UW Health Sports Medicine 

Badgers use historic comeback to stun Wildcats, 9-8


ON WISCONSIN
ON WISCONSIN

ON WISCONSIN

April 9, 2011

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 Wisconsin 9, Northwestern 8
Goodman Diamond • Madison, Wis.
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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
 Northwestern 3 3 0 1 1 0 0 8 15
 Wisconsin 0 1 0 1 1 6 X 9 8 0
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• Attendance: 246
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 Pitchers
IP H R ER BB SO
W Najdek (2-1) 5.2 8 2 2 4 3
L Albanese (4-4) 5.1 2 2 1 0 1
 Batting Leaders
 • Shannel Blackshear: 2-2, 3 RBI, 1 HR, 1 R
 • Dana Rasmussen: 1-1, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 1 R
 • Karla Powell: 2-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R
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MADISON, Wis. -- The Wisconsin softball team couldn't have asked for a more thrilling Big Ten home-opener.

Securing their second Big Ten victory in true comeback fashion, Wisconsin (20-14, 2-3 Big Ten) rallied back from an 8-2 deficit in the fifth inning to top Northwestern (18-10, 0-3 Big Ten), 9-8, in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday at Goodman Diamond.

 Fast Facts
• Badgers match biggest comeback in school history
• Six-run sixth caps comeback
• Blackshear, Rasmussen drive in three each

With the run, the Badgers tied for the biggest comeback in school history, matching the mark set on April 11, 2004, when UW rallied from a 6-0 hole after the top of the fourth to beat Michigan State, 11-8.

Trailing 8-3 entering the bottom of the sixth, Wisconsin batted around as it put up six runs to take a 9-8 lead.

The comeback effort began with a one-out walk by Kendall Grimm. Karla Powell then hit a bloop single to shallow right field before being pinch run for Abby Gregory. Stephanie Peace loaded the bases after she hit a hard liner to third baseman Stephanie Thompson for a single. Shannel Blackshear, who homered in the second, came up big again for Wisconsin as she capitalized on the bases loaded situation with a two-run single up the middle.

With the single, Northwestern made a pitching change, bringing in Sammy Albanese in relief for Jessica Smith. As Michelle Mueller reached on a fielder's choice, Blackshear was forced out at second to put runners on the corners. The Badgers loaded the bases back up though when Whitney Massey was hit in the back by a pitch.

With the bases full, it was pinch hitter Dana Rasmussen that came through in the clutch.

Rasmussen smashed a bases-clearing triple--the first of her career--to center field, tying the game at 8-8. With the go-ahead run on base, Jordan Skinner reached safely on a bunt single, but Northwestern second baseman Marisa Bast was unable to catch the ball cleanly as she covered first base, allowing Rasmussen to come home with the eventual game-winning run.

Amanda Najdek got the win in relief for Wisconsin, pushing her record to 2-1. In 5.2 innings of work the freshman gave up only two runs as she struck out three and walked four. 

The top of the batting order for Northwestern did most of the damage. The Wildcats' first three batters combined to go 10-13, with six runs and five RBIs. 

Northwestern wasted no time putting runs on the board, as they put three runs on the board in the first and second frames.

Wisconsin broke through in bottom of the second, thanks to a great battle at the plate from Blackshear. With one out, she worked through 15 pitches before crushing a home run to left center field on pitch number 16, putting UW on the board.

Northwestern extended its' lead to 7-1 in the top of the fourth, but Wisconsin answered back in the bottom of the inning as Karla Powell hit her team-leading eighth home run of the season.

After the Wildcats pushed their lead to 8-2 in the top of the fifth, the Badgers began their comeback in the bottom of the frame as Mueller led off with a triple, the first extra-base hit of her career.  One batter later, she scored on a passed ball to make it 8-3 and put the wheels in motion for UW's comeback.

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