylee Muir delivered to get things going in the final inning, stroking a grounder deep to short for the first hit of her career at home.
An infield hit by left fielder Jordan Bettiol then gave the Huskers two base runners to set up Stokes’ one-out blast over the wall in left-center field.
In the second game, Nebraska built a 5-0 lead with two four-hit innings. In the second inning, Tyson, Tatum Edwards, Mattie Fowler and Alicia Armstrong hit back-to-back singles after Brooke Thomason had drawn a walk.
In the fourth, Tyson, Fowler, Bettiol and Stokes all singled for a three-run inning.
Tatum Edwards’ massive blast in the fifth scored three runs for an 8-0 lead and the victory. The homer landed at the base of flagpoles on the knoll well beyond the left-center field fence.
“I just wanted to hit it hard,” Edwards said. I just got it on the nose.”
The Stokes and Edwards homers added to Nebraska’s Big Ten-leading home run total. Going into the game, the Huskers had 25 for the season in 21 games. Now they have 27 in 23 games.
Edwards won Friday’s first game in relief and pitched all of the second, giving up only one hit — a bunt single. She has not allowed a run in the last 20 innings.