The University of Wisconsin Softball Team (22–17, 6–6 Big Ten) played host to Purdue (13–34, 4–10 Big Ten) in a three-game weekend set against the backdrop of Madison’s spring weather debut.
On Friday the Badgers lost a close one to the Boilermakers on student night at Goodman Diamond.
The first inning began inauspiciously for the hosts, as Purdue posted a two-spot to open the game. After that, both sides remained scoreless until the fifth inning when Purdue tacked on another run to stretch their lead to three. In the sixth inning, the Badgers looked poised to claim their first lead, as Stephanie Lombardo belted a one-out, solo homer for the Badger’s first run of the series. Following Lombardo’s lead, freshman Lauren Foster came into the batter’s box next and launched one yard to bring the Badgers to within a single run.
Despite the sixth inning excitement, the Badgers were unable to put a bow on their effort and were held scoreless for the remainder of the series opener.
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The Badgers would fair far better in Saturday’s late afternoon game.
Wisconsin bested Purdue in every way Saturday. The game began with an empty frame in the first, followed by a two-run second inning from the Badgers. The 2–0 lead was helped by a Purdue error, allowing pinch runner Briana Flugaur and Kelly Welsh to score.
The Badgers scored again off of Purdue’s mistakes during a third-inning passed ball which scored Sydney Lawson.
The sixth inning would prove to be the money-maker for Wisconsin, as they crossed home plate four times on their way to their seven-run total. The inning began with singles from Welsh and Taylor Johnson. After Kelsey Jenkins reached base on a fielder’s choice the bases were juiced for Brooke Wyderski. Wyderski took a trip down to the deli and bought herself a grand salami, the first of her career and her team-leading sixth home run of the season.
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The Badgers would yield a single run in the seventh before closing out the 7–1 victory.
And so, game three was set as the rubber match.
Wisconsin hopped on the board early, claiming two runs in the first inning. The defense was on display in Madison as well, double plays form the Badgers in the first and second inning managed to help keep the Purdue offense at bay for the first five innings of the ball game.
In the top of the sixth, the Boilermakers recorded a hat trick. This was a result of an untimely UW error and a string of well-executed hits from Purdue.
Down one in the sixth, the Badgers returned fire for two runs of their own and the lead. They would hold on in the final frame and take the 4–3 victory as well as the 2–1 series decision.
Next, the Badgers travel to Lincoln to face Nebraska in a three-game set.