Softball: Close encounters but mixed results for Wisconsin against Iowa

first_imgWisconsin was close, but the Badgers only had one comeback attempt in them this weekend.After coming back from a 4-1 deficit Saturday to win in walk-off fashion over Iowa, Wisconsin (17-22, 2-9 Big Ten) couldn’t complete the same feat Sunday in a 3-2 defeat in 10 innings.After hitting the game-tying home run Saturday along with pitching a complete game, Taylor Paige Stewart took the mound for the Badgers to square off against Shayla Starkenburg in a rubber match full of missed opportunities to score.In the opening frame both pitchers were in danger of giving up runs, but Iowa (14-31, 5-9) left two runners on base while Wisconsin’s Chloe Miller narrowly missed a two-run homer after flying out to the warning track.Iowa’s Alyssa Navarro capitalized on the windy day in the top of the second with a solo shot to left-center to give the Hawkeyes a 1-0 lead. Unlike her previous outing, which featured seven strikeouts in the first two innings, Stewart struggled early with command and loaded the bases with two outs in the same frame, but a pop out to center field prevented any further damage.Iowa picked up right where they left off with leadoff double from Molly Hoffman in the third. First basemen Kaitlyn Mullarkey nearly cleared the bases with a two run shot to left, but it was caught at the warning track as the Hawkeyes again stranded a runner on third.It took until two outs in the bottom of the third for Wisconsin to put a hit on the board, after Maria Van Abel legged out an infield single with no one able to cover first base. Marissa Mersch followed up with a line drive, but it went straight to third baseman Sarah Kurtz to keep Starkenburg’s shutout intact and Iowa’s lead at 1-0.Wisconsin put forth its first considerable scoring threat of the day in the bottom of the fourth, after a leadoff triple to right-center from Kelsey Jenkins brought up the looming possibility of a tie game. After two consecutive outs, Ashlee Van Zeeland capitalized with an RBI single right up the middle to even the score, just the third hit of the game by the Badgers.A single by Navarro loaded the bases up for the Hawkeyes with just one out in the top of the fifth, which allowed Erin Erickson to drive home the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly to right field. But a strikeout stranded runners at the corners as Stewart kept the damage to just one run going into the bottom of the frame.Wisconsin was in position to tie the game back up in the bottom of the fifth with two runners on and two outs, but its efforts were cut short when Van Abel was thrown out trying to steal home. Iowa catcher Hoffman quickly noticed the attempt and got in position to make the easy tag.With Wisconsin still trailing in the last of the seventh, Megan Tancill tripled to jumpstart the game-tying rally. After Starkenburg struck out the next two hitters, it looked as if Wisconsin might come up short with a runner in scoring position again. But Mersch stepped up with an infield single, just barely beating the throw, as the Badgers tied the game at two. With Mersch on third, Starkenburg kept her team alive with a strikeout to end the inning and send the contest into extras.In a game where both teams combined to leave 32 runners on base, Van Zeeland believes it’s important to keep things in perspective with so many games in a season.“The coaches always tell us to learn from games like this,” Van Zeeland said. “We had a lot of little mistakes that we can fix, so if we just come together as a group and stay with it. We’ll be fine.”With the bases loaded for Iowa in the top of the eighth, shortstop Megan Blank made a crucial play for Wisconsin with a throw to home plate to get the lead runner and keep the game tied. Katie Christner then came up with a full speed catch, crashing hard against the fence afterwards to end the top of the frame in style and help UW escape danger.Just like the Hawkeyes, the Badgers found themselves with the bases loaded and just one out in the bottom of the eighth, with the winning run for the game and the series just 60 feet away. It was the defense again, however, that seized the moment with a strikeout and groundout keeping the Hawkeyes in business.They finally capitalized on that in the top of the 10th inning.A towering homerun from Megan Blank over the right field fence gave Iowa a 3-2 lead, an advantage that they wouldn’t relinquish. The Badgers made the last out of the game on the base paths, with pinch runner Brianna Flugaur trying to advance to third on an infield grounder. On the same play, Van Zeeland was on third and would’ve come across to score if it were not for the out.Despite the disappointing outcome for her team, UW head coach Yvette Healey emphasized the positives moments where her players stepped up in big moments instead of dwelling on their shortcomings at the end of the contest.“It’s a heartbreaker. We got a great performance out of Taylor [Stewart], which is wonderful to see. I think that’s super important, and she threw a great game. We’re proud of her,” Healey said. “Their hero just came up bigger than ours. Megan Blank is their big kid, and she stepped up when it counted. A lot of our best kids had the shot, but we just didn’t convert. I’m proud of the kids that did convert.”Game 1Iowa set the tone early in the series opener, rattling freshman starting pitcher Mariah Watts to the tune of five runs in a third of an inning. Hoffman recorded two hits in the first inning alone, with three RBIs in the process. The Hawkeyes scored 10 total runs in the first inning, as Wisconsin managed only four runs in the 16-4 final.Game 2Following a two RBI double by Hoffman and two-run home run off the bat of Mullarkey in a third inning, the Badgers found themselves in a 4-1 hole in the bottom of the sixth inning. With opportunities waning, Mersch delivered an RBI single, followed up by a sacrifice fly from Miller to chip down the deficit to one. A scoreless frame by Iowa in the top of the seventh left the Badgers needing one run, which was delivered by Stewart’s first career homer to tie the game. Van Abel’s walk-off fielders choice gave Wisconsin the stunning comeback victory.last_img read more

Victor Moses Doubtful for City Clash Tonight

first_imgTechnical crew of Chelsea may well have to cope without injured Super Eagles forward Victor Moses for their crunch midweek Premier League match against Manchester City tonight.The Stamford Bridge wingback has been struggling with a calf injury he sustained in the Blues’ FA Cup win over Manchester United in March.The knock kept Moses out of Nigeria’s squad against Senegal in last week’s FIFA international window and he also missed Chelsea’s 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace at the weekend. The player was unable to participate in training on Monday, casting further doubt over his ability to be fit for the clash with City today, though Chelsea is yet to officially declare his unavailability.Should Moses remain sidelined, coach Antonio Conte is likely to play either Pedro or Cesc Fabregas in the wingback role against the Citizens.Meanwhile, Conte has said that the bad-tempered end to the Premier League leaders 3-1 victory over Manchester City earlier this season will not influence today’s renewal of their rivalry.The 47-year-old Italian — speaking to the press a year to the day he was named as Chelsea manager for this season — revealed that Brazilian defender David Luiz still requires treatment on the knee that Sergio Aguero clattered into earning him a red card.That sparked a free for all which saw Aguero’s City team-mate Fernandinho sent off as well for sending Cesc Fabregas over the advertising hoardings — both clubs were subsequently fined by the Football Association.“I think now his knee is better than before and for sure he needs to have the treatment,” said Conte.“It’s not important (the game at City). We must understand that when there is a game and above all if someone is losing the game, it can happen this type of situation. I have great respect for Aguero.”Conte, who has insisted he will see out his three year contract with Chelsea despite reports linking him to the Inter Milan job in Italy, saw his side’s 10 point lead cut to seven over Tottenham Hotspur.Chelsea went down 2-1 in a shock home defeat to Crystal Palace whilst Spurs beat Burnley and will hope Conte’s side drop further points on Wednesday and they beat struggling Swansea away.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more