Errors, sloppy play haunt Wisconsin

first_imgThe first game of Wisconsin’s home opening doubleheader didn’t prove to be as successful as the team had hoped. On a dreary, cold and overcast afternoon, the weather echoed the team’s sentiments after a series of errors and untimely hitting helped end the Fighting Sioux of North Dakota’s nine-game losing streak. It was a tale of two games because for everything that went wrong in their first game, the Badgers managed to find an equal amount of success in their second — a 4-3 victory.It began in the bottom of third inning of the first game when Badger shortstop Katie Soderberg walked, then advanced on a ball that passed under the glove of Fighting Sioux catcher Kindra Bennett. The rally was quickly stunted when Jen Krueger lined a two out shot into the right fielder’s glove.In the fourth, the Badgers managed to get a leadoff single by Theresa Boruta, who then stole second, only to be stranded there when pitcher Letty Olivarez got fooled on a nasty changeup by Greater West Conference Pitcher of the Week Hanna Peters-Rose.The trend persisted in the fifth as well. Ashley Hanewich smoked a double, the first of the two she had on the day, where she was left until the inning ended.Granted, the Badgers only left four base runners on throughout the game, but for a team that hadn’t registered a run in the last 19 innings, every potential score was crucial.Behind a strong outing from Olivarez, the defense wilted, yielding three unearned runs. UW head coach Chandelle Schulte emphasized the need to play together on defense and minimize the teams’ errors.“I just said to them, ‘You know what, we don’t have an All-American, were not built on All-Americans and it’s going to take 13 kids.’ We saw that again today — you have to play as a team,” Schulte said. In the top of the sixth inning, the Sioux were essentially spotted four runs on errors by Livi Abney, catcher Boruta, and senior third basemen Leah Vanevenhoven. The latter of which was a high pop to third that was especially difficult for Vanevenhoven to nab given she’s traditionally a pitcher and outfielder.“I counted in one inning we had eight errors, and those are physical and mental errors as well,” Schulte said.While the Badgers struggled in the field in the first match, their gloves did the talking in the second game of the day.In the top of the second of game two, second basemen Livy Abney atoned for her error earlier in the day when she lunged to her left and snagged a liner, saving the day’s second pitcher, Vanevenhoven, much work.In the third, shortstop Katie Soderberg decided not to be outdone by her up-the-middle counterpart when she flashed the leather. On a blooper heading towards second, Soderberg dove to her left, barely hanging onto the ball, as it sat precariously at the end of her glove.In the fifth, third basemen Karla Powell made an impressive catch, turning 180 degrees to grab a high pop off the bat of a Fighting Sioux. Even more impressive, third base has become a position by committee, and this was one of Powell’s first appearances there. “[It hasn’t] been too big of a transition,” Powell said. “Just had to keep focus and get my job done and know the people behind me were going to step up and do theirs.”Luckily for the Badgers, it wasn’t only the defense that displayed short-term memory. The untimely hitting Wisconsin had been accustomed to in the first game proved to have no lasting effects as the second game came about. Wisconsin jumped on the Sioux early scoring in the first inning to take a 1-0 lead. However, had Jen Krueger, who led off the game with a bunt single, not left early before North Dakota pitcher Erica Younan released a pitch and was consequentially called out, the damage may have been much worse.In the bottom of the fifth, after a lead off single by Livi Abney, the Badgers were able to capitalize on Letty Olivarez’s double to deep left and tie up the score at two. More timely hitting from Wisconsin saw Abney knock an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth to give Wisconsin the lead. The tides had completely turned when errors and passed balls befuddled the Fighting Sioux and extended the Badger’s lead 5-2.The two games proved to be mirror images of each other. In the first, mental lapses on defense and unsuccessful plate appearances with runners in scoring position doomed the Badgers. In the second game, the Badgers showed excellent hitting and sparkling defense.last_img

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