This past weekend the Badgers (4-12 Big Ten, 19-25 overall) competed in a hard-fought series with Illinois but only managed one win in three games. Wisconsin’s offense drove it to one win and at least kept the other games close.
UW’s offense was strong for the entire weekend, averaging 10 hits and 7.33 runs per game. This level of production is something the team has tried to find all season, and freshman utility player Kelsey Jenkins is a major part of this offensive resurgence. She improved her hitting streak to eight games this weekend and boosted her batting average by hitting 7-of-11 over the weekend.
Jenkins not only had a good hitting performance but also scored at least one run in all three games.
The offense had its best performance in the first game of the series, an 11-7 win. Wisconsin started slowly, scoring one run in the first two innings, but it scored three runs in both the third and fourth innings and finished with 13 hits. Junior pitcher Taylor-Paige Stewart did just enough to earn the win, as she gave up fourteen hits and seven runs.
Wisconsin’s offense took a step back in the first game of the doubleheader Saturday. While the team got 10 hits in the game, they scored only three runs.
Freshman pitcher Mariah Watts kept the Badgers in the game, holding Illinois to just six hits, but unlike the previous game, UW’s offense did not come alive. The Badgers fell short of the comeback, as they scored one run in the final inning to pull within two, but still lost 5-3.
The Badgers lost, 12-8, in the second game of the doubleheader. Stewart struggled in her second start in as many days, as she gave up 12 runs on 15 hits. Wisconsin scored eight runs in the first three innings of the game, but after the great start it cooled off and didn’t score again.
The Badgers will be back in Madison for another doubleheader against Western Illinois Tuesday beginning at 3 p.m.