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Wisconsin softball: so, uh, how are they doing this season?

We haven’t been covering the softball team as much as I would like. Let’s change that!

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Kayla Konwent has socked eight dingers so far this season.
Nikos Frazier | Journal & Courier

We haven’t covered the softball team as much as I would have liked this season. That sucks and I’m sorry, but let’s change that now and talk about how things have been going for the Badgers this year! Here is what you need to know as they barrel towards the postseason.

Wisconsin has five games left in the regular season:

  • a doubleheader at Minnesota on Wednesday with the first game starting at 1 p.m. CT and airing on BTN+
  • a trio of games against No. 21 Michigan this weekend at Goodman Diamond in Madison; all games are on BTN+ and Friday’s game starts at 5 p.m. CT, Saturday’s at 1 p.m. CT and Sunday’s at noon CT
  • The Big Ten Tournament starts on Wednesday, May 11 and goes until Saturday, May 14 and will take place at Michigan State.

The Badgers are 27-13 overall and 12-6 in the Big Ten, which puts them fifth in the conference behind No. 7 Northwestern (18-2), Nebraska (15-4), Illinois (14-5) and Maryland (14-6). They have early season wins over No. 19 UCF and No. 16 Clemson and took two out of three against Nebraska two weeks ago. UW hasn’t played Northwestern or Maryland (and won’t unless they meet in the postseason) and was swept in a three-game series at Illinois at the beginning of April.

NCAA Tournament resume:

Wisconsin is No. 30 in the RPI and has the No. 44 strength of schedule (No. 13 SOS in non-conference) in the country. They are 8-10 against teams in the top-50 of the RPI and 16-12 against teams in the top-100.

I’ve found two softball bracketology sites, and both have the Badgers in the NCAA Softball Tournament, however it would seem UW is squarely on the bubble heading into the final week of the season.

The Oklahoma 247 site (the Sooners are the No. 1 team in the country and have only lost one game all season which is one of the reasons their 247 site does its own bracketology) has the Badgers, who they have on the bubble as of 4/26, in the Gainesville Regional with the No. 12 Florida Gators playing host to UCF and USC Upstate too. CollegeSportsMadness.com noted that Wisconsin was one of their “last four in” for the tournament last week but this week they put the Badgers in the tourney with no qualifiers and projects them to be in the Lexington Regional hosted by the No. 16 Kentucky Wildcats (with Louisville and Robert Morris).

Statistical leaders for Wisconsin:

  • Kayla Konwent: .404 batting average (44-for-109), 1.276 OPS, nine doubles, eight homers, 27 RBI, 36 walks
  • Fiona Girardot: 28 runs, two triples, 10 hit by pitch (ouch!)
  • Ally Miklesh: 11 stolen bases
  • Maddie Schwartz: 22-6 record, 2.11 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 15 complete games, two shutouts, 162.1 innings pitched, 111 strikeouts, 35 walks
  • Tessa Magnanimo: 1-1 record, 2.54 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 41.1 innings pitched, 31 strikeouts, five walks
  • Ava Justman: 4-6 record, 3.93 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 62.1 innings pitched, three complete games, 39 strikeouts, 15 walks