After the University of Wisconsin softball team (30-8, 7-5 Big Ten) dropped out of the top 25 last week following a rough showing against Northwestern, the Badgers will attempt to turn their momentum around this weekend as they host the Indiana Hoosiers (31-15, 6-8) in what should be another exciting Big Ten series at the Goodman Diamond.
Early in the season, the Hoosiers seemed like the team to beat in a competitive Big Ten conference after racking up wins against then-No. 6 Georgia and No. 10 Louisiana State.
Since starting their Big Ten season, however, the Hoosiers have slumped off in their recent series against The Ohio State University, Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue and Maryland. Indiana was swept both by No. 22 Michigan and The Ohio State University.
With the Badgers being swept by Northwestern last weekend, both teams will attempt to use these next three games to get their seasons back on track. Wisconsin seeks to re-enter the top 25 rankings, while Indiana seeks to re-establish a winning record in the Big Ten.
The key to success for Wisconsin will be getting back to playing their brand of softball, which emphasizes strong pitching and offense.
Against Northwestern, Wisconsin had their lowest team batting average in a Big Ten series this year. The UW pitching staff also struggled, suffering too many walks and hits, home runs in particular. While Wisconsin is used to hitting the long ball instead of giving it up, both hitting and pitching will be very important if the Badgers want to prevail this weekend.
Like Wisconsin, Indiana has proven their offensive firepower as well by being shutout only four times all season. Leading the Hoosier offense are sophomores Maddie Westmoreland and Grayson Radcliffe, hitting .320 and .311, respectively.
While the Badgers’ top offensive producers have posted more impressive numbers, the Hoosier offense is not one to take lightly.
Wisconsin will also no doubt face Indiana’s ace pitcher, Tara Trainer. Trainer has made 38 appearances for the Hoosiers this season with 28 starts and a 22-7 record. Trainer sits at fifth in the Big Ten with a 1.81 ERA. The Badgers may end up facing Trainer more than once.
Game times will be Friday at 5 p.m. as well as Saturday and Sunday both beginning at 1 p.m. from Goodman Diamond. Watch the games on BTN+ or tune into live stats at uwbadgers.com.