The Wisconsin Badgers softball team (10-9 overall) competed in the Sun Devil Classic Tournament last weekend, and played in five games over three days.
On Friday, the Badgers kicked off a doubleheader against Southern Utah, who had only one win on the season. Fiona Giradot started off the game with a huge two-run home run which propelled the team for a nine-run rally in the first inning.
The Badgers continued to rack up runs while Southern Utah struggled to compete, and the game became a blowout. With sound hitting and pitching the Badgers surpassed Southern Utah by a final 15-2.
Right after the win, the Badgers had to face Arizona State University, who posed much more of a challenge compared to Southern Utah. In the fourth inning, Arizona State scored a run then continued to rally in the next inning with two more.
Arizona State had ten hits over the game, while the Badgers only had three, which played a key role in the outcome of the game. Unfortunately, the Badgers could not respond until the seventh inning, but too late and Arizona State surpassed the Badgers 3-1.
On Saturday the Badgers played another doubleheader, starting off with a close and competitive game against Maryland. Giradot started off the game with a double and later scored off a single from Caroline Hedgcock.
Giradot’s reliable hitting is continually making first inning impacts, something to watch as the Badgers enter Big Ten play in a few weeks.
Another run was scored in the first, giving the Badgers a 2-0 lead.
However, during the fourth inning, Maryland fired back with four runs which propelled them to a two-run lead, 4-2. The Badgers then scored two more runs in the following inning to tie the game, but in the sixth inning Maryland scored a run and shut out the Badgers for the remainder of the game.
That single run was all they needed and Maryland won 5-4 in a very tight affair.
The Badgers then faced Arizona State again to finish of Saturday’s doubleheader. After the recent loss, Wisconsin struck fast and early with three runs in the first — then two in the third inning. Jolie Fish stepped up to the plate in the fourth inning with the bases loaded and destroyed a ball to right-center, crushing a grand slam that put Wisconsin up big.
With the Badgers up 10-0, they found their mojo. Arizona scored one run in the fifth, but through an impressive defensive outing and explosive offensive effort, the Badgers finished Saturday on a high note with a 10-1 win over Arizona State.
The Sun Devil Classic ended on Sunday, as the Badgers faced off against another familiar opponent, Southern Utah. But this time Southern Utah scored two runs in the first two innings and shut out the Badgers.
With the Badgers only able to produce three hits, Southern Utah defeated the Badgers 2-0.
The tournament showed the strong offensive powerhouse Wisconsin can be when the ball is put in play, but also emphasized some work that needs to be done on the defensive side.
Wisconisn is looking forward to the final tournament — the USF Tournament — before playing Big Ten conference games.