Nebraska (15-5 Big Ten, 29-19 overall) swept Wisconsin (3-14, 19-28) in a three-game series at Goodman Diamond this weekend, the fifth straight loss for a Badger team struggling through conference play.
Wisconsin lost game one of Saturday’s doubleheader 13-5, one that occurred after Friday’s contest was postponed due to rain. The Cornhuskers only had eight hits, but the Badgers allowed nine walks to fuel the offensive outburst. Junior Taylor-Paige Stewart gave up nine runs in her three innings of work, allowing seven hits and six walks.
UW dropped the nightcap 3-2 after jumping out to an early two-run lead in the bottom of the third inning. However, Nebraska slowly fought back one inning at a time, scoring one run in each of the next three innings.
Freshman pitcher Mariah Watts took the loss, allowing seven hits and three runs, with just one strikeout in her seven innings pitched.
“I think Mariah threw one of her better games of the season and did a really nice job,” said head coach Yvette Healy. “It was an exciting game right down to the wire, so it shows bright for the future when one of your freshman pitchers does such a great job.”
The Badgers’ losing ways continued in Sunday’s finale, losing 9-0 in the annual “Get to Goodman” game. Stewart pitched all five innings and allowed nine runs and 11 hits while striking out one batter. Despite one home series remaining, Wisconsin honored seniors Marissa Mersch, Megan Tancill and Maria Van Abel.
“It was really fun. Us, the three seniors, have been together for four years now and we’ve lived together for the last two, so we’re a really close group,” Mersch said. “Then it was just fun to have all our family and friends here.”
Goodman Diamond was sold out for the game and the Badgers were appreciative of all of their fans’ support.
“It was a pretty cool thing especially with the packed house to walk out there and see how much support we’ve had,” Mersch said. “That’s all you could ask for, so it was a pretty special day and we’re excited that people were here to share it with us.”
UW will play its final home games of the regular season this Wednesday in a doubleheader against Minnesota. Game one will start at 4:30 p.m. at Goodman Diamond.
UWBadgers.com contributed to this report.