PHOENIX, Ariz. – The first day of the 2024 Wisconsin softball season featured a split in the first two games, with the Badgers defeating Weber State 8-0 in the first game, before falling to Grand Canyon in the second, 5-2. Both games were in addition to the Kajikawa Classic in Arizona and were hosted at GCU Softball Stadium
THE FIRST GAME
Wisconsin scored early and steadily increased their lead as play wore on in their first ever game against Weber State.
In her first plate appearance with her new team, Emmy Wells hit an RBI single that gave the Badgers the lead in the first inning.
Molly Schlosser then made it 3-0 in the next inning, stepping in as a pinch hitter and doubling to left field.
The Badgers’ biggest hit came in the fourth, where they totaled four hits and two stolen bases to add three more runs. Wisconsin added two in the fifth on hits by Bojan and Wells, allowing the mercy rule, up eight runs after five innings.
Night party on the other hand faced a few problems in her first start and first win of the season. Her complete game shutout included eight strikeouts, with just four hits allowed.
Cleaning the shot
- Salo of the night The shutout was the first of the senior’s career and the first Badger shutout since Tessa Magnificent vs. Purdue on 4/08/23.
- Ava Kuscak had her first career multi-hit game, going 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI.
- Paige Miller collected her first career hit. Freshman from Kaukauna, Wis. entered as a runner in the second, scoring a run, before scoring on a single in the fourth.
THE SECOND GAME
Facing a different opponent for the first time in program history, Grand Canyon, Wisconsin was unable to keep away Lopes’ squad that went 42-13 last season.
After falling behind 1-0 in the first leg, Brook Kuffel came out in the second inning and launched a no-hitter over the left field fence, scoring two and giving the Badgers the lead.
⬆️2nd | FIRST BADGER HOME RUN 🚨🚨🚨@Brookekuffel hits the first homer for Wisconsin this season!
WIS 2 | GCU 1 pic.twitter.com/BAWo9eJi7l
— Wisconsin Softball (@BadgerSoftball) February 9, 2024
Grand Canyon responded in a big way against Wisconsin’s Shelby Jacobsonhowever, scoring three runs on three singles and several on-base tricks, including a stolen base and a fielder’s choice.
The Badger’s couldn’t find any offense the rest of the way. Counting one hit in the last three innings. Tessa Magnificent came on for Jacobson in the fourth and slowed GCU, allowing just three baserunners in three innings with no earned runs.
Wisconsin eventually fell 5-2 in seven innings.
Cleaning the shot
- Brooke Kuffel’s The two-run home run in the second inning was the eighth of her career, the second most of any active Badger behind Fiona Girardot’s ten.
- Shelby Jacobson made her first career start, going three innings, giving up no hits, but allowing five runs scored.
Next time: The Badgers continue the Kajikawa Classic tomorrow with another doubleheader. The first game against Boise State is at 11:30 a.m. CT, and the next against Maine is a little later at 2:15 p.m. CT. Links to live stats for both games can be found on our schedule page. Live updates will be provided on the @badgersoftball Facebook, X and Instagram pages.