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Monday, June 24, 2024
Softball vs Illinois TW 1141.jpg
Wisconsin softball plays a doubleheader against Illinois at the Goodman Softball Diamond on April 2, 2023 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Wisconsin softball claims series against Hoosiers in Bloomington

Wisconsin Badgers softball went two for three against the Hoosiers to improve on their overall record.

The Wisconsin Badgers softball team took on the Indiana Hoosiers in a three-game series April 26-28. After coming up short in the first game, they made a comeback to steal the series win. 

Opening with a close loss 

Wisconsin was up 5-0 until the middle of the fifth inning on Friday when the Hoosiers retaliated to come away with the 6-5 victory. 

First baseman Fiona Girardot cranked a leadoff homer in the first, followed by catcher Emmy Wells’ lead-extending solo home run in the fourth. The Badgers then broke through with a three-run rally in the fifth.

Relief pitcher Hilary Blomberg’s double drove in shortstop Ava Kuszak before Wells’ power show continued. Her second home run of the game — a two-run blast into deep left — made the score 5-0 by the middle of the fifth. 

The Hoosiers crashed the party in the bottom of the fifth for a heartbreaking comeback that started with a series of singles, cashing in two runs. By the end of the sixth, the Hoosiers were only down by one run after Wisconsin starting pitcher Gabi Salo’s pitch was drilled into left for a two-run homer. The Hoosiers tied the game then stole the win in the seventh.  

Evening up the series 

The Badgers started off with the lead again in game two Saturday and made sure to finish what they started, walking away with an 8-6 victory. 

Wisconsin right fielder Brooke Kuffel led the way with an RBI in the first, bringing left fielder Kate Linkletter home for the early 1-0 lead. The Hoosiers got on the board earlier in game two, tying the Badgers in the second when the runner on third stole home. 

Following a scoreless third inning, Wisconsin’s five-run fourth inning drove the Badgers to a victory. A series of RBIs and errors led outfielder Alivia Bark, third baseman Skylar Sirdashney and outfielder Eden Echevarria home. 

The streak continued with Blomberg hammering the ball out of left-center for a two-run homer that made it 7-1. By the end of the inning, the Hoosiers cut their deficit to 7-2 with a run. 

The Badgers’ offense quickly bounced back in the sixth with two more insurance runs — Wells and outfielder Molly Schlosser crossed home plate thanks to Kuffel’s RBI double. In the bottom frame, Badger starting pitcher Shelby Jacobson allowed four runs before Blomberg took the mound to end it an 8-6 game. 

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Securing the series victory

Wisconsin dominated in the series closer with a 7-1 sweep on Sunday. With an RBI double from Blomberg and Wells’ third home run of the series — another two-run homer smoked to deep left — the Badgers were up 3-0 by the end of the first inning.  

The Hoosiers got in their one and only run of the game off Wisconsin’s pitcher Jacobson during the third, scoring on a fielder’s choice. In the fourth, Kuszak took the plate with two walked Badgers on bases — Sirdashney and Hubbard — when she tanked the pitch over the left field wall for a three-run drill. Finally, second baseman Ellie Hubbard’s double in the fifth drove Kuffel home for the game’s closing run. 

With a total of 24 hits and 20 runs across the series, Wisconsin improved their season record to .413 (19-27). They close their Big 10 season with a series against the Maryland Terrapins May 3-5 back home in Madison. 

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