UW hoping to be more aggressive on road trip

first_imgBEN CLASSON/Herald photoAfter only two days of practice this week, the Wisconsin softball team hits the road again Friday, traveling to Austin, Texas for the Texas Classic.The four-team tournament, hosted by the No. 22 Longhorns (8-4-1), also features Wichita State (8-5) and Utah (7-3), a team which beat Wisconsin 3-1 on Feb. 8 as a part of the Red Desert Classic.The Badgers (6-8), who have outscored opponents 45-44 through 14 games, are confident going into this weekend that they have what it takes to come away with wins in close games.?We?re only losing by one run or two runs,? freshman pitcher Kristyn Hansen said. ?Just one more hit or one more out in the inning, and we could?ve won some more games.?Last weekend, Wisconsin competed in the USF-Louisville Slugger Tournament hosted by South Florida in Tampa. The weekend started with a pair of losses Friday to South Carolina and Wright State and a rainout of the Badgers? first game Saturday.After the weather cleared up, the Badgers defeated the tournament-hosting Bulls 2-1.Hansen earned her second victory of the season, allowing only one hit in two innings of work.Teammates and coaches alike have praised Hansen?s performance so far, going 2-0 in her first four collegiate appearances. Hansen currently leads the team with a 1.12 ERA, allowing only six hits and one earned run in eight innings.?[Kristyn?s] doing awesome,? head coach Chandelle Schulte said. ?She?s coming into tough situations, and she?s a dropball pitcher, so she?s getting us ground balls and outs.?The Badgers, after scoring at least one run in the first 10 games of the season, were shut out three times last weekend and only scored two runs all weekend.After managing only two runs in four games last weekend, Wisconsin is very focused on improving its hitting in the upcoming weeks.?As a team, we?re just trying to be more aggressive at the plate,? senior infielder Lynn Anderson said.?We?ve been hesitant up there, watching a lot of strikes, so we want to be more aggressive swinging the bat.?Schulte added that the team needs to focus on putting the ball in play more, noting the team?s high numbers of both home runs and strikeouts.However, despite the team?s offensive woes, the Badgers? defense led by the pitching staff has consistently played well this season. Last weekend, Wisconsin opponents ? minus a 5-0 loss to Wright State ? never scored more than two runs per game.?Our pitchers did very well minus one game,? Schulte said. ?I?ve always thought they had it in them. What impresses me the most is that each and every time they get out there, they get better.?Schulte also noted a small sense of urgency among the players in practice this week with 20 percent of the season already complete.?We?ve had a lot of moral victories in the last three weeks,? Schulte said. ?But it?s not good enough to come close. We?re very focused on getting ready for the Big Ten season.?Over the weekend, the Badgers remained undefeated in their new all-red uniforms with a win over South Florida. Their performance in these uniforms ? wins of 4-3, 8-4, 5-2 and 2-1 ? has led some to speculate about their significance.?We?re starting to think there may be something about the red uniforms,? Hansen said. ?We were starting off the weekends with different uniforms, so we?ll see what we can do with that.?Schulte added that if there truly is something special about the new uniforms, she may have to ?petition the Big Ten so we can wear only red instead of switching for home and away.?Lucky uniforms aside, the Badgers? goal as they travel for the fourth consecutive weekend is simple ? as Anderson put it: ?win and have fun.??We want to come out with some victories,? Schulte added. ?More importantly, we just want to feel like we?re playing good three-way ball with pitching, hitting and defense ? something we haven?t yet.?last_img read more