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B1G Series: Badgers claim Big Ten series over Iowa with shutout victory

Game Photo
Wisconsin Wisconsin 3, Iowa 0
Pearl Field • Iowa City, Iowa • Attendance: 587

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
 Wisconsin 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 3
 8 1
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 2
W Darrah (16-2) 7.0 6 0 0 1 7
L Massey (10-7) 7.0 8 3 1 2 6
 Batting Leaders
 • Mary Massei: 2-for-2, 2 Runs, 2 BB
 • Stephanie Peace: 2-for-3,
 • Whitney Massey: 1-for-4, 2 RBI
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March 30, 2013

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Runs, hits and solid pitching fueled the Badgers' win over Iowa in the series finale Saturday afternoon at Bob Pearl Field in Iowa City, Iowa. Wisconsin used eight hits and took advantage of two Iowa errors to post a 3-0 victory over the Hawkeyes and claim the series.

 Fast Facts
• Wisconsin improves to 27-4 overall, 5-1 in Big Ten
• Darrah pitches 15th complete game of year
• Badgers continue action on road at Minnesota next weekend

The Badgers overcame a nine-inning heartbreaker in the series opener on Friday to take the next two games from Iowa and win the series.

"The team was really resilient," said head coach Yvette Healy. "To lose a heartbreaker on the road was emotional and to come back and win the next two shows a lot of tenacity."

Wisconsin (27-4 overall, 5-1 Big Ten) got the scoring started in the third inning when, with one out, Mary Massei drew a walk. A two-out double by Whitney Massey scored Massei from first and the Badgers had a 1-0 lead.

Iowa (20-13, 1-5) threatened in the bottom of the inning, using back-to-back hits to put runners in scoring position with one out. However, Cassandra Darrah would end the scoring threat with a pair of strikeouts and the Badgers hung on to their one-run lead.

The Badgers then used three hits in the fifth inning to post another run. Massei sparked the offense with a double to left center and scored on a single by Stephanie Peace to give UW a 2-0 lead.

The Hawkeyes again responded in the bottom of the inning. A walk, stolen base and Badger error allowed Sammi Gyerman to advance all the way to third with no outs, but once again Dararh was up to the challenge. The junior hurler registered a pair of strikeouts and induced a groundout to end the scoring threat.

Iowa used two hits and a hit batter in the sixth inning to load the bases before a ground out ended the scoring threat.

Wisconsin took advantage of an error, walk and single to load the bases in the top of the seventh before a fielder's choice by Massey scored the third run of the game.

Iowa would mount one last rally, but stranded a pair of runners in scoring position in the bottom of the seventh, to end the game 3-0 in favor of the Badgers.

Darrah earned her 16th win of the season, pitching in her 15th complete game and fifth shutout of the season. Darrah allowed six hits and struck out seven.

Darrah's shutout performance capped off a strong weekend for Wisconsin's battery.

"Cassandra (Darrah) and Meghan (McIntosh) did a great job," said Healy. "They kept hitters off balance. They used a lot of different pitching combinations. They had a great game plan and stuck to it. They executed all weekend and we are really pleased with our first two Big Ten weekends."

Darrah's performance followed Meghan McIntosh's shutout victory in Friday's night cap.

"Meghan was phenomenal after we lost a heartbreaker in extra innings, she came back so strong and put a zero on the board and showed a tremendous amount of leadership."

Iowa's Kayla Massey suffered her seventh loss of the season, allowing three runs, just one earned, on eight hits and striking out six.

The road trip continues for the Badgers next weekend at Minnesota.

"After the first two weekends of being on the road, it's great to continue winning away from home," said Healy. "Of course we were looking forward starting our home season, but I think the team did a great job of being resilient all weekend with changing the schedule. You go to a place like Iowa who has such a legacy program and to come in and win the series means a lot to the team."

Wisconsin travels to Minnesota on Friday, April 5, for the first game in the three-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. (CT).

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