Badger Sports Roundup, April 19

Softball secures sweep; Lepay signs extension; new athletic department phone plan

Softball sweeps Loyola Chicago

The University of Wisconsin softball team earned its second non-conference sweep in as many days with 10-3 and 4-1 home wins over Loyola Chicago Tuesday evening.

With the wins, the Badgers improved to 17-19 this season, while the Ramblers fell to 12-25.

Katie Layne led the Badgers to victory in game one. The senior pitcher improved to 4-6 with her second consecutive complete game victory, allowing just four hits, one walk and one earned run while striking out five.

The game was tied 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth, however, before junior second baseman Kaitlin Reiss' run scoring single gave UW the lead for good. The Badgers added single tallies in the fifth and sixth as well.

The Badgers scored a season-best 10 runs in the nightcap, pounding out eight hits and collecting eight walks versus Loyola starter Andrea Wise (0-4), who allowed nine earned runs in 4 1/3 innings.

UW did most of its damage in a four-run third inning, benefiting from two hit batsmen and three walks to build a 3-0 lead without needing to get a hit. After getting a force out at the plate, Wise allowed an RBI single to sophomore shortstop Athena Vasquez and walked sophomore center fielder Sam Polito to make it 5-0.

Sophomore pitcher Eden Brock retired the first 11 Ramblers she faced, throwing five strong innings. She allowed just four hits and one earned run, striking out three while walking none to improve to 12-8. Sophomore reliever Megan Smith pitched two innings and allowed two hits and two earned runs.

Ten different Badgers reached base in the night cap, combining for nine hits and eight walks. Senior first baseman Meghan Reiss and senior left fielder Anastasia Miller paced UW's offense with two RBIs apiece.

The Badgers will next face Purdue at 3 p.m. Friday.

New phone plan could save significant sum

The University of Wisconsin Athletics Department is instituting a cell phone plan that department claims could save almost $100,000 per year.

According to a press release, the UW Division of Intercollegiate Athletics has worked with U.S. Cellular to create a service and coverage plan that will better fit the university. The new plan, according to the release, could save the Athletic Department almost 60 percent of its current monthly phone charges on the state-issued cell phones.

The athletic department will also reduce the number of number of staff members using cell phones by 10 percent. Coaches, which made up almost 75 percent of the users, will not lose their cell phones.

"Although we believe there were legitimate business reasons for issuing cell phones to the staff members that previously had them, we also felt is was critical that we do our part in reducing the overall number of cell phones issued by the university," Wisconsin deputy athletic director Jamie Pollard said.

According to the Wisconsin State Journal, the athletic department racked up a collective cell phone bill of $180,000 in the 2003-04 school year. During that time, according to the State Journal, some of the top spenders included then-women's basketball assistant coach Denise Ianello ($8,605.43), assistant men's hockey coach Troy Ward ($8,450.22) and women's basketball head coach Lisa Stone ($7,340.37).

‘Voice of the Badgers' will keep talking

Matt Lepay, the "Voice of the Badgers" behind football and men's basketball games, has signed a four-year extension to his contract, which now runs through the 2008-09 school year, Badger Sports Properties announced Tuesday.

"Wisconsin is a special university and it is a privilege to be associated with Badger athletics," Lepay said in the release. "I'm looking forward to continuing my relationship with the UW."

Lepay, a four-time sportscaster of the year who has called UW men's basketball games for 16 seasons and football games for 10, will keep his current gigs. He also hosts two radio shows, The Barry Alvarez Show and Badger Sports Talk, and the television show, The Badger Sports Report.

"This is very exciting for all of us associated with Badger athletics," said Tom Wistrcill, general manager of Badger Sports Properties. "We think Matt is the best in the business and we're thrilled he will be with us for years to come."

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