UW finds itself ‘on the road again’

first_imgView Gallery (2 Photos)After completing a two-week, 11 game home stand, the Wisconsin Badgers (24-15 overall, 5-7 Big Ten) will hit the road for nearly as long.UW will close out the regular season with eight games in 12 days, starting with Tuesday’s doubleheader against UW-Green Bay (12-16 overall, 4-6 Horizon League).”It’s always tough to go out on the road when you’re playing in front of other people’s crowds, but I think we’ve just got to keep playing our game, just keep going out and looking to take some wins,” senior centerfielder Sam Polito said of the upcoming road trip.One item the Badgers hoped they packed is their hot bats.During the home stand, Polito and infielder Athena Vasquez hit at a torrid pace (.485 and .423 respectively). Ricci Robben also hit well at Goodman Diamond, boasting a .435 average over the last eight games, including a walk-off double against Illinois-Chicago last week. On the mound, freshman pitcher Letty Olivarez was 3-1 during that stretch, with a 2.05 earned run average.The difference between playing on the road versus at home is mostly mental, Vasquez says, so the goal is to remain focused.”I think we’ll have to be in tune with each other,” she said. “Being on the road, you can hear the other fans and the other players always in your face, so we’re going to have to feed off of each other.”Wisconsin is coming off two losses at the hands of No. 8 Northwestern heading into Tuesday’s series and will look to rebound against the struggling Phoenix, who have lost seven of their last 10 games. UW-Green Bay did, however, shake some of its recent woes by taking two out of three this past weekend against Wright State.”I think we definitely showed that we can stick with Northwestern,” Polito said. “I think we’ve got to build some confidence from that and just make adjustments earlier at the plate.”The Badgers’ ability to make early adjustments has been vital all year, as the team is 17-1 when scoring first, versus 7-14 when their opponent scores the first run. Getting on the board first should put UW in good position to win and give the pitchers run support early.”I think that’s going to be one of our main goals,” Olivarez said of the team’s desire to score first. “We’ve got to let our girls get ahead and help them.””I think it’s just a matter of stringing together stuff quicker, coming out in the first inning ready to play,” Polito said. “The first inning is crucial for us.”Leading the way at the plate for UW-Green Bay is utility player Katie Cooney, who is hitting .342 while playing in every game this season. She leads the team in both hits and RBIs with 27 and 15, respectively, and has even recorded five wins as a pitcher.Andrea Kyrzynske is the only other UW-Green Bay player hitting more than .300, sitting at a healthy .311. Meanwhile, pitcher Anna Bluemel leads the team in ERA at 2.62. Despite the low ERA, she has just two victories in 13 appearances.On the other side of the diamond, Badger starter Eden Brock picked up both losses against Northwestern and will look to improve upon her 13-9 record. Over her past 41 1/3 innings pitched, she has only allowed five extra base hits, going 5-3 during that stretch.Polito carries a 14-game hitting streak into today’s matchup, which is tied for the best mark in school history. She will have a chance to earn sole possession of the record if she can get a hit in the first game of the doubleheader.Despite a losing record and recent struggles, UW-Green Bay will not be taken lightly by anyone on the Badger team, as they go into the doubleheader as focused as any other game.”Sometimes when you go to a local UW school, you’re thinking, ‘OK, let’s sweep them,'” Vasquez said. “But we’ve got to come with the same intensity [we brought] when we played Northwestern.””I think they’re going to give it their all,” Olivarez said. “Any team on any given day can beat us, and we can beat any team, so we’ve just got to go out there and go head-on like we were going to face Northwestern or some other good team.”last_img read more

Freeman lights up Sydney Olympics to kick off new millennium

first_imgLast Updated: 15th August, 2020 06:58 IST Freeman Lights Up Sydney Olympics To Kick Off New Millennium With the Tokyo Olympics postponed for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic, The Associated Press is looking back at the history of Summer Games. Here are some of the highlights of the 2000 Olympics in Sydney With the Tokyo Olympics postponed for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic, The Associated Press is looking back at the history of Summer Games. Here are some of the highlights of the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.After igniting the cauldron to open the first Games of the millennium, Cathy Freeman lit up Sydney Olympic Stadium again 10 nights later by winning an era-defining gold medal for Australia.Images of Freeman in the luminescent full-length costume she wore at the opening ceremony and in her hooded, full-length racing suit have become iconic of the 2000 Olympics. She was the first person to light the cauldron and win a gold medal at the same Olympics.Freeman surged past Lorraine Graham and Katharine Merry to win the women’s 400 meters in front of 112,524 spectators. After unzipping her racing suit and sitting down on the track to take off her running shoes, Freeman collected the red, yellow and black Indigenous flag and the Australian flag for a victory lap.It was Australia’s 100th Olympic gold medal, and one of significance. Freeman had been criticized in 1994 by a team official when she carried the two flags to celebrate a victory at the Commonwealth Games. But after becoming the first Aboriginal person from Australia to win an individual Olympic gold, she was universally celebrated.“The whole story has become larger than who I am,” Freeman said in a reflection for the International Olympic Committee. She played a powerful role for the reconciliation movement in Australia, where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have become the most disadvantaged minority group since British settlement in 1788.Influential Olympic figure Sebastian Coe later described that Sept. 25, 2000, session of track and field as the best he’d ever seen. That night also featured Michael Johnson defending his 400 title, Jonathan Edwards winning the triple jump, and a classic 10,000 final when Haile Gebrselassie edged Paul Tergat in a sprint finish.After two weeks of hearing “no worries, mate” from chirpy volunteers and ’Oi, oi, oi!” from Aussie crowds, long-time IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch gave the games his highest rating, declaring Sydney as the “best Olympic Games ever.”DUEL IN THE POOLA 17-year-old Ian Thorpe set the tone on his first day of competition with a world record in the 400-meter freestyle before anchoring the Australian team to a dramatic win in the 4×100 freestyle relay by overhauling American Gary Hall Jr. But it was the U.S. team that surged back to win the duel in the pool, taking 14 golds against five apiece for Australia and Netherlands. Sprinters Inge de Bruijn (3) and Pieter van den Hoogenband (2) collected all the Dutch gold medals between them.ERIC THE EELEric Moussambani of Equatorial Guinea won the hearts of the crowd and millions watching on TV when he swam in the 100-meter freestyle despite the fact he’d only trained for a few months.Some feared Moussambani would drown as he flailed, almost without putting his head in the water, but he managed to complete two laps solo.Moussambani received a raucous, standing ovation despite his slow time and became one of the unlikely heroes of the games.RULON RULESIn one of the biggest shockers, Russian wrestler Alexander Karelin, a three-time defending gold medalist, lost the super heavyweight title match to American outsider Rulon Gardner.Gardner, who’d never won a major medal, later said of his win: “It wasn’t until it was over that I knew I could.”Samaranch had attended the final expecting to present a fourth Olympic gold medal to Karelin, who had never lost in international competition and had not surrendered a point in a decade.LOST GOLDU.S. sprinter Marion Jones was among the biggest stars of the games, finishing with three gold medals — including the 100- and 200-meters — and two bronzes.She achieved this despite the backdrop of allegations her husband, shot putter C.J. Hunter, had used steroids and was caught in a pre-Games test.Jones repeatedly denied doping but, in 2007, she admitted lying to federal agents about her use of performance-enhancing drugs before the Sydney Games and pleaded guilty in court. She spent six months in jail and the IOC stripped Jones of all five of her Olympic medals.The gold medal for the women’s 100 in Sydney was not re-awarded.OARSOME ACHIEVEMENTSteve Redgrave became Britain’s most successful Olympian when his crew won the coxless fours, giving him rowing gold medals at five consecutive Olympics. Redgrave won his first Olympic gold in the coxed fours at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, and retired after winning in Sydney.GIVING IT A TRITriathlon made its Olympic debut with Brigitte McMahon winning the women’ gold for Switzerland, passing Aussie Michelie Jones in the shadows of the Sydney Opera House in one of the events of the Games.Image credits: AP COMMENT SUBSCRIBE TO US LIVE TV Written Bycenter_img Associated Press Television News WATCH US LIVE First Published: 15th August, 2020 06:58 IST FOLLOW USlast_img read more