With a loss to Ole Miss in the NCAA Tournament 2nd round most Badgers fans attention turned to next season, it's a shame because they are missing one entertaining team doing things that have never been done before in school history. Of course, we're talking about the Wisconsin Badgers softball team. They are off to one of the best starts in school history, holding an overall record of 27-4.
On Tuesday they entered the Top 25 of both national softball polls, coming in at No. 25 in the USA Today/NFCA poll and at No. 23 in the ESPN/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 poll. It's a rare feat for the Badgers to be ranked, accomplishing a ranking in just two other seasons (2002 and 2001) and topping out at a high of 21st in that 2001 season.
Wisconsin has started the Big Ten season hot as well, standing at 5-1 in conference play, sitting behind only national power Michigan (6-0) and Michigan State (3-0). UW swept Illinois in their first series of the season and went 2-1 against Iowa last weekend.
The beauty of this team is they are getting it done in all facets of the game. Leading the way in batting are Mary Massei (.454avg and team best 27 RBI's), who leads the conference in hits and Maria Van Abel (.441avg). They are lead by Shannel Blackshear's 7 Home Run's (25 RBI's) and have four players with 20 or more RBI's on the season already. Also performing well is veteran Whitney Massey who leads UW and the conference with 14 doubles so far this season.
As a team the Badgers are 2nd in batting average in the conference, behind only Michigan, but are the best pitching team in the conference. They own the best team ERA in the conference and No. 1 pitcher Cassandra Darrah leads all Big Ten players with a stellar 1.37ERA. Meghan McIntosh is also performing well on the mound, owning a 7-2 record with a 1.20ERA (not enough innings/game to qualify for Big Ten stats lead yet).
Wisconsin will take to the diamond next against bitter border battle rivals Minnesota in Minneapolis for a three game series on 04/05-04/07.