Wisconsin seeking hot start to Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic

Wisconsin earned two victories, 8-0 and 10-2, in a double header against Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Wisconsin earned two victories, 8-0 and 10-2, in a double header against Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Image By: Cameron Lane-Flehinger and Cameron Lane-Flehinger

This weekend, the Wisconsin Badgers (4-4) will be competing in the the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Palm Springs, Calif.

UW will start out the tournament by taking on the Auburn Tigers and the Oklahoma State Cowgirls on Thursday before taking on the Fresno State Bulldogs on Friday.

So far this season, the Badgers have gone 4-4 after having two series splits with both the University of Pittsburgh and the University of North Carolina in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge last week. They have received good production from senior infielder Kelsey Jenkins who leads the team with a .400 batting average. Junior catcher Melanie Cross leads the Badgers in home runs with three and RBIs with nine. Sophomore pitcher Kaitlyn Menz leads UW with a 2.63 ERA over 29 ? innings pitched.

Wisconsin’s first opponent, Auburn, appears to be a good early season test. The Tigers come in with a 13-0 record and are ranked twelth in the most recent USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll. They are led by freshman infielder Taylon Snow, who is hitting .545 to start the season. The Tigers also have some very strong pitching with a team ERA of 0.26. Junior pitcher Mikayla Martin is 6-0 and has a 0.00 ERA in 32 innings pitched.

Oklahoma State also is off to a strong start to its season, going 8-2 to start the 2018 campaign. The Cowgirls also are ranked 18th in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll. Senior utility player Vanessa Shippy has been terrorizing opposing pitchers hitting .640 to start the season. Freshman infielder Sydney Pennington also has been good for the Cowgirls, hitting .405 while driving in a team leading 17 runs. Senior right-hander Emmie Robertson is Oklahoma State’s top starting pitcher, posting a 4-0 record and a 2.15 ERA over 26 innings.

On Friday, the Badgers take on 7-3 Fresno State, who is led by senior pitcher/infielder Savannah McHellon who has a .346 batting average and 9 RBIs. Junior Tiffany Kennedy-Cummings is the Bulldogs’ top pitcher with a 1.40 ERA and a 3-0 record over 20 innings.

Wisconsin will then face off against Missouri, San Jose State and Washington over the weekend. Check back at Dailycardinal.com/section/sports for more game previews for the weekend’s games as well as a recap of the weekend.

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