After a successful spring break the Wisconsin softball team (6-3 Big Ten, 20-12 overall) closes out a five-game home stand at Goodman Diamond with a doubleheader against the Western Illinois Fighting Leathernecks (12-3 Summit League, 22-16 overall).
The Badgers have won eight of their last 10 games and are currently coming off a six-game win-streak over the past week, which concluded with a three-game sweep over rival Minnesota at Goodman Diamond.
After finding themselves down 10-2 in the fourth inning, the Badgers posted an eight-run rally, which contributed to an 11-10 win in the nightcap last Saturday against the Gophers.
This was Wisconsin’s biggest comeback in school history, and their 20th win on the season.
The win was Wisconsin’s biggest comeback in school history, and their 20th win on the season.
Winning Big Ten softball player of the week honors was sophomore infielder Stephanie Peace, who hit .627 over the course of the six-game streak and went 4-for-4 with a three-run home run in Wisconsin’s record-breaking comeback over Minnesota last Saturday.
Peace is currently hitting .304 this year, which ranks sixth for the Badgers.
Sophomore pitcher Cassandra Darrah was named Big Ten Co-pitcher of the week, after allowing just one run and one extra base hit in 28 innings of work, becoming the first Badger to receive the award since Eden Brock won it in 2007.
Darrah was 4-0 on the week, earning her 13th victory of the year, which places her at sixth among Big Ten pitchers.
The win was her 15th complete game of the season and added to her 118 innings pitched.
Western Illinois currently sits atop the Summit League standings after handing North Dakota State pitcher Krista Menke her first loss of the season with a 6-1 defeat in which the Leathernecks had 12 hits and five earned runs.
Wisconsin on the other hand, is ranked fourth in the Big Ten, trailing Nebraska, Purdue and Michigan.
Leatherneck freshman outfielder Sammy Marshall holds the second best batting average in the Summit League at a .420, and leads the conference in both runs scored and hits.
On March 13, Western Illinois posted a 5-4 win over Southeastern Conference powerhouse Kentucky, who beat current Big Ten leader Michigan to advance to the Sweet 16 Super Regional in last year’s playoffs.
Western Illinois also posted a close 0-2 loss against one of last year’s Sweet 16 finalists Georgia in preseason action February 18.
The Leathernecks have only played Wisconsin nine times, with the series at 5-4 in favor of Western Illinois.
The last time the Leathernecks and the Badgers faced each other was in 2009. The game ended with a 4-2 Badger victory.
The first pitch of the doubleheader at Goodman Diamond is set to be thrown at 3 p.m. today, with the second game slated to start at 5 p.m.