Wisconsin hoping to break .500 mark against UIC

first_imgBRYAN FAUST/Herald PhotoAs they prepare for Wednesday’s 6 p.m. home matchup against University of Illinois-Chicago, the Wisconsin softball team is in dire need of a quick turnaround.It’s been a topsy-turvy season for head coach Chandelle Schulte’s squad, which is 19-19 overall, but just 4-8 in the Big Ten. The team started the season playing some of the best teams in the nation — including current No. 2 Texas, No. 6 Stanford, No. 9 Arizona State and No. 22 Fresno State — but after faltering against the best of the West, the team has done more of the same against teams of all flavors in the Midwest. The Badgers come off this past weekend’s four-game road trip, in which tried-and-true pitcher Eden Brock — a 20-game winner just last season — dropped three out of four to conference foes Indiana and Purdue. Brock had won her previous six decisions before the road trip, the last of which was against UIC the last time the teams played, April 19.This weekend’s losses were particularly painful for the Badgers for a number of reasons. First of all, Indiana and Purdue were ranked eighth and 10th in the Big Ten before the weekend. The Badgers were ranked seventh.What is more, the Badgers fell considerably in the Big Ten standings from that seventh spot down to 10th place. The top eight teams in the conference qualify for the Big Ten tournament.”After the Purdue game we sat down with Coach [Schulte] and she was talking about how we had to focus,” said freshman second baseman Theresa Boruta. “We have seven games left and we really need to focus [if we want to make the Big Ten tournament].”Boruta, who hit the lone home run for the Badgers this weekend, knows that maintaining a high level of concentration is difficult, especially when the team is struggling.”It’s hard to keep yourself motivated when we’re having not the greatest season in the world,” said Boruta. “But we still realize that there is a chance [to make the Big Ten tournament]. And it’s going to be a challenge, but we’re up for it. [We] might as well go balls-out the last seven games. It’s worth it.”The freshman also talked about how Wednesday’s game could do wonders for the team’s morale.”It’s hard coming off [Big Ten losses],” said Boruta. “But non-conference games are a good way — if you’re having trouble or you’re having difficulty — to rebound and come back up with a big win to motivate you. … That’s what we’re looking for [Wednesday].”Assistant coach Martha McCall agreed that the game against the Flames is important in that the Badgers do need to work on certain things in a game situation. She talked about finally putting together, in one game, the three-pronged combination of hitting, pitching, and defense. She thinks that the Badgers have a good chance to do that on Wednesday against UIC.With six of the remaining seven games for the cardinal-and-white against conference rivals, though, she is excited to have a little fun with this one.”[Wednesday’s game] should be a good little tune-up for us,” said McCall. “It should be fun. It’s Athletic Department Day out here so we should have a lot of fans. We’re just looking to … see what we can do tomorrow to get us on track for the weekend.”When asked about the team’s state of mind heading into Wednesday’s game, McCall said that losing focus is not on the team’s agenda.”Not for us,” said McCall. “Every game is a chance for us to get another win. That’s important.”The Badgers beat the Flames 2-0 in their last meeting in Chicago on April 19. The Flames are 20-27 on the season.last_img

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