CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A home run in the second inning by Michelle Mueller was all the offense the Badgers needed Saturday morning as they took down Notre Dame, 1-0, at the First Pitch Classic in Charlotte, N.C. The Badgers strung together six hits over seven innings to improve to 2-1 on the season.
With one out in the second inning, Mueller found Notre Dame’s Laura Winters’ pitch too good to resist, sending it over the 220 ft. marker in center field. Mueller’s one big swing proved to be all the offense the Badgers would need, but it didn’t come without a fight on defense.
• Badgers defeat Notre Dame for first time since 2009
• UW improves to 3-5 against the Irish
• Mueller hits her first home run of the season
Three times the Irish threatened and three times the Badgers responded with big defensive stops. In the fourth inning, Notre Dame took advantage of a UW error, a single and a walk to load the bases, but Cassandra Darrah’s pitch induced a ground out to end the inning.
Notre Dame put up a fight in the bottom of the sixth when Emilee Koerner led off the inning with a double and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. Once again, Darrah dug down deep and recorded a strike out and fly out to end the threat.
In the top of the seventh Notre Dame advanced a runner to third, but again Darrah was able to end the inning and the game with a fly out.
Darrah went the distance, recording seven complete innings in her second win of the season. Darrah allowed no runs on five hits, struck out five and walked two.
Mueller finished the day 2-for-3 with one run scored and one RBI.
Wisconsin returns to the field to play Presbyterian at 2 p.m. CT. On Friday, the Badgers dropped a 5-3 decision to the Blue Hose.