Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Protecting their house

There might be no Under Armour advertisements at Goodman Diamond. There might not have been a lot of success at home in the early portion of the season.

But there certainly is a strong will from the team to protect their house.

It is something head coach Chandelle Schulte has been stressing all year and a subject she wished the team felt more passionate about.


Well it looks like the team listened.

Wisconsin (16-27) swept Wednesday’s doubleheader against North Dakota (13-33), winning game one 4-3 after scoring the game-winning run on an error committed by North Dakota in the bottom of the eighth. Game two didn’t go to extra innings, but the ending was equally, if not even more, exciting.

With two on and one out and the score knotted at two, backup catcher and Madison native Dana Rasmussen lined the ball over the left field fence for the game-winning three-run homer. Rasmussen sprinted around the base paths and was pummeled by her teammates at home.

The seldom-used backup is a team favorite, and the team rejoiced with her as if they had just won the College World Series.

Rasmussen sharply fouled off two previous pitches and knew the third time was the charm.

“Before I even got into the box, I knew I was going to hit a home run,” Rasmussen said. “I knew [Grimm] was going to get on, and I knew I was going to hit a home run. After I fouled that [last] one off pretty far, I was like ‘Alright, the next one is going to go out.’ And it did.”

The spectacular moment by Rasmussen, witnessed by her parents, lifted the Badgers to their second win of the day over the Fighting Sioux.

UW now has a five-game home winning streak, protecting what they feel is their right to win at home.

“I don’t want to say it’s more pressure to win here, but we should be winning here,” Soderberg said with a smile. “This is our field not theirs. We should be winning here. What else can you say about that?”

Although all five wins registered at home have come against sub-.500 non-conference teams, it gives the team confidence to know they can win at home.

“It’s our home diamond,” Rasmussen said. “We need to show Madison and the university that we can win here.”

While offensive and defensive balance has generally eluded the Badgers, the team was finally to combine solid pitching with clutch hitting.

Interestingly enough, the hits came from unlikely sources, such as Rasmussen and Soderberg.

“It actually works out because our bigger hitters have not being coming through as much,” senior Letty Olivarez said. “We’ve all been working on trying to stay relaxed, and I think that’s what they’ve been doing.”

Olivarez cited a more relaxed practice regiment as a reason the team has been playing well of late.

Another reason has been the stellar play from Soderberg, who went a combined 3-for-7 against UND with four runs while leading off.

Soderberg, who was moved up in the order Wednesday after playing down in the lineup for most of the season, has provided the top of the order with a much-needed facelift.

“I think it’s really important to have the top of lineup [produce], especially the first and second batters,” Soderberg said. “If your first and second hitters are roping the ball, then the bigger hitters think they should be roping the ball too.”

The Badgers also exploited some slow pitching seen from North Dakota pitchers, as they accumulated 10 runs and 19 hits in two games on the day against the Fighting Sioux.

“Their first pitcher was really slow, so it was more of a patience game,” Soderberg said. “And when you’re more patient at the plate, you usually choose better pitches to hit. I think that’s how we produced more runners on base, just taking the pitches we wanted to.”

Despite the strong wins the team does not have much time to relish their success, as they travel Thursday to South Bend, Ind., to face the No. 25 nationally ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

The team hopes these two victories will help propel them into wins today and this weekend against Indiana.

“We’ve just got to stay positive, look at all the good things we had and the small game we were able to play,” Olivarez said. “All the clutch hits we had… as long as we stay positive as to what we did here hopefully we can carry it on.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Badger Herald

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Badger Herald

Comments (0)

All The Badger Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *