Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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Hagen leaving mark on UW

Sunday afternoon, senior day at Goodman diamond, there was only one player who would be honored as playing all four years for UW.

That solo honor belonged the Badgers’ feisty leadoff hitter and center fielder, Kerry Hagen.

Hagen, a Rhinelander, Wis. native, was originally drawn to UW for academic reasons. She ended up talking to head coach Karen Gallagher where she was told that in addition to the top-notch academics UW offered, there was also a spot on the UW softball team for her to walk on.

In her first season as a Badger, Hagen saw action in 34 games. Not bad for a walk-on freshman who came to school without intending to play.

The next year Hagen stepped up and became one of the playmakers for the team. March 17th was a special day for her that season, which was the day she hit her first career homerun. It was just part of a breakout performance against Portland State — she also tallied a double, a run scored, two runs batted in while going three for three on the day.

At the end of the season, Hagen was named Third Team All-Big Ten and Academic All Big Ten as well. She also received the Badger Pride Award.

After such a successful sophomore season, Hagen was then awarded a partial scholarship to play for UW.

The success continued her junior year, as she posted a career-high 30 hits, five doubles and 12 RBIs. At the end of the season, Hagen was named the recipient of the team’s coveted Coach’s Award and for the second consecutive year named Academic All-Big Ten.

Hagen is currently completing her fourth and final year for the Badgers. She ranks second on the team with 17 RBIs, and leads the team with a .387 batting average with runners in scoring position. Just as impressive, she has started all 47 games this season and her 187 career games played rank fifth in UW history behind Amanda Berg’s 189.

As her career nears its end, Hagen does recall some of her all-time favorite memories.

“When we played Arizona; we beat the number one team in the country and that was just great,” Hagen said. “Also last year when we played Minnesota, and this year when we played Minnesota, I mean they were just nail-biters to the end. I guess I remember the close games the most.”

Being the only senior on the roster, Hagen has personally seen the program improve drastically and become a nationally competitive program.

“I think the coaches have related to us more, and they are more comfortable in their positions, and we have Dee Dee and Ali who were not here my freshman year, so they have helped a lot,” Hagen said. “We have good pitching in Andrea, which we did not have in the past. Everything has just kind of come together, and it’s turned out pretty well.”

Along with seeing the program grow from year to year, Hagen has also become a player that the underclassmen on the team can look up to for advice.

“I think a lot of the girls listen to what I say because I have been here for awhile, so they understand my experience,” said Hagen. “They take what I have to say to heart and I think that has helped a lot.”

Hagen will graduate next December with a degree in molecular biology and plans on applying to veterinary school. However, while Hagen’s days at UW are not yet finished, the senior has reflected on what part of playing softball for Wisconsin she will miss the most.

“I will miss the team the most,” Hagen said. “It is fun to have 20 girls that you can hang out with whenever you want, and it is just like a family so I am going to miss that a lot. I am also going to miss the fans and my parents being able to watch me play.”
Even though Hagen will soon leave the program she has contributed so much to over the years, she is still offering the team one more thing — a bit of advice to all of the team’s underclassmen.
“I would say go all out, you really have nothing to lose,” Hagen said. “You guys are so talented, and the only time you struggle is when you try not to lose. I think if you just go out and give it all you have, then you can go out and kick some butt.”

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