Nebraska softball hires two new assistants, including former Husker and All-American catcher

Nebraska softball hires two new assistants, including former Husker and All-American catcher

The Nebraska softball program added two former All-Americans and current professional players to its support staff for the 2018-19 season, announced by Head Coach Rhonda Revelle on Thursday.

Former Husker and USA World Championship Team member Taylor Edwards (left) will serve as the volunteer coach, while USA Softball’s Japan All-Star Series team member and former Oregon Duck standout Jenna Lilley (bottom right) will be a graduate manager.

“We could not be more thrilled to add Taylor and Jenna to our Nebraska softball staff,” Revelle said in a written statement. “They each represent excellence and will bring energy, knowledge and a passion for the game to our team. It’s a great day for Nebraska softball because we are adding exceptional mentors and people both on and off the field.”

Edwards will work with the catchers and also train for the USA National Team and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Lilley will help with the infield, but continue her professional career. She’ll be training to compete for a spot in the USA National Team program.

Edwards was a four-year starting catcher for Nebraska from 2011 to 2014. The only All-American catcher in program history, and a three-time all-conference performer, Edwards was also selected as the 2014 Division I Catcher of the Year.

Edwards earned third-team All-American accolades as a freshman in 2011. She was also one of 25 finalists for the USA Softball Player of the Year Award. Edwards earned All-America recognition again as a senior in 2014, when she was named a first-team All-American – the sixth Husker to be picked a first-team selection.

Edwards ended her career with 17 school records and a pair of NCAA records. The national records she held included most grand slams in a game (two in 2013) and most consecutive games with a home run (six in 2011).

Edwards set Nebraska career records with 54 home runs, four grand slams, 150 walks and 39 hit-by-pitches. She also owned Husker single-season records for walks (41 in 2013), hit-by-pitches (16 in 2013) and grand slams, in addition to game records with four runs scored, eight RBIs, four walks and three hit-by-pitches.

On top of owning three Husker career records, Edwards ended her college career ranked second in school history in RBIs (202), third in runs (177) and total bases (423), fourth in slugging percentage (.629), fifth in doubles (41), sixth in hits (220), eighth in at bats (673) and games played (233) and 14th in batting average (.327).

Edwards also posted a .471 on-base percentage and a .629 slugging percentage while earning 231 career starts.

Following her Husker career, Edwards was the No. 8 overall pick in the 2014 National Pro Fastpitch Draft. She played in the NPF for four seasons, and will begin her fifth professional season with an independent team in 2018.

Edwards won three straight NPF championships in 2015, 2016 and 2017 and was a two-time All-NPF selection. She also played professionally in Japan for two years (2016-17).

“I’m very excited to be on staff,” Edwards said. “I want to do everything I can to help get the University back where it belongs – on top. My biggest goal is to help the girls’ mindset and push them to be extreme competitors. Never take a pitch off or settle for average or good. Nebraska has a special place in my heart and I want to make the University proud.”

Lilley meanwhile joined the Ducks as an infielder in 2015 as the No. 1 recruit in the nation. The North Canton, Ohio, native was a four-year starter for Oregon and helped the team reach the Super Regionals all four years, inlcuding three trips to the Women’s College World Series in 2015, 2017 and 2018.

Lilley was a two-time NFCA All-American and a three-time All-Pac-12 pick. That included two first-team picks in 2015 and 2018.

Jenna Lilley.

Additionally, Lilley earned All-Pac-12 Defensive Team honors in 2015 and 2018. The 2015 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, Lilley led the Ducks with a .427 batting average, while starting all 59 games in her first season with the Ducks. Following her freshman season, Lilley helped the USA Junior Women’s National Team win the 2015 WBSC Junior World Championships.

She finished her college career with a batting average of .346, 175 runs, 222 hits, 17 home runs and 144 RBIs.

Following her career at Oregon, Lilley was drafted by her hometown Cleveland Comets in the 2018 NFP draft, going No. 22 overall. Additionally, she played for the USA Women’s National Team in the summer of 2017 and was one of 18 players to be selected to USA Softball’s Japan All-Star Series Roster.

“I am really looking forward to being a part of the Nebraska softball program and Coach Revelle’s staff while furthering my education,” Lilley said. “I’d like to thank Coach Revelle and Husker softball for giving me this opportunity.”