Wisconsin faces Northwestern in Big Ten Tournament


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This Week in Softball

Schedule
Feb. 7 vs. #4 Florida L, 5-3
Feb. 7 at #25 USF Cancelled
Feb. 8 vs. Bethune Cookman W, 8-0 (5)
Feb. 8 vs. Illinois State W, 2-1
Feb. 9 vs. #4 Florida L, 5-1
Feb. 14 vs. Georgia Southern L, 4-0
Feb. 14 vs. Florida Gulf Coast L, 8-0 (6)
Feb. 15 at Florida International W, 8-0 (6)
Feb. 15 at Florida International L, 5-2
Feb. 16 vs. Florida Gulf Coast W, 9-1 (6)
Feb. 28 vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi W, 3-1
Feb. 28 at #13 Texas A&M L, 6-1
March 1 vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi W, 10-1 (6)
March 1 at #13 Texas A&M L, 6-2
March 2 vs. Connecticut W, 7-2 (5)
March 7 vs. #7 Arizona W, 7-5
March 7 vs. #6 Washington L, 4-2
March 8 vs. #10 Arizona State L, 9-1 (5)
March 8 vs. Long Beach State W, 5-0
March 9 at Cal State Fullerton W, 4-1
March 15 vs. Kent State L, 5-2
March 15 vs. Iowa State W, 6-3
March 16 vs. Iowa State Cancelled
March 17 at Louisville Cancelled
March 17 at Louisville W, 4-1
March 20 vs. Detroit W, 8-0 (5)
March 20 vs. Detroit W, 3-2
March 21 at #23 Northwestern L, 8-6 (8)
March 21 at #23 Northwestern L, 4-2
March 22 at #23 Northwestern W, 7-5
March 29 vs. Iowa L, 4-1
March 29 vs. Iowa W, 8-4
March 30 vs. Iowa L, 4-1
April 4 at #14 Minnesota Cancelled
April 6 at #14 Minnesota W, 2-1
April 6 at #14 Minnesota L, 3-0
April 9 vs. North Dakota W, 11-2 (5)
April 9 vs. North Dakota W, 17-1 (5)
April 11 vs. Illinois W, 3-2
April 12 vs. Illinois W, 10-3
April 12 vs. Illinois W, 3-2
April 16 vs. Green Bay W, 9-8
April 16 vs. Green Bay W, 5-2
April 18 at Penn State W, 6-3
April 19 at Penn State W, 4-0
April 19 at Penn State W, 5-2
April 25 vs. Purdue W, 2-1
April 26 vs. Purdue W, 6-5
April 27 vs. Purdue W, 7-3
April 30 vs. Nebraska L, 12-0 (5)
April 30 vs. Nebraska W, 6-4
May 2 at Michigan W, 9-3
May 3 at Michigan L, 10-1 (6)
May 4 at Michigan W, 6-5 (9)
May 7 vs. TBD
(Big Ten Tourney)
7 p.m.
May 8 vs. TBD
(Big Ten Tourney)
TBA
May 9 vs. TBD
(Big Ten Tourney)
TBA
May 10 vs. TBD
(Big Ten Tourney)
TBA


Roster
14 Taylor Berry FR C
6 Katie Christner SO IF
8 Cassandra Darrah SR P
2 Sarah Fonk FR UT
13 Marisa Gonzalez FR OF
18 Stefanni LaJeunesse SO 3B/DP
3 Mary Massei SR OF
31 Marissa Mersch JR OF
28 Chloe Miller FR SS/C
12 Michelle Mueller SR IF
21 Sara Novak FR SS/P/UT
11 Macy Oswald SO UT
22 Stephanie Peace SR IF/OF
1 Nyah Rodman FR LHP
55 Staci Roscizewski SO UT
24 Taylor-Paige Stewart SO P/UT
4 Megan Tancill JR IF
10 Maria Van Abel JR OF
32 Ashley Van Zeeland SO IF
20 Caitlyn Warren SO OF
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Team

• Wisconsin (33-17, 15-7 Big Ten) enters this weekend’s Big Ten Tournament in Evanston, Ill., as the No. 4 seed. The Badgers will face tournament host Northwestern (33-15, 14-9) in the quarterfinals on Friday in a 7 p.m. contest at Sharon J. Drysdale Field. The winner of the quarterfinal advances to the semifinals on Saturday at 5 p.m. while the Big Ten title game takes place on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

• The Badgers lost two-of-three against Northwestern on March 21-22 in Evanston.

• The Badgers are coming off of one of their most impressive weeks in school history, splitting their series against No. 19 Nebraska on Wednesday before winning their series against No. 6 Michigan in Ann Arbor.

• The series win for Wisconsin against Michigan marked only the second time in program history the Badgers have won a series against the Wolverines, as the Badgers took a three-game set on May 1-2, 1999 in Ann Arbor, Mich.

• A pair of freshman were critical in the Badgers three wins last weekend, as freshman catcher Chloe Miller belted a two-run blast in Wednesday’s win over Nebraska to give the Badgers a 6-4 win. On Friday against Michigan, freshman infielder Sara Novak collected six RBI and crushed a grand slam to propel UW to a 9-3 advantage. Novak was the hero during Wisconsin’s 6-5 win on Sunday against the Wolverines, hitting a solo shot in the top of the ninth to give the Badgers their first win in extra innings this year.

• The Badgers hold a 5-7 record in the Big Ten Tournament, as this weekend’s tournament marks the sixth time UW will partake in the conference tournament. Three of the Badgers wins came last year in Lincoln, Neb., as Wisconsin won its first Big Ten title in program history.

WISCONSIN vs. NORTHWESTERN
Dates

Friday, May 9 | 7 p.m.

Location Evanston, Ill. | Sharon J. Drysdale Field
Live Stats Gametracker
Television Big Ten Network Small Video Graphic
Radio WSUM 91.7 FM http://grfx.cstv.com/images/icons/audio.gif
Live Coverage Gameday Live
Game Notes Wisconsin Get       Acrobat  Reader
Social Media @BadgerSoftball  | Facebook

LAST TIME OUT - at Michigan, May 4, 2014
After propelling the Badgers to a 9-3 win over No. 6/7 Michigan on Friday night with a six-RBI performance, Sara Novakwas back at playing hero for the Wisconsin softball team again Sunday.

Novak launched her second home run of the weekend, a solo shot in the top of the ninth inning, to give Wisconsin (33-17 overall, 15-7 Big Ten) a 6-5 extra-innings triumph over the Wolverines (40-11, 18-5) at the Wilpon Complex.

"I'm impressed again to have a freshman come in and do what Sara did today to put the ball over the fence in clutch situations," Wisconsin head coach Yvette Healy said. "It's a good thing for the future of the program to have some kids that offensively have a great future for us."

The series win marked Wisconsin's second-ever against the Wolverines. The Badgers also won a three-game set against Michigan May 1-2, 1999, when UM was ranked No. 4.  

"It is a big series win for us," Healy said. "Michigan doesn't lose too many series ever, so when you have a chance to play them on Senior Day, you know it is going to be challenging. 

"We are probably the most proud of their tenacity and grit. After losing a tough game last night to come back and stay focused and keep responding to every bit of adversity all day means a lot."

Senior Stephanie Peace went 3-for-5 at the plate while scoring two runs to pace the Badgers offense. Freshman Chloe Miller also added two hits and two RBI, while junior Marissa Mersch also collected a hit and drove in a pair of runs.

Michigan took a 2-0 lead in the third inning thanks to a two-run blast by Sierra Romero, her second home run of the series.

The Badgers answered with four runs in the top of the fourth. UW third baseman Michelle Mueller kicked things off with a single and Peace followed with a double to right center field. 

After Ashley Van Zeeland reached on a fielders choice to load the bases, Miller walked to score the first Wisconsin run. With the bases still loaded for Mersch, the junior hit a rocket to right field that plated two Badgers to give UW a 3-2 lead. 

Wisconsin tacked on one more thanks to an error by Michigan first baseman Caitlin Blanchard, which allowed Miller to score.

The Wolverines tied it up in the bottom half of the inning with another two-run home run, this one thanks to Lyndsay Doyle.

The Badgers took a 5-4 lead in the top of the seventh when Peace reached base on single and Miller launched a two-out double to deep left center field to score Peace from first.

The Badgers' lead was short-lived, as Taylor Hasselbach launched a solo shot on the first pitch of the bottom of the seventh inning to tie the game at 5-5.

The Wolverines loaded the bases in the eighth, but UW senior Cassandra Darrah worked out of the jam, getting Michigan's No. 5 and No. 6 hitters out.

"I think that is something you get with a senior on the mound," Healy said. "Darrah has a lot of composure and is a tough kid. She stays pretty calm under pressure and just goes out and executes the game plan. She did that today."

After Novak's bomb gave Wisconsin a 6-5 advantage, Darrah worked a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom half of the ninth to help UW win its first extra-inning game this year.

Starter Taylor-Paige Stewart worked six innings, giving up five runs on seven hits. Darrah went three innings, allowing no runs on two hits while striking out three.

SCORING EARLY AND OFTEN
In 2014, Wisconsin has outscored its opponents 235-176. The Badgers have tallied more runs than their opponent in five of seven innings, trailing in the just fourth and fifth innings by a combined score of 75-58. UW’s largest scoring margin is in the first inning in which its plated 51 runs compared to 17 against--a whopping 34-run difference. Wisconsin is also 20-3 in games this year where it scores in the first inning.

WISCONSIN WIN STREAK
The Badgers amassed a 13-game win streak, spanning April 9-26, which tied last season’s record for the longest in program history. Wisconsin outscored its opponents 88-34 over the 17-day streak and held its foes to two runs or fewer in eight of the contests. In addition, Mary Massei and Michelle Mueller both hit above .400. The pair tallied 32-percent of the team’s 112 hits (36), including 17 extra-base hits (seven doubles and 10 home runs) and a massive 40 RBI.

MUELLER'S MONSTER WEEK
Senior third baseman Michelle Mueller was nearly unstoppable in the batter’s box April 9-16, bringing home a trio of awards. Not only did the senior earn her second career Big Ten Player of the Week award, but she was named the USA Softball Player of the Week and the Louisville Slugger NFCA Player of the Week. The La Crosse, Wis., native gathered nine hits in 15 at bats for a .600 batting average en route to her second career Big Ten Player of the Week award.

Mueller smoked a grand slam against North Dakota in UW’s, 17-1, Game 2 win. She added three home runs in three consecutive at bats in the Badgers’ 10-3 win over Illinois, marking just the fifth time that’s ever happened in NCAA history.

In total, Mueller picked up six extra-base hits (two doubles and four home runs), five runs, one walk and 18 RBI in five games against UND (two) and Illinois (three).

500 CLUB
Wisconsin won its 500th game, 3-2, on April 12 against Illinois. The program has posted fourteen 20-win seasons since its start in 1996, including five-straight since head coach Yvette Healy took the helm in 2011.

UW has an all-time record of 505-491-2 for a winning percentage of .507. The Badgers have just six sub-.500 years in 18 completed seasons.

SENIOR SWAG
The four Wisconsin seniors dominated action on Wednesday in 11-2 and 17-1 wins against North Dakota.

Mary Massei went 3-for-5 on the day with two runs, two long balls and four RBI. Michelle Mueller finished with three hits in five at bats, including a grand slam in the second inning of Game 2. The La Crosse, Wis., native recorded nine RBI in the two games. Stephanie Peace added four hits in six tries, as she also poked two over the outfield fence, helping her to gather three RBI.

Cassandra Darrah picked up her eleventh win of the season, allowing just two runs, one earned, on five hits and one walk in Game 1.

OFFENSIVE EXPLOSION
Wisconsin's three home runs in the second inning of its 17-1 win over North Dakota tied the program record, matching three previous instances against Ohio State and North Dakota State in 2005 and East Tennessee State in 2007.

The Badgers' five home runs in the contest was the second most by a UW squad in a contest and the team's 17 runs tied a school record for the most in a single game.

BEATING THE RANKED
UW’s 2-1 Game 1 win in the April 6 doubleheader at No. 14 Minnesota was the team’s third win over a ranked opponent this season. The Badgers gained 7-5 victories against then-No. 7 Arizona on March 7 and No. 23 Northwestern on March 22. Wisconsin holds a 3-9 record versus the top-25 this season.

NEW CAREER HIGHS
Senior pitcher Cassandra Darrah threw the second no-hitter of her career in an 8-0, five-inning win over Detroit on March 20. Darrah went 3-1 that week, pitching 26.2 innings with a 2.36 earned run average.

The Corydon, Iowa, native recorded a career-high 12 strikeouts and no walks in the first game of a doubleheader vs. Iowa on March 29.

Marissa Mersch joined her teammate, posting a new career high in hits and RBI after she went 4-for-4 and drove in four RBI, as the Badgers split the doubleheader with an 8-4 victory.

B1G FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK X 2
Freshman middle infielder Sara Novak had a huge impact in UW’s games vs. Louisville and Northwestern March 17-22, hitting .500 with a 1.100 slugging percentage and blasting the first two home runs of her career. For her impressive play on the field, Novak was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week--the second Badger to win the award this season.

The second of her home runs ignited a seven-run rally in the top of the seventh inning that propelled the Badgers to a 7-5 come-from-behiond victory at Northwestern. She was also hit by a pitch four times, helping to compile an on-base percentage of .643.

COMEBACK KIDS
The Badgers used a seven-run seventh-inning rally to take down No. 23 Northwestern on March 22 to record their first conference win of the season.

After dropping two two-run games on Saturday, UW entered the final inning of its last game against the Wildcats trailling by a score of 3-0. Sara Novak led off with a home run--her second of the weekend--followed by six singles, a HBP, RBI-groundout, wildpitch and walk from the Badgers offense to complete the inning’s scoring.

Wisconsin fended off Northwestern’s attempt at a rally after the Wildcats plated two runs in the bottom half of the inning to steal the game, 7-5.

BIG TEN AWARD WINNERS
Sophomore Taylor-Paige Stewart and freshman Chloe Miller were recognized by the Big Ten on March 3 as pitcher and freshman of the week, respectively.

Stewart appeared in each of the team’s five games in College Station, posting two wins in two starts against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The sophomore recorded a 1.24 earned run average for the weekend and picked up a new career high when she struck out ten Islanders batters on Friday.

Miller started all five games behind the dish, gathering four hits, five RBI and two runs. She logged her third and fourth home runs and multi-hit games of the year, while notching a .333 batting average.

Game Notes

USF-Wilson Demarini Tournament

FIU Classic Tournament

Texas A&M Invitational

Judi Garman Classic

Class Act Federal Credit Union Classic

Iowa

Minnesota

North Dakota

Illinois

Green Bay

Penn State

Purdue

Nebraska
Michigan
Big Ten tournament
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