Tough schedule helped prep Badgers for NCAA Tournament

MADISON, Wis. — The Badger softball team is getting set for their first game of the NCAA Tournament.

Wisconsin squares off against Georgia Tech on Friday in Florida. The two teams have met three times before, with the Badgers coming out on top every time.

This isn’t the first time that Wisconsin will face a tough opponent from outside the Big Ten this season. They took on seven ranked teams this season before opening conference play.

“Sometimes people think you’re crazy for playing a hard preseason schedule,” senior slugger Kayla Konwent said. “I don’t think anything sets you up better than playing tough teams.”

Four of Wisconsin’s opening non-conference opponents, Virginia Tech, Missouri, UCF and UCLA; all earned seeds in this year’s tournament. Nine non-conference opponents made it into this year’s tournament field.

“It would have been more comfortable to play an easier schedule,” head coach Yvette Healy said. “It’s been uncomfortable the whole season that we’ve just seen great pitching, but it prepared us.”

The hardest part of the season starts Friday. Wisconsin and Georgia Tech’s matchup starts at 1 p.m. CT and the winner will play either 14-seed Florida or Canisius on Saturday.