It was a Big Ten Conference battle that got away from the Badgers Sunday afternoon in Lincoln, Neb., as the No. 22 Huskers ran away with an 11-2 win to clinch the league series. With the loss, Wisconsin falls to 29-8 overall (7-5 Big Ten), while Nebraska improves to 30-9 (8-3).
The trip to Nebraska wraps up a 37-game road swing for the Badgers, as they return home to Goodman Diamond on Tuesday to host Green Bay in a doubleheader.
"After 37 games on the road, everybody is excited to come back home," said head coach Yvette Healy. "Our staff is really pleased with the team to be able to put together this many games against Top 25 teams and to steal some wins against Top-25 teams was our goal this season."
Wisconsin has posted wins over three ranked opponents this season, including Nebraska on Saturday afternoon.
"To come back from Nebraska with yet another ranked win is a big deal," continued Healy. "It is a really tough environment to play in. They win a ton of games at home and you can see why. They are a really strong ball club and we had a chance to win the series today and that is all you can ask for.
"The team fought tremendously hard; put together a great day offensively and really challenged them every inning. You want the victory, you want to come out and win the series, but we are extremely pleased about the fight. We came in with a ton of effort and improved every single game. We proved that we've got the ability to go in and play with some of the best teams in the country."
Wisconsin struck first in the first inning, taking advantage of a Nebraska error to plate the game's first run. Whitney Massey reached base on an error by the Husker first baseman and advanced to third on a double by Mary Massei. A single by Marissa Mersch scored Massey from third and gave the Badgers an early 1-0 lead.
Nebraska responded in the bottom of the inning with a two-run home run by Taylor Edwards to take a 2-1 lead.
The Badgers tied the game in the third inning when, after getting hit by a pitch, Kendall Grimm scored on a Husker error.
With the game tied 2-2, Nebraska posted eight runs on six hits in the bottom of the third to take a commanding 10-2 lead.
Back-to-back two-out walks in the bottom of the fourth led to another Husker run, making the score 11-2.
The Badgers put up a fight in the top of the fifth, loading the bases following a hit batter and pair of walks, but was unable to capitalize.
Cassandra Darrah earned the start for the Badgers, throwing the first 2.0 innings. Darrah allowed six runs, five earned, on three hits and walked three. Meghan McIntosh entered the game in relief, throwing the final 2.0 innings. McIntosh allowed five runs on five hits and walked five.
Tatum Edwards recorded the win for Nebraska, pitching all 5.0 innings. Edwards gave up two runs, none earned, on three hits and struck out five.
The Badgers return home to Goodman Diamond on Tuesday to host Green Bay in a doubleheader starting at 3 p.m.