Emily Lockman’s 4-0 shutout of the University of Nebraska at Omaha on Wednesday was no surprise.
The freshman right-hander, who got some help from Tatum Edwards in the five-hitter, has made an immediate impact for No. 19 Nebraska, compiling a 9-2 record with a 1.28 ERA.
She ranks second in the Big Ten in ERA, sixth in wins and eighth in opponent batting average (.225). She has allowed one earned run or less in 11 of her 14 starts.
“Emily has been incredibly poised on the mound this season, especially for a freshman,” NU coach Rhonda Revelle said. “She’s done an outstanding job of stepping into an important role on our team, embracing that role and coming through for her teammates. I know our team feels great about our chances any time she gets the ball, and that’s the best thing you can say about a pitcher.”
Lockman was named the Gatorade high school player of the year in California and led Norco High School in Corona to a No. 1 ranking with her 31-2 record and 0.35 ERA as a senior. She was 74-19 with a 0.89 ERA for her career.
She quickly established herself as a force at NU. She’s one of only two pitchers to defeat top-ranked Oklahoma and threw a no-hitter against Utah State in her fourth career start.
Revelle said associate head coach Lori Sippel has done a great job of working with Lockman, who has responded well.
“When she’s at her best, she’s a very effective and efficient pitcher. She does a great job keeping the ball down and moving the ball around the strike zone to create miss-hits that lead to easy outs,” Revelle said.
Keeping the ball down has been a key for Lockman and Edwards (14-4, 1.76 ERA). Of the 146 hits NU has allowed, 28 have gone for extra bases, eight for homers. Opponents are only averaging an extra-base hit every 24.8 at bats.
Lockman will likely get a chance to add to her win total this weekend.
The Huskers begin a seven-game road trip with a three-game series at Illinois (10-15, 0-3). The teams will play a doubleheader Saturday at 1 p.m. and a single game Sunday at 11:30 a.m.
Nebraska (23-6, 2-0) has won four straight games and 12 of its last 13.