The Wisconsin softball team will host a three-game series this weekend against a sizzling-hot Nebraska club that has earned wins in 6 of its last 7 outings while outscoring opponents by 34 runs in the process.
Meanwhile, the Badgers come into the series having not stepped foot on the diamond since last Saturday. Their Wednesday doubleheader against Green Bay was canceled due to inclement weather.
Wisconsin freshman pitcher Mariah Watts will look to minimize Nebraska’s juggernaut offense. Thus far, Watts has tallied an ERA of 5.71 which ranks second on the team. One of Watts’ biggest strengths is her ability to keep the ball inside the park. Over 83.1 innings, Watts has allowed just 11 home runs.
On the other hand, Nebraska will look to continue its success with the long ball. Cornhusker sluggers Kiki Stokes and MJ Knighten have belted 10 and 7 home runs this season, respectively. Knighten is hitting a remarkable .439 which ranks first among both teams.
The Badgers dropped two of three in their most recent series at Illinois. However, that has not discouraged Wisconsin head coach Yvette Healy.
“Mariah threw a great game this morning in one of the better games I've seen her throw in her time here at Wisconsin,” she said following a 5-3 loss last Saturday.
Unfortunately for the Badgers, their bats were nowhere to be seen in Saturday’s loss. That changed in their next outing as Wisconsin knocked in eight runs. The only problem is that Illinois erupted for 12 runs, smacking the ball all over the field.
Consistency has been a main issue all year for the young Badgers team. If Wisconsin provides any form of consistency and its pitching remains solid throughout the entirety of the weekend, UW will have a chance to right the ship with postseason play just around the corner.
The series begins Friday at 5 p.m. followed by a Saturday afternoon showdown at 2 p.m. and capped with a Sunday finale at noon.