Wisconsin had its record-tying win streak snapped at the hands of Nebraska Wednesday at Goodman Diamond, but the Badgers did not allow the loss to loom over them for long.
No. 19 Nebraska ended UW’s 13-game win streak by beating the Badgers 12-0 in a mercy rule-shortened game one, but Wisconsin rebounded quickly to steal the second half of the doubleheader by a score of 6-4.
“When you’re facing a team that’s ranked, if you get one [win] it’s a big deal,” head coach Yvette Healy said.
After being shut out in the first game, Wisconsin (13-6 Big Ten, 31-16 overall) came out strong in the rubber match.
Freshman catcher Chloe Miller got UW on the board first with an RBI double in the first inning.
Nebraska (15-5, 37-14) plated two runs in the top of the second inning against sophomore pitcher Taylor-Paige Stewart, but Wisconsin answered right back in its half of the inning. With the bases loaded, senior left fielder Mary Massei struck a line shot to center that just evaded Nebraska center fielder Kiki Stokes’ glove and allowed two runs to score. Three batters later, Miller walked with the bases loaded, putting UW up 4-2.
Nebraska tied the game at 4-4 on senior pitcher Tatum Edwards’ two-run home run in the fifth inning, but Miller responded in the bottom of the inning with a two-run shot of her own that bounced off the scoreboard in center field. Stewart blanked the Huskers in their final two at bats to preserve the 6-4 lead.
Stewart allowed 10 hits over seven innings in the circle, but Healy was impressed with her performance given Nebraska’s high-powered offensive display in the first game.
“You can’t go into the offense that we just faced and think that you’re going to shut them out,” Healy said. “You just try to contain them and that’s what Taylor did in that game.”
The long ball doomed Wisconsin in its first game. With the bases loaded in the top of the second inning, senior catcher Taylor Edwards fouled off numerous pitches from senior pitcher Cassandra Darrah before sending a home run over the left field wall to put Nebraska up, 4-0.
After Nebraska notched another run in the top of the fourth, Tatum Edwards launched a two-run home run of her own in the same inning. Up 8-0 in the top of the fifth, sophomore second baseman Hailey Decker hit another grand slam to round out the Huskers’ scoring.
Sophomore pitcher Emily Lockman held the Badgers to just four hits and recorded five strikeouts in her five-inning outing.
“She was just on that first game,” Massei said of Lockman’s performance. “I don’t think that we were swinging at too many bad pitches.”
Healy echoed Massei’s attitude, praising her team’s ability to move past the game one loss.
“I’m so proud because we’re not a top 25 team, they are a top 20 team, so if you can just be tough and stay the course even when you give up hits or home runs, that’s what life’s about,” Healy said.
Wednesday’s doubleheader was the final appearance that Wisconsin will make at Goodman Diamond this season. Massei said the impact of playing her final home game as a Badger did not sink in until after the second game.
“That’s where it kind of hit me that I’m not going to play another game on this field,” Massei said. “But it’s been a great four years and I’m lucky.”