By Randy York
Four numbers highlight and define Nebraska’s Super Regional softball win at Oregon last Sunday, including: 7 Nebraska is making its seventh appearance in the Women’s College World Series (WCWS), its first appearance since 2002 and its third under Rhonda Revelle; 11 Nebraska has won 11 games in its final at bat this year. Of those 11 victories, six came with NU trailing heading into its final at bat and five came with the game tied; 21 Nebraska is officially participating in its 21st NCAA Tournament (ranking 10th in NCAA history); 55 Nebraska has won 55 games in the NCAA Tournament, owning an all-time record of 55-43 (ranking 13th in NCAA Division I history).
That history lesson is important because it frames Nebraska’s prominence in the context of NCAA softball. But there also are three spinoffs from the Super Regional triumph – 1) the recruiting value that showcases both talent and spirit from pivotal performers that lived and played in California, Arizona, Oregon, Texas, Arkansas, Kansas and Nebraska; 2) the sense of pride that UNL alums across the country and around the world feel when the Huskers win competitive battles on a national network; and 3) validation from another national audience the Huskers don’t even know they have.
Consider an email Paul Swanson of Redlands, Calif., sent to the N-Sider. “Congratulations on the Nebraska women’s softball team winning the Super Regional in Oregon and going to the College World Series,” said Swanson, a 1958 graduate of the Nebraska’s Dental College. “Winning the series at highly rated Oregon’s home ball park and snapping their 24-game home winning streak was truly a magnificent accomplishment. Our Huskers played with a lot of class, guts and determination. I just want them to know they made all of us Huskers feel very proud! Please extend my best wishes and highest regards and Go Big Red in OKC!”
Consider also a new audience the Huskers have inherited. Mike Jones of Magnolia, Ark., runs an insurance agency. He sent an email our way this morning to congratulate the Nebraska women’s softball team and to thank the N-Sider for an article on how the energetic Huskers are building on their season-long philosophy. Jones found it interesting that Nebraska’s team read and studied a book called The Energy Bus, and he was not surprised to hear the positive results that come from applying the lessons that book teaches. “The book has been an inspiration to me,” he said. Even though he’s an Ole Miss fan living near the Louisiana border, Jones will follow and root for the Huskers in the WCWS in Oklahoma City. “As a matter of fact,” Jones said, “I’m going to use the Nebraska softball team as the topic of discussion for our staff meeting Wednesday morning with our agents,” he said. “I get the newsletter from the author of The Energy Bus, and I saw the fire in Rhonda Revelle on Jon Gordon’s Blog. You can see what the book has done for Coach Revelle and her team. She probably can’t imagine salespeople talking about her team, but maybe we can benefit from the book like Nebraska has.”
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