Softball: Badgers take two games from Michigan

In the last series of conference play, the Badgers battled it out to defeat the Wolverines 2-1 this past weekend in Ann Arbor.

Wisconsin (15-7 Big Ten, 33-17 overall) took No. 6 Michigan (18-5 Big Ten, 40-11 overall) in game one of the series 9-3. Freshman second baseman Sara Novak helped get the win by bringing in six runs.

“I think so much of it has to deal with confidence,” Novak said about the team’s second win over a top 10 team.

Junior outfielder Maria Van Abel and senior infielder Michelle Mueller also contributed to the day with two hits each, adding to the Badgers total of 10 hits for the day.

“I give all of the credit to assistant coach Randy Schneider for putting together a great scouting report and game plan,” said head coach Yvette Healy.

The Wolverines came back fighting in game two, defeating the Badgers 10-1. Sophomore infielder Ashely Van Zeeland and Mueller were the only two hits facing Michigan’s pitcher, freshman Megan Betsa. Michigan’s hitting was on fire, tallying 13 hits for the day.

Senior pitcher Cassandra Darrah allowed 10 runs, nine earned, on 13 hits while striking out two.

In their final match up of the series, the Badgers took the Wolverines 6-5 in nine innings. The excitement began in the bottom of the third, with Michigan scoring two runs thanks to sophomore infielder Sierra Romero homering to center field. The Badgers rallied in the top of the fourth to bring in four runs of their own from freshman infielder Chloe Miller and junior outfielder Marissa Mersch.

The Wolverines did not back down. Senior outfielder Lyndsay Doyle homered to right field driving in two more runs. The defense from both sides prevented any runs in the fifth or the sixth. In the top of seventh Miller doubled to left field driving in senior utility player Stephanie Peace. Michigan’s senior infielder Taylor Hasselbach continued to compete by homering to right center field. Tied at the end of seven, the teams went into extra innings. In the top of the ninth, Novak homered to left field putting the Badgers up by one. A quick three up three down in the bottom of the ninth pushed Wisconsin over the edge, winning their final game of the series and of conference play.

UWBadgers.com contributed to this report.

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