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B1G Opener: Badgers start conference season with 8-1 win over Illinois


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Wisconsin Wisconsin 8, Illinois 1
Eichelberger Field • Urbana, Ill. • Attendance: 159

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Illinois

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
 Wisconsin 0 0 5 0 1 1 1 8
8 2
 Illinois
0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 3 5
 Pitchers
IP H R ER BB SO
W Darrah (14.1) 7.0 3 1 1 5 6
L Arnold (4-5) 7.0 8 8 1 6 5
 Batting Leaders
 • Maria Van Abel: 2-for-2, 1 Run
 • Shannel Blackshear: 2-for-3, 2 Runs, 1 RBI
 • Mary Massei: 2-for-4, 1 Run, 1 RBI
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March 22, 2013

URBANA, Ill.-- It was opportunistic softball for the Badgers Friday afternoon, as they used eight hits to score eight runs and defeat Illinois 8-1 in the opening game of Big Ten Conference play at Eichelberger Field in Urbana.

For the second-straight season, Wisconsin opened league play with a win, improving to 23-3 overall (1-0 Big Ten). The win marked UW’s 11th-straight victory, tying a school record set earlier in the season.

 Fast Facts
• Badgers tie school record with 11th-straight win
• UW opens Big Ten season with win for second-straight year
• Darrah improves to 14-1 in 12th complete game

The Badgers took advantage of three Illinois (10-13, 0-1) errors in the third inning to jump out to a 5-0 lead.

With two outs, Maria Van Abel recorded UW’s first hit of the afternoon with a bunt single and sparked a Badger rally. An error and a walk loaded the bases and a wild pitch scored Van Abel from third for the day’s first run.

A second walk was followed by a RBI single by Shannel Blackshear. Another Illinois error, this time on the throw home, scored two more UW runs. Illinois’ third error of the inning allowed Blackshear to score from second and the Badgers found themselves up 5-0.

Illinois took advantage of a leadoff walk in the fourth inning to score a run, but that was the only offense the Illini could conjure up.

A leadoff single by Whitney Massey in the fifth inning and another Illini error gave the Badgers a 6-1 lead.

The Badgers posted another run in the sixth, again taking advantage of a leadoff walk to plate the run, and added a run in the seventh to pick up the 8-1 win.

Cassandra Darrah went the distance, pitching in her 12th complete game of the season and improving to 14-1. Darrah allowed just one run on three hits and struck out six.

Illinois’ Shelese Arnold allowed eight runs, one earned, on eight hits and struck out five UW batters.

Van Abel, Blackshear and Mary Massei led the Badgers with two hits apiece.

The Badgers and the Illini continue the series on Saturday with a doubleheader starting at noon.

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