Softball: Wisconsin falls twice in three-game series on the road to Illinois

first_imgIt was a repeat of Iowa for Wisconsin’s softball team this weekend, after the Badgers lost two of the three game road series at Illinois.The team started off hot this time around, however, winning the first game Friday, but were unable to extend their momentum in the Saturday doubleheader, dropping two to the Illini on the road.Wisconsin (19-25, 4-12 Big Ten) and Illinois (21-22, 10-5 Big Ten) seemed to feel at home right away at the Friday night game.Wisconsin’s bats came alive, as the Badgers outslugged Illinois in an 11-7 victory.Freshman Kelsey Jenkins continued her hot hitting, going 3-of-5 at the plate with three RBIs, including an RBI double in the top of the first inning that put the Badgers on the board first. From that point on, Wisconsin never trailed.Junior Stefanni LaJeunesse also came up big for Wisconsin on Friday, driving in three runs in the top of the third inning that put the Badgers up three runs and in control of the game.Wisconsin was also happy to have their top starting pitcher, Taylor-Paige Stewart whom was rested in their previous series against Green Bay, back on the mound. Stewart pitched a complete game for the Badgers, giving up five earned runs on 14 hits to pick up the win.After scoring 11 runs Friday, Wisconsin’s bats cooled off in the first game of their doubleheader Saturday against the Illini. The Badgers allowed Illinois to bounce back and even the series with a 5-3 win.Despite the loss, the Badgers enjoyed a solid outing from freshman pitcher Mariah Watts, who held the Illini to five runs, three of them earned, and six hits in six innings of work.Jenkins remained red hot in game two going 3-of-3 with a solo home run in the final inning that brought Wisconsin within two runs before eventually losing the game 5-3.Following the loss in game one of the doubleheader Saturday, Wisconsin hit the ball well once again in game three, but it would not be enough to prevent Illinois from closing out the series with a 12-8 win.Stewart started once again for the Badgers, but ultimately struggled in her second start of the series. The Wisconsin ace surrendered 12 runs on 15 hits and walked five in six innings.However, the Badgers were able to pick up their pitcher with their hitting. After being down 5-1 after two innings, Wisconsin erupted for seven runs in the third to put them up 8-5.Unfortunately for Wisconsin, Illinois continued to tack on runs after surrendering seven in the third while the Badgers seemed to be out of juice.The Badgers were unable to score the rest of the game on their way to a 12-8 loss.In the loss, Jenkins continued her tear, homering for the second straight day. Sophomore Chloe Miller helped keep Wisconsin in the game as well, going 2-of-3 with two RBI on the day.With the two losses to Illinois this weekend, Wisconsin has now lost six of its last nine Big Ten games.The Badgers will look to bounce back at home Tuesday when they welcome Western Illinois for a non-conference doubleheader at Goodman Diamond. First pitch for game one is scheduled for 3 p.m.last_img

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