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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Friday, April 19, 2024
Offensive issues lead to sluggish start for UW

letty: Letty Olivarez has carried most of the pitching load for Wisconsin so far this season. The Badgers will host South Dakota State Wednesday.

Offensive issues lead to sluggish start for UW

For a season beginning play in the sunny states of Arizona, Florida and California, the Wisconsin softball team started with a dreary 8-20 record overall, earning them 10th place in the Big Ten conference.

The team has suffered four in-conference losses so far, dropping their series against No. 22 Ohio State and No. 2 Michigan, the latter by a combined score of 23-0.

The Badgers played the Buckeyes March 27, losing the first game 6-4 and the second 12-4. Although an unfortunate outcome for the team, junior outfielder Jennifer Krueger became UW's all-time stolen base leader with 42 career stolen bases in the series. Wisconsin continued to fall on April 3 as they were shut out in both games of a doubleheader against Michigan.

While errors in the field were minimal for the Badgers, the problems lay in their offense.

In the majority of the games, the bats were connecting but too many players were left on base for the Badgers. Wisconsin has only managed 117 runs this season despite boasting 177 hits. The number of runs by the team's opponents, 170, nearly surpasses the Badgers' total hits. Strikeouts were also a common occurrence for the team; 26 strikeouts took place in the four conference games alone.

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Although the team has been able to hold a lead when it gets off to a good start, the Badgers generally struggled to come back after trailing early.

Wisconsin began their season in February with six losses, including two shutouts, in Arizona State's Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz.

The losing streak continued until the second game of the Blue & Gold Felsberg Memorial in Miami. The 5-4 victory against Florida Gulf Coast stretched out into eight innings, but Wisconsin stayed in it to claim the victory. That win was the first of a three-game winning streak for the Badgers, who ended with wins over Bethune-Cookman and Florida International in Miami.

In Santa Barbara, Calif., the Badgers began the Gaucho Classic with two back-to-back losses, while rain prevented the team from playing their final three games in Santa Barbara. Later in California, Wisconsin lost two of the three games they played in the San Diego Classic. They did, however, slaughter San Diego 12-1 in five innings.

The Badgers came out of the Mizuno Classic in Stillwater, Okla., with a winning record of 3-2, overtaking Rutgers University and beating Prairie View A&M in a pair of impressive games.

After the Mizuno Classic, Wisconsin slid into a five-game losing streak until they finally won their second game against UW-Green Bay on April 3. Following a 12-11 loss against the Phoenix, the Badgers had an exciting sixth inning and rallied in 10 runs to win the game 13-4.

The potential is there for Wisconsin, and the upcoming 12 home games will hopefully begin another winning streak for the team, as the Badgers play their first home games Wednesday against South Dakota State at 4 and 6 p.m.

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