The Badgers (2-5 Big Ten, 18-16 overall) got back on track Wednesday at Goodman Diamond with two blowout victories over Wisconsin-Green Bay (4-4, 7-23), 8-0 and 10-2. Wisconsin put its record above .500 with the wins and gained momentum entering a double header on Friday with Illinois (6-4, 25-13). All four Badger pitchers saw action Wednesday, with sophomore Kaitlyn Menz and freshman Haley Hestekin recording the wins.
From the beginning, Wisconsin’s bats were hot. Senior infielder Samantha Arents struck first with a bases loaded sacrifice fly to bring home senior outfielder Brianna Flugaur. Junior outfielder Kelly Welsh followed up with an RBI single before sensational freshman Taylor Johnson scored two more to make it 4-0 in favor of Wisconsin.
Sophomore infielder Jordan Little widened the gap in the next inning with a single that scored freshman Lauren Foster. Foster had three hits and a walk in the first game, as well as two walks in game two. She now boasts a 10-game on base streak.
Menz pitched well to earn her ninth win of the season, striking out four and allowing just three hits in four innings of work. Junior pitcher Angela Morrow finished off the game for Wisconsin with two strong scoreless frames.
Game two was a mirror image of the first in many ways. Wisconsin grabbed an early lead with a strong second inning, and it stayed consistent down the stretch to ensure that the Phoenix had no chance at a comeback.
With two outs and the bases loaded in the second, senior infielder Kelsey Jenkins blasted a double to left center that opened the game up. Fellow senior Brooke Wyderski added to her team-high hit total with a double of her own that scored Jenkins.
The Badgers tacked on another run in each the third and fourth innings with singles by Arents and Foster to make it a seven-run lead.
Wisconsin sealed the win in emphatic fashion, with a run rule inducing double by Wyderski that scored three and made the final 10-2.
Now with a 9-5 record, Hestekin has made a serious case to be considered the Badgers' ace this season. She struck out three and allowed five hits over four innings with no earned runs, improving her ERA to 1.83. Wednesday was the fourth time Hestekin has had a scoreless appearance this season.
The Badgers take on Illinois three times in two days at home beginning tomorrow, with the first pitches scheduled for 1 and 3 p.m.