The Wisconsin softball team (18-3 overall) stuck to their winning ways this weekend as they swept the competition at the Saluki Invitational in Carbondale, Ill. The Badgers relied on strong pitching performances and clutch hitting as they recorded wins over Belmont, Southern Illinois, Illinois-Chicago, and Eastern Kentucky on Saturday and Sunday.
The weekend was capped Sunday as senior pitcher Meghan McIntosh threw a no-hitter in a 5-1 win against Eastern Kentucky. McIntosh’s performance marked the second time already this season that a UW pitcher was able to prevent their opponent from tallying a hit. Junior Cassandra Darrah pitched a no-hitter on February 22nd against Georgia Southern.
Saturday’s set of games was smooth sailing for the Badgers as they shut out Belmont 7-0 and defeated Southern Illinois 7-3.
Among the Badgers’ 22 hits on Saturday, junior third baseman Michelle Mueller logged four in eight at bats. Mueller also contributed three RBIs in UW’s pair of wins.
Meghan McIntosh and Cassandra Darrah combined for 12 strikeouts while surrendering just nine hits on Saturday.
Belmont (7-8) and Southern Illinois (10-9) were plagued by a Wisconsin team that plated runs in either the first or second inning of each game. As McIntosh and Darrah settled in, UW’s opponents were unable to recover from early deficits and the Badger’s cruised easily to victory.
Sunday’s first matchup proved to be more of a test as the Badgers needed eight innings to defeat Illinois-Chicago (3-15). After going down a run in the fourth inning, the Badgers scored a run in the seventh inning sending the game into extra innings. Wisconsin broke a 1-1 tie in the top of the eighth inning thanks to a timely RBI single by Mueller. Darrah held the Flames scoreless in the bottom of the inning to complete a comeback victory for a Badger team that has not been used to playing from behind very often this season.
The resiliency from the day’s first game was not needed when the Badgers took the diamond against Eastern Kentucky (10-7) for the final game of the weekend. Fueled by a string of hits in the second inning, Wisconsin got out to an early 2-0 lead. Heading into the seventh inning, UW held 5-0 lead. Despite yielding two errors and two walks, McIntosh kept her cool and pitched the Badgers out of the inning providing the team with their fourth win of the weekend.
Following another successful trip, Wisconsin will take the week to prepare for a tough set of games next weekend as they take part in the Louisville Classic.