In a redeeming performance, the Badgers (5-6 overall) won four of their six games in the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi tournament this weekend to alleviate some of this season’s early disappointment.
Wisconsin’s first series came Thursday against host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The Badgers swept the two-game set with good offensive production and a strong pitching performance from junior Taylor-Paige Stewart in the opener. She tossed 6.2 innings and only gave up three hits in the game and the Badgers won 4-2.
The second game with the Islanders was a little more dramatic. The Badgers continued to get offensive production thanks to senior second baseman Megan Tancill, who got a hit every time she stepped up to the plate and scored three of the team’s five runs. Down three runs in the bottom of the seventh, the Islanders trimmed the deficit to two but came up just short as Wisconsin won 5-4.
Wisconsin got yet another sweep Friday against South Dakota, winning 6-1 and 4-1 in the two-game series. In the first game, the Badger offense came storming out of the gates by scoring five runs in the first two innings. After getting this early lead, the team relied on Stewart the rest of the way. She gave up only four hits and allowed one run in seven innings.
The second game followed the same pattern as the first game. The Badger offense scored early with three runs in the first two innings and was then able to rely on pitching and defense to get the win. Freshman pitcher Mariah Watts recorded her first win as a college player in a game where she allowed only one run in seven innings.
The Badgers wrapped up their final series against UAB and lost both games by one run. Both teams had an offensive outburst in the first game, combining for 25 hits. The game was close throughout, but the Badgers’ seventh-inning comeback effort came up short as they lost 8-7.
Pitching shined through in the second game. The teams were tied at 2 going into the final inning, but the Blazers hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom half to get the 3-2 walk-off win.
Despite the two tough losses to conclude the tournament, it was a far more successful weekend than the season opener, when the Badgers went 1-4 in the Arizona State tourney. Wisconsin now has a week off and will be back in action Feb. 27 in the UNLV tournament.
UWBadgers.com contributed to this report.