Badger Sports Roundup, April 29

Women's tennis advances; softball wins; track results; IIHF gold-medal game on TV; Badger athletes raise money for charity

Women's tennis advances after defeating Illini

The Wisconsin women's tennis team defeated No. 4 seed Illinois 4-2 Friday in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament in East Lansing, Mich. The No. 38 Badgers, the fifth seed in the tournament, advance to face top-seeded and No. 5 ranked Northwestern Saturday.

Wisconsin (15-7 overall) won the doubles point 2-1, with the tandem of senior Lindsay Martin and sophomore Kaylan Caiati defeating Illini Macall Harkins and Brianna Knue 8-4 to clinch the point.

In singles competition, Wisconsin won at the No. 4-6 singles spots to knock Illinois (12-11) out of the tournament. Badger senior Katie McGaffigan fell to Cynthya Goulet 6-3, 6-1 at No. 1 singles to tie the match at 1-1. Redshirt freshman Nicole Beck put the Badgers up 2-1 after defeating Emily Wang 6-4, 6-3, at the No. 5 spot. Martin lost her match 2-6, 6-1, 2-6, to Momei Qu, and Illinois tied it up again. But Caiati defeated Knue 0-6, 6-3, 6-4, and freshman Chelsea Nusslock defeated Alejandra Cuada 6-4, 6-3, to clinch the match.

"We were able to get a couple tough singles matches," Henderson said. "After falling quickly in the first set, Kaylan kept her head up and kept plugging at it."

Badgers compete at Drake Relays

The Wisconsin men's and women's track and field teams opened competition at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, Friday.

Sophomore Joe Thomas placed 16th in the discus with a best throw of 163 feet, nine inches, and sophomore Mike Sracic finished 24th in the same event in 154-5. Junior Joe Conway finished 20th in the long jump at 22-3 ½. Senior Darren Niedermeyer competed in the pole vault finals but did not clear a height.

Several Badger men advanced to the finals in their respective events after competing in the preliminaries of their respective events Friday.

Sophomore Demi Omole raced to a NCAA Regional qualifying time of 10.32 seconds in the 100 meters, running the fastest time Friday. He also teamed up with junior Brian Calhoun, senior Jvontai Hanserd and sophomore Dan Goesch to run the 400-meter relay in 40.27 seconds, the fourth fastest qualifying time.

Of the Badger women competing, sophomore Michelle Bellford took ninth in the triple jump at 40-6 ¾. She, along with junior Lisa Oikarinen, junior Melissa Talbot and sophomore Shuntia Lucas, took 14th in the 400 relay in 46.77 seconds.

Softball comes from behind to knock off Iowa

The Wisconsin softball team rallied from a 3-0 deficit to win at No. 19 Iowa 6-3 Friday.

The Badgers (23-20 overall, 7-8 Big Ten), who have now won 10 of their last 11 games, snapped Iowa's (41-10, 8-5) 11-game winning streak.

Iowa pitcher Lisa Birocci yielded just two hits while posting eight strikeouts in her first five innings of work Friday, as Iowa pulled out to a 3-0 lead.

But the Badgers rallied for four runs in the sixth inning, beginning with Kris Zacher's sixth home run of the season to lead off the inning.

After Sam Polito struck out, Katie Hnatyk and Boo Gillette followed with a single and a double, respectively, prompting Iowa to replace Birocci with reliever Ali Arnold.

A walk and a strikeout loaded the bases with two outs and Ricci Robben ripped a bases clearing three-RBI double to give UW a 4-3 edge.

Zacher led off the seventh with a single and scored on Polito's RBI triple. Hnatyk then plated Polito with a single to drive the Badgers' lead to 6-3.

In the bottom of the seventh, Iowa's leading hitter, Emily Nichols, who has 16 home runs and 45 RBI this season, came to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs. But Nichols lined Eden Brock's first pitch back to the pitcher's mound and Brock secured it to seal UW's win.

Brock (15-8) pitched a complete game six-hitter, allowing an earned run in the first on Nichols' RBI single and two more in the third on Birocci's two-run home run.

Arnold (17-3) took the loss for the Hawkeyes.

The teams complete a weekend series at noon Saturday in Iowa City, Iowa.

IIHF women's world championship on TV

The International Ice Hockey Federation women's world championship gold-medal game will be broadcast on CSTV May 1 at 8 p.m. The game, originally played April 9, includes former Badger defensemen Molly Engstrom and Carla MacLeod, who played for Team USA and Team Canada, respectively. Team USA won 1-0 in a shootout after 80 minutes of scoreless play, ending Canada's streak of eight consecutive championships.

The game will also be broadcast on CSTV May 4 at 5:30 p.m., May 13 at 2:30 p.m. and 2:30 a.m., May 19 at 8 p.m., and May 20 at 7 a.m.

Badger athletes raise money for charity

Wisconsin athletes spent two days raising money for Blood:Water Mission, a non-profit organization that works with the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa. All 23 varsity teams — as well as the dance and cheerleading squads — were represented at this first-ever "48-Hour Practice." Teams took two one-hour slots to "practice" on Library Mall, using various tactics to raise money for Blood:Water Mission, which promotes clean blood and clean water efforts in Africa. Over the 48 hours, Badger athletes raised almost $3,500, which will go to the "1,000 Wells Project," to help provide clean water well systems.

"Everyone is busy whether they are athletes or not," said softball player Melissa Trainor. "I think it's still really important to get out and help and this was a fun thing to do in the free time we do have."

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