Indiana softball will resume Big Ten play this weekend in Madison, Wisconsin. The Hoosiers, who are coming off a 14-11 extra-innings walk-off win over Kent State University on Wednesday, will face the Buckeyes in a three-game series.
“We have our team pillars we choose each year and Team 49 wanted to be about grit,” Indiana head coach Shonda Stanton said.
The Hoosiers’ win against Kent State increased their record to 18-8 overall. Stanton said the team is challenging itself in an attempt to get to 20 wins before reaching double-digit losses, and the Wisconsin series will determine that mark.
Indiana has played one three-game series in Big Ten play thus far, going 1-2 at No. 23 Ohio State last weekend. Going forward, Indiana’s schedule presents all Big Ten teams with the exception of two games.
Wisconsin is red-hot coming into the weekend. The Badgers have a 18-7 overall record and a 3-0 record in Big Ten play, currently riding a six-game win streak. In their most recent outings, the Badgers swept Iowa in a three-game series on the road.
The series against Indiana is Wisconsin’s first time at home with fans present since 2019, making for a home-field advantage Indiana will have to overcome to get the win. Indiana has an all-time record of 6-11 playing in Madison.
Indiana’s all-time record against Wisconsin is 18-27, most recently sweeping a two-game series at a neutral site in 2021.
While Indiana’s dramatic 14-11 Kent State win provided some fireworks and momentum, Stanton said there is plenty more to work on ahead of Wisconsin.
“I’d like to see a little more production up and down the lineup,” Stanton said. “We have to clean up our defense. We can’t allow teams to put up a big inning on us.”
Indiana’s entire lineup will need to be at its best against Wisconsin, a team with stellar hitters and an ace on the pitching staff.
Senior infielder Kayla Konwent leads Wisconsin with a .403 batting average, and senior pitcher Maddie Schwartz leads the team in the circle with a 13-2 record and earned runs average of 2.05 in 82 innings pitched.
Indiana’s first game will start at 4 p.m. Friday. The second game of the series will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday, and the series finale is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday. All three games will be available to watch on Big Ten+.
“We have to go on the road and find a way to win,” Stanton said. “All we have ahead of us is opportunities.”