Home sweet home.
Seventeen days after its scheduled home opener, the UNO softball team finally gets to take the field at Westside Field at Westbrook on Friday.
The Mavericks (22-4) are scheduled to host South Dakota State (9-15, 1-2) in a doubleheader at 3 p.m. Friday in their first Summit League series. It wraps up with a noon game on Saturday.
The series was originally supposed to be played in Brookings but was moved because of poor field conditions.
On Thursday, UNO practiced outdoors on its home field for the first time since last fall. The Mavericks have been practicing indoors since January.
“Nice temperature, nice day,” UNO coach Jeanne Scarpello said. “We’re excited to play at home and let our fans watch us right here.”
Scarpello said it will be a relief to wake up Friday and not have to worry about getting on a bus or plane.
Senior third baseman Molly Negrete said it’s a big deal to be home. It’s hard to keep up with school work on the road and she’s missed having that hometown support, one of the reasons she picked the Mavs. The Millard South graduate is hitting .386 with two home runs, 21 RBIs, eight doubles, one triple and 18 runs scored.
“Omaha weather is crazy. Mother Nature does not like softball,” she said.
Even though the Mavs have lost two straight to Nebraska, Negrete is thrilled with the season.
“It’s been a great start so far,” she said. “We hope to continue that into conference play.”