Badger softball continues to dominate schedule, moves to 20-2

The Badgers are off to a phenomenal start, winning their 20th game of the season last weekend. 

Image By: Jessi Schoville

After entering the Top 25 rankings last Tuesday for the first time since 2014, Wisconsin softball more than proved that they deserved to be there this weekend at the Colorado State Classic.

The Badgers finished the weekend at 5-0, improving their overall record to 20-2 and ensuring they won’t fall out of this week’s poll. Wisconsin benefited from both explosive offense and outstanding pitching in all five games of the tournament. Freshman Kaitlyn Menz and senior Kirsten Stevens led the way from the mound, as Menz struck out 15 batters in her three starts and Stevens allowed only 2 earned runs across her 10 innings of work.

Senior Chloe Miller was outstanding at the plate all weekend, knocking three home runs as part of her 12 hits across the five games. Miller’s batting average on the season now stands at a team-high .543.

Wisconsin’s first game of the weekend against Maine (2-9) was also their closest. The Badgers held the Black Bears to only three hits on the way to a 4-2 victory. Chloe Miller batted in all four runs for Wisconsin, two of them coming from a home run and two from a triple. Miller’s dinger came in the first inning and the Badgers never trailed in the game. Four innings later, she iced the contest with the two-RBI triple.

The next day Wisconsin faced a double header, again playing Maine in the morning before taking on the host team Colorado State (12-7) in the afternoon. The Badgers had a much easier time handling the Black Bears the second time around. Wisconsin only took five innings to win the contest, run-ruling Maine 15-5 behind strong performances from junior Brooke Wyderski and sophomore Stephanie Lombardo. After leaving three runners stranded to end the first inning, Wisconsin made sure to capitalize on their chances the rest of the day. Wyderski and Lombardo each reached base three times, not to mention hitting near-consecutive home runs in the third inning. This game marked the second highest run total for the team all year.

In the second game of the day, Wisconsin bested Colorado State 8-1 behind another great performance by the red-hot Wyderski. The star shortstop hit two more home runs against the Rams, bringing her total on the year to five.

Sunday held much of the same for the Badgers. Once again, they were slated to take on Maine and then Colorado State, and once again they came through with two big wins. Wisconsin battled the Black Bears in a tight one before scoring three runs in the bottom of the 6th to win 10-6. Stephanie Lombardo came up big once again, going 3-4 with four RBIs, including a home run in the sixth that made it a four run game.

The Badgers wrapped up their trip to the Rocky Mountains with their best win of the season, a 16-0 thrashing of Colorado State. Kirsten Stevens threw just 69 pitches while allowing two hits in the five inning game. While the entire team hit well against the Rams, Wyderski and Miller were certainly the stars. Wyderski went 4-4 with three doubles and three RBIs, while Miller scored four runs and fell just a triple short of the cycle.

The Badgers are scheduled for an extended break this weekend, picking up the action on the March 22 at Louisville (15-7) for one game. After that, Wisconsin travels to Evanston to begin the Big Ten season against Northwestern (7-12), and hopefully continue the momentum they gathered from their non-conference schedule.

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