Of course, Nebraska would love to win the Big Ten softball title.
But that won’t be the Huskers’ focus this weekend in their final league series at Penn State. The teams play Saturday (1 p.m.), Sunday (1:30 p.m.) and Monday (noon) due to finals.
“We just need to keep playing really solid softball,” NU coach Rhonda Revelle said. “Pitching, playing defense and scoring more runs that the other team.”
Michigan (41-9, 17-2) has to win just one game this weekend to clinch the Big Ten crown. NU (37-11, 14-5) sits a half-game behind second-place Wisconsin (38-9, 15-5).
There is still a chance the Huskers could finish first if Michigan would lose three against Northwestern, Wisconsin would lose one of three against Michigan State and the Huskers would sweep their series.
That would be a long shot. More important to Revelle is getting a top four seed and a bye in the first round of the Big Ten tournament that starts Thursday in Lincoln. One victory would wrap that up for NU, the only Big Ten team to win every conference series.
“If we take care of business and continue to play the way we have, I think we would be in the top four,” Revelle said.
Even more crucial is staying in good shape for the NCAA tournament.
The No. 14 Huskers have won eight of their past 10, including two victories over Michigan last weekend, to move up to No. 6 in this week’s RPI ranking. Their overall schedule is ranked as the toughest in the nation.
The Huskers’ RPI is best in the Big Ten, which puts them in line for a top 16 national seed and a chance to host an NCAA regional.
“Those are just all the things the committee looks at,” Revelle said. “The fact that we’ve tried to put together a nice nonconference schedule helps us, too. We just have to put ourselves in the best position possible.”
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