BASSETERRE, St Kitts, (CMC) – Jamaica completed an easy four-wicket win over Leeward Islands here Tuesday, after Leeward Islands suffered a batting meltdown on the final day of the fourth round encounter in the Regional Under-19 Championship.Resuming at Conaree on 44 for two, the Leewards were dismissed cheaply for 126 with Kristoph Virgo claiming four for 40 and David Bird, three for 21.Paul Miller made 27 not out from 88 balls with a six but the batting collapsed around him to leave the Leewards staring at defeat.When the innings slumped to 78 for six, he staged the best stand of the innings, putting on 27 for the seventh wicket with Javani Tyson (10).Set 71 for victory, Jamaica were led to victory by Andre McCarty who top-scored with a run-a-ball 25.They lost Darren Small without scoring to the second ball of the innings without a run on the board but McCarty smashed three fours and two sixes in a 39-run, second wicket stand with opener Shavar Christie (10) to stabilise the run chase. Zawandi White picked up two for 13.
Playing two doubleheaders in a little more than 24 hours may seem like an ideal recipe for a pitching implosion from UW hurlers. Such was not the case Monday afternoon as Wisconsin starters Eden Brock and Letty Olivarez stifled Hoosier bats to the tune of 5-3 in Game 1 and 7-1 in the second set. Olivarez got the nod in Game 2 for UW and was perfect through the first three innings. She had been tossing a two-hit shutout before Hoosiers centerfielder Kim Richards blasted a solo shot with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. But Olivarez managed to keep a cool head and retired the side to earn her eighth win of the season. In light of her dominant performance in the circle, Olivarez was actually more concerned about her offensive game and her lack of production at the plate. “I came out there pumped and ready to go,” Olivarez said. “But a lot of my focus wasn’t even on my pitching today. It was on my hitting, and that wasn’t going so well.” Olivarez finished her day at the plate 0-for-4 with three strikeouts but did reach base on a throwing error in the fourth and eventually came around to score. If Olivarez carried some of that frustration with her out to the mound, it sure didn’t manifest itself in her delivery or affect her composure. Olivarez sat down Indiana batters in order in the first, second, third, fifth and sixth innings and only allowed two runners to reach second base. “The thing I like about Letty is that she made a mistake, a kid hit it out, but she was OK,” UW head coach Chandelle Schulte said. “She was more upset about the fact that she’s not hitting well.” Although it is common for many starting pitchers to be held out of the batting order on days when they take the mound, Schulte likes to employ a completely different approach when it comes to Olivarez. The freshman has amassed 30 at-bats this season, while no other UW pitcher has made a plate appearance. But Schulte doesn’t keep Olivarez (hitting .033) in the lineup for her bat-handling skills. Rather, she has found that Olivarez’s best results on the hill usually come when she doesn’t over-think her pitches. Letting her swing away is one way to achieve this effect. “She does better on the mound when she hits,” Schulte said. “Even when she’s on the mound throwing a pitch, she’s thinking about hitting, so that’s great. But she’s also a really good hitter; we just haven’t seen it yet.” And it’s a concept that has certainly worked for Olivarez mentally. “When I’m just pitching, I’ll get more focused on my bad pitches,” Olivarez said. “But when I’m hitting, I’ll tend to focus on that most of the time so I can go on the mound and just throw.” Throughout the season, Olivarez has done more for her team than just what her numbers indicate. Her continued improvement and development as a freshman has meant a considerably lighter load for senior Eden Brock. “She’s special,” Schulte said of Olivarez. “She’s going to be a presence in the Big Ten the older she gets and the more mature she gets. She’s never satisfied, and that’s what’s going to make her a good softball player.” Badgers try to douse Flames For its fifth game in three days, Wisconsin will welcome the University of Illinois-Chicago (13-23) to Goodman Diamond for a game beginning at 5 p.m. In the previous matchup back on April 3, it took only five innings for the Badgers to get the win. UW pummeled UIC by a score of 12-1. Sam Polito finished the game 4-for-4 with three runs scored, and Eden Brock picked up the win in the circle. Polito carries a hot bat into Tuesday’s contest as her .360 average, 30 runs and 41 hits all pace the squad. She will be putting her team-best 11-game hitting streak on the line against a UIC staff with a collective ERA of 4.30. read more