March 10, 2013
UIC Box Score | EKU Box Score
CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Behind the arm of senior Meghan McIntosh, the Wisconsin softball team picked up a 5-1 win over Eastern Kentucky at the Saluki Invitational Sunday afternoon to finish perfect on the weekend. The Badgers opened play on Sunday with a 2-1, eight inning, win over UIC.
McIntosh started the game with a strike out and a pair of ground outs in the first inning against Eastern Kentucky (10-7) to set the tone for the remainder of her day. A pair of strikeouts and a groundout ended the second inning for the Colonels.
A Mary Massei leadoff single led Wisconsin (18-3) to a pair of runs in the second inning.
With a pair of outs in the third, EKU was able to capitalize on a Badger error to get a runner on base, but McIntosh ended the threat with her sixth strikeout of the game.
A three-hit, three-run fifth inning gave Wisconsin a 5-0 lead over EKU.
McIntosh continued to roll through the EKU lineup until an error-filled seventh inning threatened her no-hitter bid. An error allowed the Colonels a runner to start the inning and a walk moved the runner into scoring position.
A smart defensive play got the first out at third base. A walk loaded the bases, but was followed by a strikeout that put the Badgers' one out away from the win. With the bases loaded, an error by McIntosh allowed the run to score, breaking up the shutout bid. A ground out ended the inning, giving McIntosh her fourth win of the season.
It was the first time in program history two UW pitchers have recorded no-hitters in the same season. Cassandra Darrah accomplished the feat on Feb. 22 against Georgia Southern.
"We are so excited for Meghan (McIntosh)," head coach Yvette Healy said. "She threw a great game. She threw great all weekend. She threw a four-hit shutout yesterday and then came back and threw a no-hitter. She is a real selfless kid who has worked hard and we all wanted her to throw a great weekend and she really came out with some great stuff."
Wisconsin opened play at the Saluki Invitational on Sunday with a 2-1 win over UIC (3-15) in a game that had a completely different feel.
The Flames posted 11 hits against Darrah, scoring the game's first run in the fourth inning.
UW had to play from behind, -- a rarity this season as the Badgers had scored first in 15-of-18 games before Sunday's matchup --finally tying the game in the top of the seventh.
A scoreless bottom of the seventh sent the game into extra innings. With Megan Tancill starting the top of the eighth on second base due to international tie-breaker rules, a quick single by Michelle Mueller gave the Badgers a 2-1 lead.
UIC threatened in the bottom of the inning. A walk and a double steal put runners on third base with one out. A strikeout and groundout ended the threat and the inning.
Darrah earned her 11th win of the season, pitching 8.0 innings and allowing just one run on 11 hits.
The Badgers posted a 4-0 record at the Saluki Invitational to improve to 18-3, posting the best record after 20 games in school history. For Healy, it is a weekend to be proud of.
"We are really proud of the team," said Healy. "It is fun to get back to the Midwest and play in front of some of our families. They were four big wins."
The Badgers will hit the road for the Louisville Classic March 15-17. It will be a tournament filled with tough competition, including No. 13 Louisville and No. 25 North Carolina.
"We are going to face some really tough opponents (next weekend)," said Healy. "Louisville is going to be excellent on their home field, being nationally ranked, North Carolina too. Every team we see is going to really be a challenge for us."
The Badgers will need to put together complete games in order to continue their success.
"We need the whole pitching staff throwing and doing a good job and I think this weekend helped us a lot," continued Healy. "Offensively, a lot of different kids found ways to score this weekend. It is fun when the top of your lineup can lead the way sometimes and the backside can lead the way in other games. We were pretty balanced on the weekend, with some big hits and some small ball. It makes it fun when you've got a lot of people contributing."