Badgers make adjustments, earn series split

first_imgAfter recording just one run on four hits in the first game of its doubleheader against North Dakota State, the University of Wisconsin softball team was able to alter its approach in Game 2 and hold off the Bison.NDSU pitcher Allison Bakke demonstrated exactly why she is the ace of the Bison staff, as she kept Wisconsin’s hitters uncomfortable and off-balance for the entirety of Game 1. Bakke notched seven strikeouts in her complete game effort, and at one point sat down 14 UW hitters in a row before centerfielder Sam Polito reached on an infield single.Throughout the first contest, Bakke was able to rely on her changeup whenever she found herself behind in the count, which resulted in several foul balls and weak groundouts off the Badgers’ bats. In counts where UW hitters would normally be able to sit on a fastball, Bakke would go off-speed and catch Wisconsin unprepared.”Her changeup was pretty fat,” third baseman Athena Vasquez said. “But we weren’t reacting to it; we weren’t seeing it.”Junior right fielder Katie Hnatyk agreed that Bakke’s changeup was a tough pitch to hit, but that wasn’t why UW had a tough time hitting it.”We were just thinking way too much,” Hnatyk said. “She had the changeup, we knew she had the changeup, and we were thinking about it way too much instead of just reacting to it.”And UW head coach Chandelle Schulte didn’t pull any punches when asked about her team’s initial performance.”Our first game was terrible,” Schulte said. “We didn’t adjust at the plate, and we gave up too many runs. We have to show up and play, and we didn’t, and we’re going to get beat every time if we do that.”But it wasn’t only Bakke’s changeup that left Wisconsin hitters shaking their heads.”It was everything,” Schulte said. “But we knew that coming in. She’s got a really good ERA, and she’s got the record, but it was the changeup, and it was the curveball. She threw a nice mix.”Following the Game 1 loss, Schulte gathered her squad in the locker room for what some would call “constructive criticism” of their collective hitting approach.Whatever the course of discussion took, Wisconsin looked like a completely different team in the second half of the doubleheader. Allison Bakke was in the circle again for the Bison, but she wouldn’t stay there for long. After Athena Vasquez reached base on an error in the bottom of the second inning, Ricci Robben tagged Bakke for a two-run home run to deep left-center, giving the Badgers a 2-0 lead. Bakke got out of the inning with no further damage, but didn’t return for the third.The third inning saw UW continue its offensive onslaught against a new face in the circle, ND State pitcher Bekki Rasmussen. It was a tough day for Rasmussen, as she surrendered four consecutive singles to begin the inning, and was yanked before recording an out. The Badgers totaled four runs in the frame, including one on a suicide squeeze executed to perfection by first baseman Alexis Garcia.”I knew they’d come out and start [Bakke],” Schulte said. “I would have. But we hit her early, and we made better adjustments.”Badger pitchers Letty Olivarez and Leah Vanevenhoven were able to shut the Bison down from there, but the two-run jack from Ricci Robben proved to make the difference for Wisconsin. “It was huge because Ricci came up in the first game with runners on first and second twice with two outs and didn’t put the ball in play,” Schulte said. “Most kids wouldn’t be able to come back in that same situation. To me [the difference] was mental fortitude.”It was good because we got the run,” Schulte added, “but it was more important because mentally, she was committed to getting it done.”Robben added a double in the fifth and finished the game 2-for-3 at the plate. “I was seeing [the ball] a lot better than the first game,” Robben said. “I knew what [Bakke] was going to throw me, and I just sat and waited for my pitch.”last_img read more

Error helps Brewers rally against Clayton Kershaw, hand Dodgers 4-2 defeat

first_imgPreviousMilwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Josh Hader throws during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Saturday, July 21, 2018, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Carl Crawford hits a two-rein scoring single during the first inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Saturday, July 21, 2018, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Saturday, July 21, 2018, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsMilwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Chase Anderson throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Saturday, July 21, 2018, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Saturday, July 21, 2018, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Milwaukee Brewers’ Corbin Burnes tags out Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw during the fifth inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 21, 2018, in Milwaukee. Kershaw tried to score from third on a pitch that got passed catcher Erik Kratz. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Milwaukee Brewers’ Ryan Braun hits a double during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Saturday, July 21, 2018, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Milwaukee Brewers’ Christian Yelich is congratulated after hitting a home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Saturday, July 21, 2018, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw walks back to the mound after giving up a home run to Milwaukee Brewers’ Christian Yelich during the sixth inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 21, 2018, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Milwaukee Brewers’ Christian Yelich hits a home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Saturday, July 21, 2018, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Milwaukee Brewers’ Keon Broxton hits an RBI triple during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Saturday, July 21, 2018, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Milwaukee Brewers’ Keon Broxton reacts after hiitting an RBI triple during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Saturday, July 21, 2018, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Matt Kemp hits a double during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Saturday, July 21, 2018, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Josh Hader throws during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Saturday, July 21, 2018, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Carl Crawford hits a two-rein scoring single during the first inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Saturday, July 21, 2018, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)NextShow Caption1 of 13Los Angeles Dodgers’ Carl Crawford hits a two-rein scoring single during the first inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Saturday, July 21, 2018, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)ExpandMILWAUKEE – You can unlock “Their Own Worst Enemy” achievement in the video game ‘Overwatch’ by getting a double kill with a single use of Genji’s deflect move.Or you can just do what the Dodgers did Saturday night at Miller Park.A costly error by third baseman Max Muncy helped fuel a three-run sixth inning as the Milwaukee Brewers came from behind against Clayton Kershaw and handed the Dodgers a 4-2 defeat.Three of the Brewers’ four runs off Kershaw were unearned thanks to Muncy’s error and a catcher’s interference by Yasmani Grandal that led to their first run. In the fifth, Kershaw drew a leadoff walk. Joc Pederson and Manny Machado followed with singles to load the bases.But Kershaw was thrown out at home trying to score on a pitch that got by Brewers catcher Erik Kratz, Matt Kemp struck out and Muncy flied out.“I think it was the right read. I don’t think I got the right secondary (lead),” Kershaw said. “I think I was kind of stagnant and went instead of having a little momentum going forward. That was probably the difference there. I’m not exactly fast so you’ve got to have a good jump.“That could have been the difference in the game there. That was a big mistake.”That left Kershaw protecting a one-run lead, 2-1, in the sixth inning. It disappeared quickly when Christian Yelich jumped on his first pitch of the inning and sent a tying home run over the center-field wall.With one out, Ryan Braun doubled, putting the go-ahead run in scoring position. Kershaw struck out Tyler Saladino and got Hernan Perez to chop a ball down the third-base line. It looked like he would get out of the inning with minimal damage.Muncy charged the ball but let it go under his glove and into left field. Braun scored from second and Perez scored when Keon Broxton lined a triple to the wall in right center.“I was just trying to get the ball in the air,” Muncy said. “I felt like I had a good angle to it. I just missed the ball.“No excuses for that. I felt like I got there. I just missed the ball.”Muncy also made a throwing error, one of three throws he sailed above Cody Bellinger’s head. Bellinger was able to leap up and flag the first two.It was a rough night for Muncy whose defense is not his strength but has been tolerated by the Dodgers because his bat has become such an asset. However, Justin Turner is expected to return from a leg injury and start Sunday for the first time since July 11.“Max has played very well for us defensively, moving him around the diamond,” Roberts said. “Tonight was just one of those things, just a tough night for him.”The Brewers’ bullpen made the lead stand up over the final three innings including two scoreless innings from left-hander Josh Hader.Hader received an ovation from the home crowd when he entered the game, his first appearance since racist and homophobic tweets from his past surfaced during the All-Star Game. Hader apologized to his team and in a news conference on Friday.“It’s the support of the home team, the home player,” Roberts said. “I know that the organization – the players, the coaches are there to support him. Obviously, he’s very remorseful and this fan base was here in support of him. That’s what I saw tonight.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img “The sixth inning just spun out of control,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I just think all night long we didn’t play a clean game. Didn’t play the type of baseball we’re capable of.”Poor defense was only part of it.The Dodgers got just two runs out of three bases-loaded situations – including one with no outs in the fifth inning that produced no runs.“We haven’t played good baseball the first two games,” Roberts said. “The at-bats, the intent driving pitch counts up, 40-something pitches tonight was impressive. To get (Brewers starter Chase) Anderson out after four innings, very impressive. To have their bullpen have to cover five innings, we were in a good spot. But there were opportunities where we could have put them away and unfortunately we couldn’t do it tonight.”Chris Taylor drove in two runs with a two-out, bases-loaded single in the first inning. After the Dodgers reloaded the bases against Anderson, however, Kiké Hernandez struck out to end the inning on Anderson’s 43rd pitch of the inning.last_img read more