Sophomore second baseman Hailey Decker celebrated her 20th birthday Monday by being named the Big Ten Player of the Week. The weekly honor is the first of Decker’s career.
Decker was chosen as the Big Ten’s top offensive performer after an outstanding four games last week. Her bat played a big role in Nebraska posting a 3-1 record that included a midweek road win at UNO and a road series victory at No. 23 Northwestern over the weekend.
A native of Keizer, Ore., Decker went 9-for-15 (.600) with one double, three homers, nine runs scored and 10 RBIs last week. She averaged more than two hits, two runs and two RBIs per game, while posting a 1.267 slugging percentage and a .625 on-base percentage. Decker also stole a base and was perfect defensively at second base. She produced at least two hits in all four games, tied one school record and established career highs in hits, runs and RBIs.
Decker’s big week started with a 2-for-4 performance at UNO that included her first career grand slam and a career-high six RBIs, the highest total by a Husker this season. She then accounted for Nebraska’s only two runs as part of a 2-for-3 day that included a double and a two-run homer in the Huskers’ lone loss at Northwestern. The next day, Decker helped Nebraska defeat Northwestern by tying the school record with four runs scored. She also matched her career high with three hits and stole a base. In the series finale, Decker hit a game-tying home run as part of a 2-for-3 day that included a walk, two RBIs and two runs scored.
Fueled in part by the big week, Decker has increased her season average to .348, and she leads Nebraska with 11 doubles and 27 RBIs. Her 7-for-11 performance against Northwestern that included one double, two homers, four RBIs and seven runs scored helped boost her conference average to .474. She also leads NU with two doubles, three homers, seven RBIs, nine runs, a 1.053 slugging percentage and a .524 on-base percentage in league games.
Decker is the third Husker to be honored by the Big Ten this season. Sophomore Emily Lockman was named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Week on Feb. 8, while senior Tatum Edwards took home Big Ten Player-of-the-Week honors on March 3.