OKLAHOMA CITY — It might take two to keep advancing at the Women's College World Series.
And that's OK with Nebraska.
The 14th-seeded Huskers (45-15) are at least well-armed for the challenge of scratching back through the losers bracket with junior Tatum Edwards and freshman Emily Lockman.
“We focus on this pitch and this pitch only,” said Edwards, the Big Ten's pitcher of the year. “We know what the road ahead of us is, but at the same time you just need to know that it's this pitch, this moment.”
Coach Rhonda Revelle said Edwards would start Saturday's 6 p.m. elimination game against Florida — a game that was pushed back after Friday's winners bracket games were postponed because of rain and storms in Oklahoma City.
But she said she might use both pitchers tonight. “That's where we are in the season,” she said.
Edwards pitched into the fifth inning and Lockman went the rest of the way in Thursday's first-round, eight-inning loss to Washington.
Should both get the call again, they can offer two different looks and knock a team off stride.
“Tatum is more north-south, rise-drop, off-speed,” Revelle said. “Emily is more east-west, curves and screwballs. Completely different directions.”
Both are used to finishing what they start. Edwards has 30 complete games among her 43 starts this season. Lockman has finished 15 of 25 and had come out of the bullpen once before Thursday.
But piecing games together, if necessary, is fine with both.
“It's always team-first,” Edwards said. “Whatever the team and the coaches need at the time, that's what you do. You always want to be the person out there, but if I'm not, that's totally fine with me. And I know Emily is going to get the job done.”
Revelle said Edwards will start against Florida.
“Emily and I work so well together, and if one of us is called on more than the other I think we're both fine with that,” Edwards said. “Using us together is a strength that we have.”
NU used both in its Sunday super regional triumph at Oregon, with Edwards the starter and loser in Game 2 of the series before Lockman came back to win the deciding Game 3.
“I know that Tatum and I are both going to have to win some games so that we can get far (in the series),” Lockman said. “I think we're both ready for that.”
Florida used two pitchers in its Thursday loss, though not by design. Hannah Rogers (33-5) didn't escape the first inning.
But Gators coach Tim Walton said he won't hesitate and will send Rogers back to the circle Saturday.
And the Huskers expect Rogers to be much more motivated than shaken.
“She's an upperclassman who's been in pressure situations before,” Revelle said. “I fully expect her to come back and have her 'A' game. We're planning on her 'A' game. We'll take less, but we're planning on her 'A' game.”
The scouting report on Rogers, who has struck out 238 in 255 2/3 innings:
“She locates pitches,” Revelle said. “She throws a lot of strikes, but she throws them where she wants to throw them. She works both sides of the plate, keeps the ball down and changes speeds — kind of a Greg Maddux-type of pitcher, to use a baseball parallel.”
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