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Slamin' Sara: Novak's big day leads Badgers past No. 6 Michigan


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Wisconsin Wisconsin 9, #6/7 Michigan 3
Wilpon Complex • Ann Arbor, Mich.

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Michigan

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Wisconsin 1 0 0 2 1 0 5 9  10 0
Michigan 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 3
 Pitchers
IP H R ER BB SO
W Stewart (14-5) 7.0 6 3 3 3 4
L Driesenga (5-5) 4.1 4 4 4 5 3
 Batting Leaders
 • Sara Novak: Two hits, one run, six RBI
 • Katie Christner: One hit, two runs, one RBI
 • Stephanie Peace: One hit, one run, one RBI
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May 2, 2014

Final Stats

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Second baseman Sara Novak smacked a grand slam and knocked in six runs to power the Wisconsin softball team to a 9-3 win over No. 6 Michigan Friday night at the Wilpon Complex in Ann Arbor.

The freshman's grand slam was the first of her career and she added a two-out double that plated two runs to help the Badgers earn their second win of the season over a top-10 team.

"I think so much of it has to deal with confidence," Novak said about her performance. "We played here a couple games for travel ball and the coaches saw me play well here. I had the confidence here to play well and swing with confidence."

 Fast Facts
• Wisconsin recorded its second top-10 win this season
Sara Novak recorded a career-high six RBI
Taylor-Paige Stewart picked up her 14th win

For the Badgers, it was their 15th win in the last 16 games as they improved to 32-16 overall, 14-6 in the Big Ten. The 14 conference wins is second-best in school history, trailing only last season's 16 league victories. With UW's win and Minnesota's loss to Purdue, Wisconsin is now tied with the Gophers for third place. The loss was just the fourth in league play for the first-place Wolverines (39-10, 17-4).

Senior Michelle Mueller and junior Maria Van Abel each collected two hits, while senior Mary Massei tallied a hit and two runs as the Badgers recorded 10 hits on the day.

"I give all of the credit to assistant coach Randy Schneider for putting together a great scouting report and game plan," Wisconsin head coach Yvette Healy said. "Thanks to him, we did a tremendous job offensively and had the bat in the right player's hands in the right time and he made some aggressive calls. It was a big day for the program to get a win against a team ranked that high on their field.

"It means a lot to Wisconsin and our senior class."

The Badgers struck first, capitalizing on a few Michigan mistakes. Massei reached second to start the game after striking out on a wild pitch that ended up in the Wisconsin dugout. Mueller advanced Massei to third with a sharp grounder up the middle, and after a walk to Chloe Miller, Massei scored on a Stephanie Peace sacrifice fly to center field.

UM's Taylor Hasselbach tied the game at one with a home run to deep center in the second inning. The Wolverines took a 2-1 advantage after Sierra Romero hit her 14th home run of the season in the third.

After a single by Katie Christner and an intentional walk to Massei in the fourth, Novak hit a double into right center to plate Christner and Massei and give UW a 3-2 lead.

Wisconsin added an insurance run in the fifth, capitalizing on a pair of walks. With runners on second and third and one out, Marissa Mersch hit a sharp grounder to first that Michigan's first baseman couldn't handle, which scored Caitlyn Warren.

In the top of the seventh, the Badgers enjoyed a five-run inning to extend their lead to 9-2. Wisconsin used small ball to plate its fifth run, as Christner's bunt to the pitcher scored Peace from third. With the bases loaded later in the inning, Novak blasted a bomb into deep center to put the game out of reach.

Taylor-Paige Stewart went the distance for the Badgers in the circle, giving up three runs on six hits and added four strikeouts.

Wisconsin and Michigan meet again tomorrow in a 6:30 p.m. (CT) contest that will air on BTN. 

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