Swept again: Iowa silences Wisconsin bats

first_imgDespite a two-hitter by Letty Olivarez, the Badgers lost game one Wednesday, 1-0. They were routed 14-1 in game two, falling to 0-8 in the Big Ten.[/media-credit]Still looking for its first conference win of the season, Wisconsin suffered two devastating home losses Wednesday in a doubleheader against Iowa, as the Badgers were just edged out 1-0 in game one before being demolished 14-1 in the nightcap.UW battled the Hawkeyes throughout the first game, but strong opposing pitching and unlucky hitting wasted a terrific pitching performance by senior Badger Letty Olivarez.Olivarez pitched a complete game, allowing only two hits, one walk and one earned run, while striking out 10.Iowa knocked in its one run of the game in the third inning with some small ball, utilizing infield hits and stolen bases. It turned out to be the difference in the game, and with the same pitchers starting the second, it looked to be another tight matchup.But Iowa jumped on Wisconsin early and didn’t let up, pouring on the offense and stifling the Badgers at the plate.“All in all, the first game was a really good game,” senior shortstop Katie Soderberg said. “I think we battled, we put the ball in play and we took it to the players. It was a good softball game on both sides of the field; it would’ve been nice to come out with a win. I think it was unfortunate not to take that momentum into the second game.“I’m not exactly sure how it happened, but we just spiraled downhill and it was definitely a tough game, the second one.”Olivarez quickly gave up three runs in only 1 1/3 innings in her second start, including a solo home run. Freshman Meghan McIntosh relieved Olivarez with one out in the second, and proceeded to give up two runs of her own in that inning and two more in the fourth before being relieved by No. 3 pitcher Kristyn Hansen.Hansen then gave up four walks, three hits and five runs — two earned — without registering an out. Olivarez returned to relieve Hansen and finished the game, giving up two more unearned runs in the process.The damage Iowa did mostly came in a nine-run fourth inning, as 14 Hawkeyes came to the plate and six reached base in some manner other than getting a hit.Junior right fielder Ashley Hanewich made a great running catch with the bases loaded to saved a few more runs from coming in, but Iowa kept the pressure on the entire game and won the game on the eight-run mercy rule after the fifth inning.Iowa’s Amanda Zust started both games and did not allow a run in her 10 innings. She did so not with overpowering pitching but with good placement and ground ball outs.“She was good. She kept us on the outside. She pitched to our weaknesses,” Olivarez said. “They had scouts on us so I feel like she did her job well, and I think we shouldn’t have chased her as much as we did, but that’s what good pitchers do.”The Badgers did hit the ball on the nose in several at-bats in the first game, but the ball just seemed to go toward Iowa players.“We actually got some good hits, just straight to people, so sometimes the luck doesn’t fall in your hands,” Olivarez continued. “Obviously, it was way different than the second game, but I think if we could’ve squeezed a run in we would have been in better position.”In the second game, Wisconsin was never threatening on offense.UW’s only run of the series came in the last half-inning played Wednesday at Goodman Diamond when freshman Whitney Massey singled in Soderberg.When asked if that run was any sort of consolation for the team, Soderberg responded with a short, “No.”With the losses, the Badgers fall to 10-24 and still winless in the Big Ten, while the Hawkeyes move to 24-14-1 and 8-1 in conference.The mood in the locker room, the players said, was introspective. They were trying to figure out what went wrong and how their playing can improve. The players took full responsibility for the loss, and intend to make changes before their series this weekend.“I think everyone knows individually what they need to do,” Soderberg said. “We need to come out; we need to work hard, and I have no doubt in our coaching staff that they’re going to push us these next two days before the weekend.“I think we just need to bear down right now.”last_img

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