Taking a cue from the University of Wisconsin’s other softball powerhouse, The Badger Herald is looking to break its own losing streak against The Daily Cardinal Saturday.
After last year’s heartbreaking 16-15 loss, the Herald has made a few changes it hopes will provide a winning formula. Most notably absent from this season’s squad will be former Sports Content Editor Derek Zetlin and UW Club Baseball star, who was traded in February to the Czech Republic in exchange for a year’s supply of Pilsner Urquell.
Although Zetlin provided much of the offensive fireworks while manning center field for the Herald last year, current Sports Editor Jonah Braun believes the trade will ultimately benefit his squad.
“I just talked to Derek, and he said another loss this year would be more disappointing than the Patriots’ going 18-1,” Braun said. “He told me to encourage a team-oriented style of play and he’s right. We don’t have Manny, so there’s no one player on our roster that we can rely on to carry us to victory.”
The Herald will try to replace Zetlin with a slew of newcomers in Associate Sports Editor Michael Bleach, “Like Totally” College Editor Taylor Cox and Associate Photo Editor Lukas Keapproth.
BH veteran and former Sports Editor Ben Voelkel said he likes what he sees in this group, especially Keapproth.
“We held a voluntary practice a few weeks ago, and Lukas didn’t bring a glove,” Voelkel said. “Instead, he barehanded grounders all day and snagged a few pop flies behind his back and over his shoulder. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Another newcomer to the Herald’s lineup will be Editorial Page Content Editor Joey Labuz. During the offseason, Labuz made significant strides in his batting due to the enhanced ingestion of sausage to compliment his daily diet of General Tso’s chicken and expired IPA.
The Cardinal hopes its shameless partnership with Anytime Fitness and concurrent “beefing up” of Sports Editor Ben Breiner will ensure another softball victory for the Dirty Birds. After eating his 20 daily power bars and enduring 25 sets of 10 pushups Monday after DC readers told him it was “Brein Time,” the Brein admitted he might not be 100 percent for the game.
“It’s been a rough few weeks,” Breiner said. “Between all the extra eating I have to do for this workout plan and the incessant pushups, I haven’t even had time to explain to Ashley Spencer that no one in their right mind wants to envision her as a stripper.”
Editor in Chief Tom Schalmo will manage the BH squad for a second consecutive year, hoping for more success than the last time out. Schalmo’s tentative starting lineup includes Ken “Papa Bear” Harris toeing the rubber once again to baffle Dirty Bird hitters with his much-improved screwball and recently developed spitball.
On the injury front, Sports Content Editor Ben Solochek is probable (scurvy) and Editorial Page Editor Sam Clegg is questionable (omithophobia). Design Director Lee Dix (tennis elbow) and Deputy News Editor Alex Brousseau (vertically challenged) will be game-time decisions.
When asked who might make the difference in this year’s matchup, one name came to mind for former Sports Editor Tyler Mason.
“Hokum,” Mason said. “This is the year for Lester ‘Hokum’ Chen. Between shifts as page designer and long sessions of Halo, he’s been working hard on the diamond. I think he could surprise some people out there.”
There will be a few BH members who will be unavailable for the game. State Editor Rachel Vesco is holding out from team activities because she is displeased with the unavailability of stronger performance-enhancing substances. Editorial Board Chairman Jason Smathers will also be unavailable because Madison police have detained him for failure to wield a belt.
While there may be equal play on the field, it may take some intangibles to pull ahead in this contest. The Herald will look to continue its dominance in reporting, design, music choice and life in general. Managing Editor Sarah Probst, who goes by MC Diet Probst in her bi-annual appearance at the Herald End-of-Year Party, will look to continue the Herald’s dominance in music choice.
“The thumpin’ beats and smooth rhythms will blow those cats out of the water, LOLZ,” Probst said. “But if all else fails, I’ll play ‘Poker Face.'”