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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Saturday, March 02, 2024

Softball: Badgers open Big Ten season

After sweeping Detroit in a doubleheader Thursday, Wisconsin (1-2 Big Ten, 15-12 overall) went 1-2 against Northwestern (2-1, 17-6) in its first conference series of the season this weekend.

Wisconsin opened its doubleheader against Detroit (2-18) Thursday in dominant fashion. Senior pitcher Cassandra Darrah threw a no-hitter to lead the Badgers to an 8-0 win in a mercy rule-shortened, five-inning game.

Darrah had her way against the Detroit lineup, striking out five and walking just two to improve her record to 9-6 on the season.

Wisconsin went up 3-0 in the first inning thanks to RBI singles from freshman utility player Chloe Miller and sophomore infielder Ashley Van Zeeland.

The Badgers scored three more runs in the fourth inning by way of senior outfielder Mary Massei’s RBI single and another RBI single from Miller. An RBI double from senior utility player Stephanie Peace in the fifth inning put the Badgers up 8-0 and prompted the mercy rule.

The second half of the doubleheader saw Wisconsin complete the sweep and win 3-2 after five scoreless innings.

Detroit opened the top of the sixth inning with a two-run homerun, but Wisconsin got one back in the bottom of the inning by way of a Massei sacrifice fly.

After sophomore pitcher Taylor-Paige Stewart held Detroit scoreless in the top of the seventh, senior infielder Michelle Mueller hit a walk off double in the bottom of the inning, bringing in junior outfielder Maria Van Abel and Peace.

Wisconsin opened Big Ten play by dropping both games of a doubleheader to Northwestern, 8-6 and 4-2.

The Badgers forced extra innings in the first game after entering the fifth inning down 5-0.

Massei tripled home Van Abel and Mueller, who both reached on walks, before scoring on a home run by freshman utility player Sara Novak to pull the Badgers within one run. Miller then hit a triple and was driven in by junior infielder Megan Tancill single to tie the game.

Massei had an RBI single in the top of the sixth inning to put Wisconsin up 6-5, but Northwestern tied the game in the bottom of the seventh inning and then won on a walk-off home run in the eighth.

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In the second game, Northwestern’s four-run fourth inning proved to be too much to overcome, as the Badgers only scored two runs despite out hitting the Wildcats, 7-4.

Wisconsin’s seven-run seventh inning against Northwestern on Saturday led to a decisive 7-5 win.

Down 3-0, Novak led off the seventh with a homerun. Stewart and Van Zeeland then hit back-to-back singles and Miller was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Peace then hit an RBI groundout, Van Zeeland scored on a wild pitch and Mueller and Massei hit RBI singles to put Wisconsin up, 5-3.

Novak and junior outfielder Marrisa Mersch then gave the Badgers a 7-3 lead.

Northwestern scored two runs before Darrah closed the door on the Wildcats to earn her 10th win of the season.

Wisconsin’s home opener will be this Friday against conference foe Iowa (2-1, 7-14). contributed to this report.

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