Badgers rally but fall in extra innings to Illini, 4-2


ON WISCONSIN
ON WISCONSIN

ON WISCONSIN

April 23, 2011

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  Illinois 4, Wisconsin 2 (8 inn.)
Goodman Diamond • Madison, Wis.
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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 R H E
 Illinois 0
0
0
0
0
1
0
3 4
9
1
 Wisconsin
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
1 2
8
0
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 Pitchers
IP H R ER BB SO
W
Gay (14-11) 1.2
1
1
1
1
2
L Najdek (3-3) 8.0
9
4
4
2
5
 Batting Leaders
 • Mary Massei: 3-4, 2 RBI, R, HR, 2B
 • Jennifer Krueger: 2-4, 3B, SB
 • Whitney Massey: 1-2, BB
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MADISON, Wis. -- Mary Massei hit a leadoff home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to tie the game and force extra innings, but Illinois (20-17, 7-4) came back with three runs in the top of the eighth to defeat the Wisconsin softball team, 4-2, at Goodman Diamond on Saturday. Wisconsin (23-19, 3-8) scored one run in the bottom of the eighth, but its rally fell short.

 Fast Facts
• Massei finishes triple short of cycle
• Najdek throws first complete game, strikes out career-high five
• Badgers fall to 0-3 in extra innings in 2011

Freshman Amanda Najdek was saddled with the loss despite posting one of the best outings of her young career against an Illinois team that entered the game averaging over eight runs per game in their last eight contests and was leading the Big Ten in conference play in batting average, runs, hits, doubles, total bases and on-base percentage.

Najdek threw the first complete game of her career and set career highs with eight innings pitched and five strikeouts against the Illini.

The Portland, Ore., native did have to dodge trouble early in the third inning though when Illinois loaded the bases with no outs. After a walk and two singles, Najdek struck out Hollie Pinchback and then got Meredith Hackett to fly out to right field. A lineout from Jessica Davis kept the game scoreless.

After retiring the final three batters of the third, Najdek went on to set down the next seven batters she faced until the sixth inning.

Illinois finally broke through in the top of the sixth inning as Hackett turned on a 3-1 pitch and drove it over the left field wall for a one-out, solo home run.

An inning later, with Wisconsin down to its final three outs, Massei came through. Still down 1-0, the Chino Hills, Calif., native tied things up for the Badgers as she slammed a 1-0 pitch over the wall in right center for her first career home run.

With her 3-4 performance, Massei finished a triple short of the cycle. She now has six hits in 13 at bats in four Big Ten games. Five of her six hits have gone for extra bases - two doubles, two triples and one home run - resulting in an impressive 1.154 slugging percentage in conference play.

One batter after Massei's blast, Maggie Strange bunted for a base hit. With the winning run aboard for Wisconsin, Whitney Massey drew a walk to put runners at first and second.

Kendall Grimm followed with a comebacker but Illinois relief pitcher Pepper Gay threw to third to force out Strange. With Jennifer Krueger flying out to right field to end the inning, Wisconsin was headed to extra frames for the third time this season.

The Fighting Illini dropped the Badgers to 0-3 in extra innings this year by scoring three runs in the top of the eighth.

With one out, Danielle Zymkowitz and Hollie Pinchback hit back-to-back singles. Hackett then put the Illini ahead with a single to center field. Nikki Simpson came on as a pinch runner for Jessica Davis, who was intentionally walked. Kelly Wedel delivered the big blow as she tripled to right field, scoring two runs.

The two runs became important because Wisconsin scored once in the bottom of the eighth.

Karla Powell led off with a walk and was pinch run for by Abby Gregory. Two outs later, Massei doubled to center field to bring home Gregory, but Michelle Mueller struck out swinging to end the contest.

Wisconsin and Illinois close out their two-game series on Sunday afternoon. First pitch is set for noon at Goodman Diamond.

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