Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Rain ends softball squad’s day early

Inclement weather put a damper on the end of another weekend of Wisconsin softball but not before the Badgers enjoyed a couple of games in the unusually warm April weather.

Sunday's scheduled doubleheader against Michigan was a washout. The first game was delayed half an hour due to early morning rain. The teams played two scoreless innings before lightning forced a delay in the top of the third. When the delay began, Michigan had the bases loaded.

After an hour delay, the field looked more like an attraction at Noah's Ark Water Park than a softball field, but Michigan coach Carol Hutchins insisted on waiting until 5 p.m. — the latest a doubleheader can start — to officially cancel the game.


The two teams stayed loose during the delay by having a dance off. Reports from the Wisconsin locker room were that UW players won the competition handily.

"We really brought it," UW sophomore Katie Hnatyk said of the team's dance moves.

The delay lasted two hours, six minutes before Hutchins yielded and the games were called.

"It's like putting your old dog down," Hutchins said of the decision to cancel the day's games.

The two-game series will not be rescheduled.

UW awoke from its recent offensive funk Friday night, defeating conference-leader Michigan State 5-3.

Facing one of the top pitching staffs in the Big Ten, the Badgers (17-15, 3-4) jumped on top early, scoring three runs in the bottom of the second off pitcher Rachel Turney (13-6). The three-run outburst was keyed by sloppy fielding by the Spartans, as MSU (28-13, 6-1) committed two errors to keep UW in business.

Wisconsin struck again in the bottom of the fourth. Athena Vasquez led off the inning with a single to left and advanced to second on Sam Polito's groundout. Theresa Boruta followed with a single to score Vasquez.

Two batters later, cleanup hitter Joey Daniels ripped a triple — the second of her career — to right-center, scoring Boruta and upping the Badgers' lead to 5-0.

"We came out really aggressive and played the way we should," Hnatyk said of the offensive approach at the plate.

MSU quickly responded, scoring twice in the top of the fifth off UW starting pitcher Eden Brock (13-7).

Batting with one out, Gina Mundo drove a double off the wall in left-center. A throwing error by Brock allowed Mundo to score and Nikki Nicosia to reach second.

After Brock retired Nicole Mercado on a groundout, Spartan shortstop Meghan Darhower lined a single to left, scoring Nicosia to make the score 5-2.

MSU threatened again in the sixth, putting two runners on before Brock induced Mundo into a fielder's choice groundout.

In the top of the seventh, MSU kept the pressure on, scoring once before Brock retired Dayna Feenstra — representing the tying run — to finish the game.

On Saturday, the Badgers were unable to hold onto an early four-run lead against the top pitcher in the Big Ten, and UW dropped the second game of their weekend series 5-4 against MSU.

Looking for the two-game sweep, UW sent Brock back out to the pitcher's circle Saturday to face off against Michigan State ace Lesley Noel.

The Badgers (17-16, 3-5) picked up where they left off offensively, scoring two runs in the first inning on a single by Daniels.

UW continued its offensive surge in the third inning when Hnatyk hit a towering two-run home run to left-center.

"I was just looking to work the count and foul pitches off, hoping I would get a good pitch to hit," Hnatyk said.

The Badgers were unable to capitalize further though, as pinch hitter Liz Klemp struck out looking with the bases loaded to end the inning.

MSU (29-13, 7-1) struck back in its half of the third. With one out, Meghan Darhower started things off with a single, which set the stage for a Caitlin Mahoney home run to deep left.

MSU didn't stop there, as Traci Nicosia singled and moved to second on a groundout. A Feenstra single scored the speedy Nicosia from second and chased starter Brock from the game in favor of Leah Vanevenhoven.

"It is unusual for her to go back-to-back days," UW head coach Chandelle Schulte said. "We're trying to work on her endurance a bit and other than the home run, [none of the other hits] really hurt."

Vanevenhoven (2-7) was hit hard by the Spartans, allowing six hits and two runs over her 3 1/3 innings of work in picking up the loss.

UW again stranded three runners in the fourth and never threatened again, as relief pitcher Rachel Turney (14-6) retired the Badgers in order the final three innings.

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