Wisconsin’s inability to score baserunners leads to bitter game 2

first_imgEven though Wisconsin left way too many runners on base in the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader — stranding 15 runners in eight frames — the Badgers managed to come away victorious, scoring two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to complete a 3-2, extra-inning comeback. But Wisconsin’s luck ran dry when it could not deliver the clutch hits it needed in Sunday’s second game. The Badgers topped their own LOB total from game one, stranding a ridiculous 16 runners — this time, in just seven innings — en route to a disappointing loss to rival Minnesota, a team that the Badgers desperately needed to sweep. The Gophers had lost their previous nine games this season and had dropped 14 consecutive Big Ten games before they defeated the Badgers, 4-2.UW head coach Chandelle Schulte attributed the Badgers’ inability to hit in the clutch to her hitters’ passive mentality.”I don’t think we made adjustments the whole game,” Schulte said. “We were going down [in the count] 2-1, 3-1, and looking at strike two, and you have to be aggressive in that situation. We didn’t move our runners. We took a couple strike threes with runners in scoring position.”Junior pitcher Eden Brock, who went eight innings in the first game for a complete-game victory for the Badgers, also recognized the need for hitters to modify their approach to matching up with opposing pitchers as the game wears on.”[You need] to make adjustments earlier in the game … to however they’re throwing, so you can get on top,” Brock said.Badgers center fielder Sam Polito, who left nobody stranded in either game, was not particularly upset with the team’s effort.”We came out and played hard,” said Polito, who contributed not only offensively, getting on base five times in the second game, but also defensively, making a spectacular over-the-head grab by the 218-foot mark in the same game. “We put ourselves out there.”The junior was disappointed, however, with the offensive results that the team had.”We didn’t come up with those clutch hits when we needed them,” Polito said. “We had bases loaded with one out — I can’t even tell you how many times — and we just couldn’t come through. It’s something we’re going to have to learn to do in the future. We’re going to have to learn how to execute.”Coach Schulte echoed Polito’s comments.”We didn’t put the ball in play twice or three times with one out and a runner at third,” Schulte said. “And the next kids come up and drive the ball well to right field, but it didn’t matter at that point. We just didn’t have the kids at the right positions coming up with the hits. Our whole bottom half of our lineup didn’t get a hit.”Freshman Leah Vanevenhoven, who pitched the second game of the doubleheader, was disappointed with her run support. She thought that she pitched well enough to get a victory. She was visibly troubled after the loss.”I’m kind of upset [that we left so many runners on base],” said Vanevenhoven. “We hit the ball, but we hit it during the wrong times. And they took advantage of the mistakes that we had, so it was just a little frustrating.”The Badgers have a chance to redeem themselves on Monday when they take on North Dakota State in a non-conference doubleheader.”We have some scouting reports [for North Dakota State], but at this point, those games are just to work on some things,” said Schulte. “It’s really about this Big Ten stuff. Honestly, I’ll think more about [the loss to Minnesota during the North Dakota State games] than I will about [the North Dakota State] games.”last_img

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