When Allie Mathewson stepped into the batter's box for her first at bat of the season, and her first at bat as a Maverick, her shoulders may have been heavy with expectation. The former Nebraska Gatorade Player of the Year had an illustrious high school career that included a .542 batting average her senior year and a .462 career average overall.
Mathewson was named the honorary captain of the Lincoln Journal Star Super-State team in 2011, and twice received All-Nebraska honors from the Omaha World Herald. As a freshman at Creighton, Mathewson earned her way onto the All-Missouri Valley Conference Second Team.
But if Mathewson was feeling any pressure, it didn't show. She put whatever weight of expectations there may have been into a swing that sent a pitch over the left field fence.
While waiting for a full Summit League schedule next season, the UNO softball team was fortunate enough to get a conference invite for the 2012 season. After going 3-3 over the weekend at the Great Western Conference Cluster in Farmers Branch, Texas, the Mavs know they'll be playing as the no. 2 seed when the conference tournament comes up in mid-May.
Winning seasons are something the UNO softball program has become accustomed to. Since 1988, the Mavs have had a winning season every year and average 42 wins per season during that span.
If early success is any indication, the UNO softball team will enjoy playing at the new Westside Field at Westbrook. A week after sweeping UNK, the Mavs split a series with South Dakota then beat Peru State to improve to 4-1 at home and 17-13 overall.