Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Bison win 1st game, but Badgers bite back

It took seven innings for the bats of the Wisconsin softball team to finally heat up, but the Badgers came out swinging in the second game of a doubleheader Tuesday against North Dakota State to come away with a split of the series.

NDSU (24-19) got on the board early in the second game of the twin billing. The game's first batter, Grete Peterson, reached on a base hit to pitcher Letty Olivarez, who then overthrew first baseman Alexis Garcia. Peterson advanced to second on the error. Shortstop Jennifer Morse then moved Peterson to third on a groundout to Olivarez.

With Kelly Cantrell up to bat, UW catcher Joey Daniels threw to third after Peterson crept off the base. Daniels' throw went past third baseman Athena Vasquez and into left field, allowing Peterson to score on the Badgers' second error of the inning.

Wisconsin would answer in the second as they took a 2-1 lead on a two-run round-tripper off the bat of designated hitter Ricci Robben. The homer for Robben, who went was hitless in the first game of the night, was her fifth of the season, which puts her at second on the team behind Katie Hnatyk's ten. Robben also notched a double in the contest.


"It was big," Robben said of her home run. "It made me step up more to do better than I did in the first game and help my team out. … I was just seeing the ball better in the second game."

The Badgers (20-12) would score four times in the third, with the first run coming off the bat of Hnatyk. After Daniels and centerfielder Sam Polito both singled, Hnatyk drove the pitch from NDSU's Bekki Rasmussen to left field, scoring Daniels and giving UW a 3-1 lead.

Vasquez, the next batter for Wisconsin, followed Hnatyk by sending another pitch into left to score Polito.

"I just wanted to see the ball and hit the ball," Vasquez said. "We needed a hit there, so I just stepped up and got a base hit."

Vasquez finished the day with three hits and two RBIs between the two games.

A squeeze bunt by Garcia scored Hnatyk from third and moved Vasquez to second. That would end the day for Rasmussen, who was unable to record an out and gave up three runs in the inning.

The Badgers would then go on to score on an error by NDSU's Morse, as Vasquez came around to score, putting UW up 6-1.

North Dakota State refused to give up, however. They would add three in the sixth inning after three consecutive doubles by Morse, Cantrell, and Melissa Chmielewski. Jandie Weber would also drive in a run on a sacrifice fly, bringing the score to 6-4 in favor of the Badgers.

It was too little too late for the Bison, however, as Leah Vanevenhoven came in for UW's Letty Olivarez in the seventh. She struck out the side to pick up her first save of the year, while Olivarez earned her seventh victory.

"Leah Vanevenhoven came in today twice, so we're really happy with that," UW head coach Chandelle Schulte said. "I think she was on a mission. She came in and probably did the best job she's done so far."

In the earlier game of the doubleheader, North Dakota State got a strong performance from pitcher Allison Bakke, who notched her 15th victory of the season.

After three scoreless innings, Bison first baseman Chmielewski broke open the game and got NDSU on the board with a leadoff home run to left field off Wisconsin's Eden Brock, who was charged with the loss. The blast curved just around the foul pole for Chmielewski's third homer of the season.

Wisconsin threatened early in the bottom of the first with a two-out rally by getting two runners on base, but UW was unable to convert.

The Badgers were completely shut down in the second through five innings, as Bakke mowed them down four consecutive times.

The fifth inning would provide the eventual game-winning run for the Bison, as they scored two more. Second baseman Laurel Pipkin walked to open the inning, and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Bakke. Peterson then grounded out to shortstop Lynn Anderson, advancing Pipkin to third. Morse drove in Pipkin with a soft roller back to Brock, who did not have time to make a play.

A base hit by Cantrell and a Chmielewski walk loaded the bases, bringing up left fielder Lynnae Foshag, whose base hit past Anderson scored the Bison's third and final run of the game.

Wisconsin finally managed a run in the sixth, after a single to right by Vasquez scored Polito, who had reached based on a base hit earlier in the inning. UW continued to threaten in the inning, as Hnatyk was intentionally walked, but Robben struck out on a 2-2 count.

"The first game, we were kind of timid," Hnatyk said. "It obviously showed. We sat back and let the game play us. The second game, we came out and did a heck of a lot more."

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