#34 Wisconsin Softball 2020 Preview

Wisconsin Badgers
Overall Rank: #34
Conference Rank: #4 Big Ten
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Wisconsin put quite a scare into top seeded Oklahoma in last year’s NCAA Tournament. After beating the Sooners 2-1, the Badgers forced a decisive game three, which they lost in a tight 2-0 affair. That was Wisconsin’s third straight tournament appearance and, with much of their roster returning, Coach Yvette Healy should take her squad to their fourth straight NCAA Tournament.
2019: 43-14, 15-8
2019 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Yvette Healy
Key Departed Players:
Kelly Welsh, .231 BA, 3 HR, 27 RBI
Key Returning Players:
Kayla Konwent, 1B/DP, .459 BA, 15 HR, 53 RBI
Taylor Johnson, IF/C, .341 BA, 14 HR, 47 RBI, 15 SB
Caroline Hedgcock, DP, .282 BA, 7 HR, 29 RBI
Stephanie Lombardo, IF, .258 BA, 8 HR, 38 RBI
Ally Miklesh, OF, .257 BA, 13 RBI
Kaitlyn Menz, P, 2.13 ERA, 21-9 W/L, 164.1 IP, 109 SO
Haley Hestekin, P, 2.60 ERA, 17-5 W/L, 145.1 IP, 117 SO
Kayla Konwent rewrote the Wisconsin record books last year. She set single-season Badger records in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, RBIs and homeruns. She hit .459 with 15 homeruns, 21 doubles and 53 RBIs. That was more than enough for Konwent to earn Big Ten Player of the Year accolades and to become Wisconsin’s first ever first-team All-American. Taylor Johnson also earned All-Big Ten honors after hitting .341 with 14 homeruns and 47 RBIs. Stephanie Lombardo and Caroline Hedgcock will add some power to the plate as well and simply pitching around Konwent and Johnson is always a dangerous option. The hitters get a lot of attention on this team, but the Badgers return their entire pitching staff that ranked fourth in the Big Ten in ERA last year. Kaitlyn Menz and Haley Hestekin will again eat up most of the innings, but Maddie Schwartz performed well in a limited role as a freshman and is ready to give Coach Healy another talented option in the circle. Wisconsin has the tools to make this a special season. Despite all their success under Coach Healy, the Badgers have never finished higher than fourth in the Big Ten. This could be the year they seriously push the upper echelon of the conference.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament
Madness 2020 Draft Rankings:
#4 Kayla Konwent