Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Badgers with no shortage of offense in two-game sweep

Kendall Grimm went 2-for-4 and batted in five runs in game two against Indiana State.[/media-credit]

It was a tale of two completely different games headlining the Wednesday doubleheader at Goodman Diamond between Wisconsin and Indiana State. Though at times it got dicey, the Badgers were able to triumph in both, winning each affair in contrasting fashion.

Wisconsin dominated in the first game, with the Badgers controlling from start to finish and winning 8-0 in only five innings. Cassandra Darrah kept the Sycamores’ bats quiet as ever, relinquishing only two hits over four innings of work. Meghan McIntosh followed by striking out a trio of Indiana State batters en route to working a perfect fifth inning.

The pitching was domineering, but enough excitement for an entire game was provided from the bat of sophomore first baseman Michelle Mueller. With the score at 5-0 and runners on first and second, Mueller sent her first hit of the game over the centerfield wall for a walk-off home run.


Even though the game was already in the Badgers’ favor, Mueller’s shot put them over the edge of the mercy rule, ending the game in five innings. Until that point, Mueller had left two runners on and failed to reach in either of her previous at-bats, but one adjustment proved to make all the difference.

“My second baseman [Whitney Massey] and I were talking, and she told me I was early and had to wait back,” Mueller recalled. “[After the home run], I could tell it worked out pretty well.”

Mueller paced the Badgers with four RBIs, while third baseman Shannel Blackshear tallied two more on her fourth home run of the season.

The second matchup took a similar course as the first game, with Wisconsin jumping out to another eight-run lead through four innings. Starting pitcher McIntosh pitched those four innings to start before being pulled with the game seemingly in hand.

Just when the Badgers thought they had axed the Sycamores, Indiana State erupted for five runs in the top of the fifth inning, cancelling the idea of a further shortened doubleheader.

“We let the door open when we had a chance to really close it,” head coach Yvette Healy said. “It just showed that we are a young team and if we take our foot off the gas at all, other teams will have the ability to come back.”

Relief pitcher Amanda Najdek was unable to finish the fifth inning, surrendering all five runs on one walk and four hits.

The Badger lead was squeezed even tighter in the top of the sixth when McIntosh returned and surrendered a two-run home run to Alyssa Heller, leaving the score at 9-7.

McIntosh was able to sustain that score and work her way through the final two frames, picking up her fifth win of the season. A formidable combination of her various pitches proved to be all that was necessary for the junior pitcher.

“I just really worked on my off speed [pitches] and hitting locations, in and out,” McIntosh said. “I stretched the zone with the [screwball] and curve in order to roll ground balls to my defense and let them get the outs.”

It was McIntosh’s first victory in a game she started since March 2, adding another layer of pitching depth behind ace Darrah. In her multiple appearances of the day, McIntosh yielded just five total hits, striking out a total of nine. Healy was satisfied with how well she worked from batter to batter.

“She was hitting her spots well and spinning the ball,” Healy noted. “She was keeping the ball down, and that allowed her to have a couple of really nice innings.”

Amid the impressive pitching on display by Wisconsin Wednesday, the Badgers’ offense was never anything to scoff at. With eight and nine runs, respectively, in the two matchups, the Badgers have now scored at least seven runs in 10 of their last 11 games.

When an offense that claims six hitters with at least a .300 batting average is clicking, runs are inevitable and a system Healy enjoys watching.

“Our offense definitely is carrying us right now,” Healy said. “It’s great and gives everyone a lot of confidence. It is a lot of people doing things together, which is exciting.”

Each Wisconsin starter recorded at least one hit on the day, making the doubleheader sweep a team effort. Outfielders Kendall Grimm and Mary Massei pounded out two hits apiece to start the onslaught in the second game while centerfielder Maria Van Abel went 4-for-4 on the day, scoring a pair of runs from the bottom of the lineup.

All this hitting can definitely make pitching a simpler task for any Badger that takes the mound.

“Having six or seven kids hitting above .300 makes it easier,” McIntosh said. “Just snatch me the ball and I’ll fend through.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Badger Herald

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Badger Herald

Comments (0)

All The Badger Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *