After being swept by Purdue last weekend, Wisconsin (0-3 Big Ten, 13-16 overall) looks to bounce back this weekend against Northwestern (3-0, 15-11).
The Badger offense only scored one run and combined for only five hits in the three games last weekend. Senior outfielder and star offensive player Maria Van Abel must improve upon her .143 batting average during the three-game series against the Boilermakers.
Wisconsin will look to take advantage of a Northwestern pitching staff that has struggled this season. The Wildcats’ best pitcher, junior Kristen Wood, has seven of the team’s wins and an ERA of 3.73. She has won three of her last four outings and has allowed no more than five runs in any of those games.
Meanwhile, UW freshman Mariah Watts had been on a roll before playing Purdue, winning four of her last five games. Watts faltered against the Boilermakers, giving up six runs in the last game of the series.
Watts and the rest of Wisconsin’s pitching staff will have their work cut out for them against this Northwestern offense. The Wildcats score an average of 6.08 runs per game and have four players batting over .360. The top two performers for the Wildcats are senior outfielder Andrea DiPrima and junior infielder Andrea Filler. Both players have a batting average over .400 and have hit six home runs apiece.
The matchup should be close as Wisconsin’s strong pitching will take on Northwestern’s potent offense. The series will begin Saturday at 12 p.m. in Evanston, Ill.