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Thursday, May 23, 2024
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Wisconsin softball drops all three games against Nebraska

Wisconsin Badgers softball sits at 12-20 on the season after three back-to-back losses against Nebraska.

For their second series and first home series of the Big Ten season, the Wisconsin Badgers softball team challenged the Nebraska Huskers at the Goodman Softball Complex but fell short in all three games. 

The Badgers started the series with a high-scoring game that resulted in an 11-7 loss Friday. 

The game picked up in the top of the second, with pitcher Gabi Salo giving up a three-run homer. The Badgers retaliated in the next frame, leading 4-3 after catcher Emmy Wells slugged her ninth homer of the season, infielder Ellie Hubbard hit an RBI single and infielder Ava Kuszak hit a two-run double. 

Following a scoreless third inning, the Huskers and Badgers were tied 7-7 by the end of the fourth after reciprocated scoring during both frames. 

Pitcher Shelby Jacobson allowed back-to-back two-run singles for an initial 7-4 lead, but Wisconsin put the Huskers in their place at their home field, hitting four straight with another RBI from Kuszak and two runs driven in from infielder Fiona Girardot’s single. 

However, Nebraska responded with three more home runs over the next few innings, eventually winning 11-7. 

Saturday’s game mirror Friday’s scoring trends

The Huskers led 2-0 in the top of the first off of starting pitcher Tessa Magnanimo before the Badgers bounced back again in the second inning. Wisconsin tied the game 2-2 after a series of hits including a lead-off double from catcher Hilary Blomberg, an RBI from Hubbard and a triple from outfielder Peyton Bannon. 

Both teams scored once in the third — an RBI from Nebraska and a sacrifice fly from Wisconsin’s Girardot — to raise the score to 3-3. 

Wisconsin played nearly flawless defense throughout the rest of the game except for the fifth inning, after which  Jacobson took over the mound from Magnanimo. However, the Badgers’ offense faltered, and back-to-back home runs in the fifth inning put the Huskers up 7-3 to seal game two. 

Despite losing by a landslide, Wisconsin’s offense notched 11 hits compared to Nebraska’s nine.   

Nebraska finished off in dramatic fashion 

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Identical to the start of Saturday’s game, Nebraska kicked off a 2-0 lead in the top of the first on a throwing error from Salo before Wisconsin tied it up in the bottom of the second. There were a total of ten hits throughout the game, including a lead-off double from Blomberg, an RBI from Hubbard, a triple from Bannon and an RBI from infielder Alivia Bark to catch up two apiece.

Magnanimo took the mound in the third and gave up a run, giving the Huskers a 3-2 lead. While Nebraska proceeded to play a dry few innings, Wisconsin outdid them to take a 4-3 lead after Kuszak and Bannon crushed solo homers in the fifth and sixth, respectively. 

The Huskers tied the game in the seventh after a ball slipped from outfielder Kate Linkletter’s glove. Pushing through two more innings of the uphill battle against the Huskers, Bannon finally conquered the ball, slamming into the wall during the eighth to record an out and keep Nebraska from scoring and stealing the lead. 

However, Nebraska capitalized in the ninth to take the lead as Wisconsin failed to make a comeback in the last frame. 

The Badgers will take on in-state competition Green Bay in a doubleheader on Tuesday, April 2 at home at the Goodman Diamond. 

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