The University of Wisconsin softball team hosted the No. 11 Minnesota Golden Gophers in a doubleheader Wednesday at Goodman Diamond.
The story of the game was Minnesota’s ace and reigning Big Ten Pitcher of the Week, Amber Fiser. The Badgers were unable to handle Fiser’s nine innings of stellar pitching across two games of work.
Wisconsin dropped both games to the Gophers by scores of 8–2 and 10–3.
Softball: Young Badger core look to leave lasting impact on Wisconsin programThe 2019 University of Wisconsin softball team (31-8, 8-5 Big Ten) has already had an outstanding, record-breaking season that’s put Read…
In the first game, Wisconsin only had two hits to match their two runs. Ally Miklesh and Kayla Konwent each drove in a run, but the Badgers were only able to take advantage of the few mistakes Fiser made, including Jolie Fish being hit by a pitch and Kelly Welsh reaching base on an error.
But, it was the Gopher offense that got the best of junior pitcher Kaitlyn Menz, as they put up ten hits and eight runs, including a two-home run game from Maddie Houlihan.
Fiser only pitched the first four innings for Minnesota as the Gophers left the top of the fifth inning with a comfortable 8–11 lead. The second half of Minnesota’s one-two-punch pitching duo, Louisiana State University transfer Sydney Smith, entered the game for the Gophers and sealed the win.
Fiser picked up the win and struck out ten Badgers in four innings, the tenth time she’s done so all season.
Just when it looked like Wisconsin had done their time with Fiser for the day, she stepped back into the circle to start game two of the doubleheader.
It was the same story for the Minnesota pitching staff, as Wisconsin only tallied three hits — two from Taylor Johnson — and three runs.
Haley Hestekin started the game in the circle for Wisconsin. Hestekin came out strong, only allowing three hits and one run through the game’s first four innings.
But, it was the third go-around in the Minnesota batting order that spelled trouble for Hestekin and the Badgers. Minnesota would go on to score five runs in the fifth inning and four more in the sixth.
Once again, the Badgers had buried themselves in a hole that was hard to come back from.
With much to learn from this doubleheader, the Badgers will play their last road series and penultimate Big Ten series against the Purdue Boilermakers.
Coming off of being swept by Northwestern, Purdue will have a similar mindset as Wisconsin, with both looking to find some late-season momentum.
Purdue boasts a 6-11 Big Ten record, not to be deceived by their powerful offense. The Boilermakers possess five players in their starting rotation hitting above .300. Leading Purdue is senior infielder Jenny Behan, who bats .357.
Wisconsin will also most likely face the pitching duo of Sydney Bates and Kaitlynn Moody. With 59 combined appearances in the circle, their usage is a near guarantee.
The games will start from West Lafayette, Indiana, Friday at 6 p.m., Saturday at 11 a.m. and Sunday at noon. Games can be seen live on BTN Plus or followed from uwbadgers.com.