The No. 25 Wisconsin softball team is approximately 70% through the regular season, and it has been a rather successful one so far en route to a 30-5 record. Its 7-2 Big Ten record puts Wisconsin firmly in fourth place in the conference.
Wisconsin has played a generally light schedule, which explains its low ranking. However, it has had success in its limited opportunities against ranked teams. It is 3-1 in such contests with wins over No. 17 NC State and No. 15 Arizona State while splitting a pair of games against No. 9 Texas.
The Badgers are led by Salem, Wis., native and Westosha Central grad Kayla Konwent. The junior is competing in her first full season at UW, as she missed most of 2017 with an injury and all of 2018 with yet another injury.
To say her comeback has been impressive is a massive understatement.
Statistically, she leads the team in almost every category, including but not limited to batting average (.505), OPS (1.562), home runs (11), and RBI (40). She holds a seven-game hitting streak.
Konwent’s OPS tops the Big Ten individual rankings as well as her batting average, on base percentage (.600), hits (53), and total bases (101).
Her stats also rank up against the best in the country, as she is second nationally in batting average and fifth in OPS.
While Konwent’s excellence is a hard act to follow, sophomore infielder Taylor Johnson has also been a major contributor for Wisconsin. Johnson has hit nine homers, generated a solid OPS of 1.196 and leads the team in runs (35).
The pitching duties are primarily split between junior Caitlyn Menz and sophomore Hailey Hestekin. Their stats are roughly similar, with Menz having the better ERA (1.22) and Hestekin cracking the stronger WHIP (1.06).
Looking forward, Wisconsin’s last fifteen regular season games are highlighted by a pair of home bouts versus No. 19 Minnesota on April 17-18. Those games will be televised on BTN. Indiana will host this season’s Big Ten Tournament May 9-11, with the NCAA tournament to follow.
If Wisconsin can finish strong, it will have an outside chance at hosting the double-elimination regionals of the NCAA tournament.