After a rough weekend last week against the Northwestern Wildcats, the Wisconsin Badgers look to bounce back.
Last weekend, the Badgers were swept by the Wildcats, who were ranked No. 20 at the time, and now are ranked No. 8 in the nation.
However, it's not like the Badgers didn’t compete; they did. They lost the first game 1-0, the second 6-3, and the final game 4-3.
To go toe to toe with the now eight-ranked team in the nation is a pretty good job. However, in sports, moral victories aren’t counted on the record. So, the Badgers need to bounce back in a major way.
The only issue is: the Nebraska Cornhuskers Softball team is really good. Nebraska comes in with a 30-13 record, ranking them second in the Big Ten with a record of 10-4 in conference play.
Lookin' to make some noise in the land of corn.— Wisconsin Softball (@BadgerSoftball) April 20, 2023
Badgers travel to Nebraska for a B1G weekend!
: https://t.co/KTAFQHxyk3 pic.twitter.com/medEEdY1lj
Nebraska is on a four-game win streak, led by freshman Katelyn Caneda, who currently holds a batting average of .398. Following Caneda are two sisters. Brooke Andrews hits .364, while her sister Billie Andrews is batting .359. The Andrews sisters also lead the Cornhuskers with 11 home runs each.
In total, the Cornhuskers lead the Big Ten in batting average as a team, hitting .321. They rank third with 48 home runs, with 22 coming from the Andrews sisters. The Nebraska pitching staff is also really good with a team ERA of 2.91.
The Badgers have a tough task at hand. So, it’s a good thing that the Badgers hold a solid record of 22-14, and are ranked 5th in the Big Ten with a 7-5 record. They have been on a four-game losing streak.
This has been their roughest stretch of softball in a long time, and they aren't playing badly.
The Badgers are led by Kayla Kowent, who is hitting .370 with 9 home runs. Brooke Kuffel holds a .346 batting average hitting, and Katie Keller hits .343 to round out the top batters.
Keller had a great series against Northwestern last time out, hitting two two-run home runs to give her six on the season.
The biggest test will be the Badgers' pitching staff, which is ranked 3rd in the Big Ten with a 2.33 ERA against the heavy-hitting Nebraska team.
Time to shuck some corn— Wisconsin Softball (@BadgerSoftball) April 21, 2023
I’m expecting an intense game that should be close. Both teams match up fairly well against each other. Expect a close game that should have plenty of action. It will be decided by one thing: can the Badgers hold the Cornhuskers' power hitters down?
Both teams should be teams that will make strong pushes during the Big Ten Softball Tournament and I expect both teams to make the Women's College World Series.