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Friday, April 19, 2024
Badgers to host South Dakota State in home opener

softball: Katie Soderberg and the Wisconsin softball team will try to bounce back from a tough series in Michigan when they host South Dakota State.

Badgers to host South Dakota State in home opener

The Wisconsin softball team (0-4 Big Ten, 8-20 overall) will play their first home games of the season Wednesday in a doubleheader against the South Dakota State Jackrabbits (9-22) at Goodman Diamond.

The Badgers are coming off a tough weekend playing No. 2 Michigan in which they were shutout 15-0 and 8-0. After failing to score twice, the Badgers will be looking to increase their offensive output Wednesday.

""Offensively, it's [about] being aggressive,"" senior infielder Katie Soderberg said. ""I think that we were a little hesitant this weekend, and if we can jump on opponents earlier it will produce better results.""

Head coach Chandelle Schulte emphasized the importance of run production, which has let the team down recently.

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""We need to get our offense back on track. Other than last weekend the offense has been producing well, and we need to be able to get back to that,"" Schulte said. 

After the tough weekend Wisconsin had versus Michigan, there are certain aspects the Badgers are hoping to improve on and build upon over the rest of the season. Soderberg emphasized the need for better communication.

""We have put a lot of focus on communication,"" she said. ""If we can improve our communication and be more aggressive we should be successful.""

Schulte and senior pitcher Letty Olivarez emphasized the importance of basic fundamentals.

""We have to take our opportunities to get outs,"" Schulte said. ""Right now we're not taking those opportunities. If we can limit teams to what they earn, our success rate is going to go up.""

""We're focused on going out there and playing hard and getting back to the basics,""

Olivarez said. ""One of the main things has been to focus on ourselves, and what we can contribute personally. Hopefully we'll each go out there and do our own things and come away with two wins.""

With an 8-20 record coming into the games Wednesday, the Badgers will be looking to this series as a momentum builder for the rest of the season, and playing in front of the home fans for the first time may be the spark they're looking for.

""I think this series is extremely important,"" Olivarez said. ""We're starting at home, and now that we have a long home stand we should hopefully be able to get things back on track.""

""Playing in front of the home crowd is always an advantage. When someone comes to our house we know we have to play well,"" said Soderberg. ""This series is very important, especially coming off the two losses to Michigan, two pretty big losses, it's important to sweep and turn our season around.""

Schulte said the team should have better luck on their home field, especially now that they have had time to recover from some early-season injuries.

""We're all finally healthy again and that should certainly help give us momentum moving forward,""  Schulte said. ""There is something to be said about playing at home. We're all excited to be back after a long time on the road, and it's time for us to take back our field.""

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