Softball splits doubleheader with Green Bay

first_imgUW pitcher Leah Vanevenhoven got a win against the UW Green Bay Phoenix in yesterday\’s doubleheader to improve her record to 4-5 on the season.[/media-credit]Although it took seven innings and a 4-0 shutout loss to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay in the first game of the doubleheader Wednesday night, the Badgers finally found their offensive spark.In a 9-2 rout of the Phoenix, Wisconsin salvaged what would have been an utter disappointing two-game series. Coming into Wednesday night’s showdown, the Badgers expected to sweep the two games, but Amanda Margelofsky, Green Bay’s ace, had other ideas. In the first game, Margelofsky only conceded four hits and struck out six batters while improving her record to an outstanding 8-2. Although she walked seven Badgers, Wisconsin’s inability to capitalize with runners in scoring position proved to be the difference in the 4-0 score. The Badgers left 10 runners on base including three in the bottom of the second inning. The bases loaded, one out situation, was a golden opportunity for UW’s Jen Krueger, who is 8-15 in the last two series, but unfortunately she was unable to get the timely hit the Badgers so desperately needed.Another example of a squandered opportunity was evident in the fourth when senior Leah Vanevenhoven led off the inning with a solid line drive single to right. Valyncia Raphael laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt, which moved Vanevenhoven to second, but she accidentally rounded the bag too far and was caught off guard when Phoenix second baseman Krissy Hanson tagged her from behind to complete the double play. The story of the first game involved the numerous miscues that plagued the Wisconsin softball team.The first game left head coach Chandelle Schulte dumbfounded.“[I didn’t say] much. You know, honestly, I just said, ‘This is up to you — you’ve got to make some decisions about how you play, and the intensity with which you play,’” Schulte said. “Our energy was just not good; you know it’s up to you [the team].”After some apparent soul searching between games, the Badgers turned their level of play up a notch. Third base, a position that has caused problems for the team all season, finally got plenty of steady production from Karla Powell, who not only held down the hot corner defensively but also contributed an impressive 4-4 performance at the plate.“I was just seeing the ball really well today and was just trying to help the team get something going,” Powell said.The team also received crucial innings from rarely used underclassmen Kristyn Hansen, who more than welcomed the challenge. After a rocky start by pitcher Leah Vanevenhoven, Hansen inherited a 3-2 lead in the third inning and used that opportunity well. She pitched three-plus innings of shutout ball, allowing three hits and striking out four. In the top of the fifth, with the bases loaded for the Phoenix and the game very much still in the balance, Hansen turned the tide by striking out Green Bay’s Katie Cooney, who had already hit a two run homer on a full count changeup.“It was high pressure, some pitches I was uncomfortable throwing, but my coach wanted me to throw them, and I was determined to do well,” Hansen said. “I think after I got the first strikeout I just took a deep breath, and said I’ll get this next one.”The floodgates finally opened in the bottom of the fifth with the Badgers leading 5-2. After another single by Karla Powell, Letty Olivarez smashed her third homer of the year over the 225-foot wall in deep center field. The bomb was a no-doubter which narrowly missed cracking Goodman Diamond’s scoreboard.With the game firmly in hand, the Badgers loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth for first basemen Alexis Garcia. She came through with a bases clearing double that sealed the deal on the Badger’s first run rule victory 11-2.Although obviously pleased with the resiliency of her ball club, Schulte wasn’t particularly surprised with the offensive outburst her team displayed.“Don’t be too excited,” Schulte said. “That shouldn’t be the exception, that should be the rule.”last_img

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