The Wisconsin softball team (22-3 overall) ended the non-conference schedule with a bang this weekend at the Louisville Classic. The Badgers won all four games they played, against North Carolina (18-8), Ball State (12-10) and Eastern Michigan (8-12) twice, after the final game against hometown Louisville was cancelled due to poor weather conditions.
The action kicked of on Friday against No. 24 North Carolina. Pitching for UW was junior Cassandra Darrah, who now has a 13-1 record. Despite trailing by a run early, the Badgers were able to bring themselves back into the game with the help of senior Whitney Massey. Massey homered in the third inning, and totaled for two hits and three RBI’s on the game. The Badger’s big bats would not stop in the third. Two innings later in the fifth, Wisconsin connected for two solo home runs by junior Stephanie Peace and Massey. This offensive spurt, coupled with a tough defensive showing, was enough to hold onto victory over the Tar Heels with a score of 4-2.
Wisconsin’s next game was the first of two played against Eastern Michigan. The big bats continued to show in this game, as in the second inning senior catcher Maggie Strange knocked one over the fence for a two-run homer. Good hitting throughout the game lead to steady sailing for UW who posted 10 hits in their 7-2 victory over the Eagles. Senior pitcher Meghan McIntosh would be credited the win for the Badgers after posting 11 strikeouts.
The wins kept coming for the Badgers Saturday. The first of two games Saturday was against Ball State. Wisconsin found themselves in a hole early after the Cardinals scored two runs in the first inning. UW would battle back throughout the game with key hits by junior outfielder Mary Massei and junior infielder Michelle Mueller. The game would eventually be pushed to extra innings. The Badgers finally capitalized in the eighth inning to defeat the Cardinals 8-7. Again, Darrah picked up the win in the extra inning thriller.
The fourth and final game of the weekend would be a rematch against Eastern Michigan. This time the defensive effort would be lead by freshman pitcher Taylor-Paige Stewart. It was more of the same for Wisconsin, as it tallied 13 hits for nine runs. Stewart recorded her fourth win of the season with a 9-0 shutout of the Eagles.
The road trip ended earlier as expected after the cancellation against No. 11 ranked Louisville that was scheduled to take place Sunday morning.
After this weekends performance, the Badgers have certainly made their case for being in the top-25 rankings. Wisconsin has now won 10 straight games and look to be a dangerous team heading into conference play this weekend in Champaign against Illinois.