Badgers softball uses clutch hitting to push past No. 22 Huskers - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Badgers softball uses clutch hitting to push past No. 22 Huskers

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LINCOLN, Neb. -- Big clutch hitting powered the Wisconsin softball team to a 5-2 win over No. 22 Nebraska Saturday afternoon at Bowlin Stadium. The Badgers used seven hits to score five runs and defeat Nebraska on their home field, a place where the Huskers rarely lose.
 
Nebraska (29-9 overall, 7-3 Big Ten) is 23-3 at home over the past two seasons, with two of the three losses coming at the hands of the Badgers.
 
Wisconsin (29-7, 7-4) scored first in the third inning when a leadoff walk by Marissa Mersch sparked the Badgers' offense. A pair of back-to-back singles loaded the bases and fielder's choice by Mary Massei scored the game's first run.
 
The Huskers answered back with a run of their own in the bottom half to tie the game, using two hits to score the run before leaving the bases loaded at the end of the inning.
 
Nebraska again left the bases loaded in the bottom of the fourth, before taking a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth, putting the Badgers on the ropes.
 
Wisconsin responded in the top of the sixth with four runs to take a commanding 5-2 lead. Massei walked to start the inning, but found herself stranded on first following a pair of strikeouts. One swing by Stephanie Peace changed the game for the Badgers.
 
Peace's double to centerfield scored Massei from first and forced a Husker pitching change. With Peace on second, Shannel Blackshear stepped to the plate and wasted no time putting the Badgers out in front. Blackshear's eighth home run of the season went over the centerfield fence, giving UW a 4-2 lead.
 
Wisconsin wasn't done yet. A pair of walks and a single loaded the bases for the Badgers and a Husker miscue gave Wisconsin the 5-2 lead.
 
Cassandra Darrah buckled down, inducing three groundouts and three fly outs to finish out the game with the win.
 
Darrah went the distance in the circle, throwing all seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits and striking out three.
 
Emily Lockman suffered the loss, pitching the first 5.2 innings and allowing three runs on five hits and striking out seven. Tatum Edwards entered the game in relief, pitching the final 1.1 innings, allowing two runs on two hits.
 
The Badgers and the Huskers will decide the Big Ten series on Sunday. First pitch is set for noon at Bowlin Stadium.
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