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Friday, April 19, 2024
Badgers fall to 0-5 in Big Ten after losses to PSU

Olivarez: Senior pitcher Letty Olivarez started both games this weekend and despite allowing only four earned runs, took two losses.

Badgers fall to 0-5 in Big Ten after losses to PSU

The Wisconsin women's softball team continued to struggle through conference games, falling to the Penn State Nittany Lions 3-1 and 3-0 this weekend.

The game Saturday afternoon started with an energetic Badgers' defense and a first-pitch strike from senior pitcher Letty Olivarez. However, the Nittany Lions continued to hit the gaps, quickly pulling ahead 3-0 by the third inning.

Wisconsin did not start hitting until the fourth inning, when freshman second baseman Whitney Massey and Olivarez both punched singles through the infield gaps. However, no runs were scored.

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An exciting sixth inning restored same hope. Freshman infielder Shannel Blackshear led off with a single. Massey then walked, and a fly out from sophomore infielder Karla Powell advanced pinch runner Abby Gregory to third. Massey stole second right before Olivarez was walked. Penn State sophomore pitcher Lisa Akamine threw a wild pitch, allowing Gregory to score and make the score 3-1.

The Badgers remained in the game for the entire seven innings. Olivarez threw the whole game, her 10th complete game of the season. She struck out seven and allowed no hits after the third inning.

But a three up, three down inning of groundouts and fly outs for the Badgers ended the game at 3-1.

Wisconsin continued the series against Penn State Sunday afternoon with another loss.

The Nittany Lions took the lead over the Badgers in the top of the second inning. After a walk and a hit-by-pitch, senior outfielder Ashley Griffith hit a single to bring in a run, making the score 1-0.

The Badgers nearly evened out the score in the bottom of the second with two singles and a stolen base by freshman outfielder Kendall Grimm, but a fly out to center ended the inning with two players left on base.

Another two runs were scored off a single in the fifth inning, extending Penn State's lead to three.

Freshman pitcher Meghan McIntosh replaced Olivarez in the top of the seventh inning with two runners on base and one out. She gave away a walk to the first batter she faced, loading the bases. McIntosh then finished the inning  without allowing any runs with a strike out and a groundout from the Nittany Lions.

Back-to-back doubles from junior outfielder Ashley Hanewich and senior infielder Katie Soderberg gave Wisconsin hope. Massey then swung a grounder off Penn State's shortstop, but the Nittany Lions' third baseman picked it up and threw Hanewich out at home for the second out. The next at bat resulted in a groundout back to the pitcher to end the game.

The team totaled seven hits, including three doubles, against Penn State's nine hits.

After facing PSU, the Badgers played South Dakota State in a nonconference make-up contest, and blew away the Jackrabbits, 11-2, to pick up their 10th win of the season.

The Badgers look to pick up their first Big Ten wins of the season this Wednesday as they host Iowa for a doubleheader.


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