Badgers dominate SDSU, sweep doubleheader

first_imgSeveral records were set as the Badgers completed the sweep against the Jackrabbits on Wednesday. UW now improves to 22-15.[/media-credit]Wisconsin took both games of a double-header against South Dakota State on Wednesday night to move to 22-15 on the year. But in the second game of the night, the Badgers had their back against the wall early on.In the top of the second inning, South Dakota State put runners on second and third base with no outs. However, sophomore pitcher Meghan McIntosh was able to get the Badgers out of the jam. She struck out two of the next three batters, escaping the inning without giving up a run.“I just really focus on my pitches, hitting my locations and forcing hitters into weak groundballs,” McIntosh said. “If I can strike them out, I want to strike them out, but it’s really about just getting the out.”McIntosh pitched five innings, giving up no earned runs and striking out five batters.The Badgers carried their momentum into the bottom half of the second inning. With one out and runners on second and third base, head coach Yvette Healy called for a suicide squeeze with senior outfielder Ashley Hanewich at the plate. With Hanewich unable to lay down the bunt, infielder Stephanie Peace was tagged out in a pickle. The Badgers grounded out to end the inning on the next at-bat.“We just missed [the bunt],” Healy said. “The pitch was off the plate a little bit, but we are challenging our kids to be able to at least foul off that ball off. I think it’s still a great call and I think we’ll get some Big 10 wins that way.”After going three games without a stolen base, including the first game against South Dakota State, senior outfielder Jennifer Krueger successfully stole second in the bottom of the third inning. The stolen base set a new team record for most stolen bases in a season, breaking Krueger’s previous record of 29. Krueger finished the game with a total of three stolen bases.“[Krueger] is a phenomenal speed player and she deserves those records,” Healy said. “We’re really excited for her.”With runners on second and third base, sophomore infielder Whitney Massey hit a two RBI double in the bottom of the fourth inning to give the Badgers a 2-0 lead.“A lot of extra work went into [that hit],” Massey said. “Just getting that hit felt great and it pumped our team up too.”This opened up the floodgates as the Badgers went on to score five more runs the rest of the game, including four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning as it won by the score of 7-0.In the first game, the Badgers experienced similar success, winning 4-0. Freshman pitcher Cassandra Darrah was given run support early on as sophomore infielder Jordan Skinner hit a two RBI single in the bottom of the second inning to give the Badgers a 2-0 lead.A few runs was all Darrah needed as she pitched a complete game shutout for the Badgers, making it the 12th win of the season for her.While it may have looked like an easy victory, the freshman made many in-game adjustments.“[Darrah] is making some adjustments on pitches,” Healy said. “She could have waited until after the game to do some of the adjustments, but she was up for doing it on gameday, so that’s impressive for a young freshman to want to get better.”Through six innings Darrah had a no-hitter, which was eventually broken up in the seventh inning when South Dakota State infielder Ashley Durazo hit the ball up the middle for a single. It was the lone hit given up by Darrah, who finished the game with four strikeouts and one walk.Peace followed up the blown no-hitter by making an amazing jumping catch and threw out the tag runner at first for the double play. The Badgers ended the game on the next out, winning 4-0.A notable scratch from the lineup Wednesday was freshman Michelle Mueller, who suffered a concussion in last weekend’s doubleheader against Northwestern.“Hopefully we can get [Mueller] cleared,” Healy said. “We have a lot of kids out of the lineup right now.”Despite the health concerns, Wisconsin heads to Indiana this weekend riding a four-game win streak and is ready to take on a tough upcoming Big Ten schedule.“I think this team can put up some big numbers against [the top teams in the Big Ten] this year,” Massey said.last_img