It's not who you play, it's when you play then. That's an adage in sports with a lot of merit.
And it's not necessarily good news for the Gophers softball team.
The Maroon and Gold are in Lincoln, Neb., this weekend for a three-game series against the hot Cornerhuskers.
Nebraska is only 17-12, but the Big Red has won nine of its past 10 games and all five of its Big Ten games. The Cornhuskers are the co-defending regular-season conference champions and are especially tough at home.
Minnesota won the Big Ten Conference tournament a year ago.
Game times are 5:30 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. Saturday and noon Sunday.
The Gophers (27-4, 3-0 Big Ten) are ranked No. 12 in both major national polls, ESPN/USA Softball and USA Today/NFCA. They are coming off a sweep at Illinois.
They are 12-0 in true road games -- that's more road wins than any other Division I team. They are also on a program-record 13 game winning streak. The last loss was on March 1, to Alabama Birmingham.
But Nebraska has historically played the Gophers tough, holding a 19-11 lead in the all-time series. Under Jessica Allister as coach, the Gophers are 5-4 vs. the Huskers.
Nebraska leads the Big Ten with a .358 team batting average, the Gophers are next at .349 and have the hottest hitter. Senior shortstop Tyler Walker has raised her batting average this month from .257 to .343, and she has hit five homers in her last four games.
The Gophers are averaging 7.5 runs per game, the Cornhuskers 7.7 and in their past five games have outscored the opposition 17-1 in the first inning.
Minnesota has one of the top pitchers in the nation in sophomore righty Sara Groenewegen. She is second in the nation in strikeouts with 183 in 118 innings. Last season she led the nation with 11.6 strikeouts per seven innings. Now she's at 11 per seven innings.