COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The Wisconsin softball team balanced offensive firepower with a strong defensive front, securing the Big Ten series sweep over Maryland with a 5-0 victory on Sunday afternoon at the Maryland Softball Stadium.
The Badgers (32-14 overall, 11-11 Big Ten) came out fired up from the get-go, putting in four runs off of four hits on the Terrapins (11-39-1, 4-19) in the first inning alone. Senior Sara Novak is finishing off her senior campaign with a bang after she fired the first shot in that scored senior Chloe Miller and moved junior Brooke Wyderski to third, who were both on base from walks.
Wyderski and Novak made a gutsy move that paid off as both runners simultaneously stole bases, leading Wyderski to score and Novak to advance to second.
Wisconsin’s attack continued with two more RBI singles from the lower half of the lineup. Sophomore Melanie Cross singled to center field to score Novak while sophomore Gabby Scherle’s hard hit to the shortstop scored Jordan Little, who drew a walk earlier in the inning.
The Badgers made quick work of the Terrapins in the bottoms of the second and third innings, retiring them in order.
Wisconsin posted another run in the top of the third inning when Kelsey Jenkins ripped an RBI single to left center and advanced on the throw, scoring Welsh on the play to clinch a 5-0 advantage.
Thanks to several key defensive plays, the Badgers were able to preserve the shutout victory.
UW got out of a dangerous situation in the bottom of the first inning by turning an incredible double play with the bases loaded. Maryland’s Kristina Dillard hit a shot straight to freshman pitcher Kaitlyn Menz who sent the ball back to Miller in the catcher’s spot who then rocketed the ball to Stephanie Lombardo at first for the final out of the inning.
Trying to get a runner on the bases in the bottom of the fifth, Maryland sent a would-be single through the right side but Jenkins snagged the grounder and while falling made a back-handed throw to Lombardo at first base for the out.
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