Badgers fall to Huskers in series finale

Nebraska beats Wisconsin, 9-4
Badgers fall to Huskers in series finale

Defensive struggles plagued the No. 21 Wisconsin softball team (23-6 overall, 2-4 Big Ten) Sunday afternoon at Goodman Diamond as it dropped its third game of the weekend to Nebraska (11-20, 3-3), 9-4.

Things went Wisconsin’s way in the bottom of the first. After junior Kelsey Jenkins drew a walk on the first at bat of the afternoon, Brooke Wyderski stepped up and hit a double deep into center field, allowing Jenkins to score the first run of the afternoon. The Badgers took a 1-0 lead after one inning.

The Huskers countered hard in the top of the second. Kaylan Jablonski hit a double down the line followed by Alexis Perry reaching second on an error by center fielder Kelly Welsh. Taylor Otte then hit a line drive into right allowing Jablonski to reach home. Wisconsin’s struggles continued when Laura Barrow hit a single through the right side resulting in Perry scoring a run to give Nebraska a 2-1 lead. Otte also was able to score as the Badgers were unable to connect during a series of throws, resulting in an error. Nebraska was able to score once more thanks to a Rindy Bryant single and had a 4-1 lead after two.

Nebraska struck again in the third, as its first three batters got on base due to two walks and a single. Otte got another Husker home on a sacrifice fly to center field. Pinch hitter Austen Urness delivered a two-RBI single to center as Nebraska extended its lead to 7-1 after the top of the third.

The Badgers clawed back in the bottom of the fourth. Welsh reached on a leadoff single to center before Brianna Flugaur got on base thanks to a fielder’s choice. Back-to-back walks loaded the bases with Wyderski up to bat. The junior singled to left field knocking in a much-needed Wisconsin run. During the next at bat, Novak singled up the middle as two more Badgers rounded home, ultimately leading to a 7-4 Nebraska advantage through four innings.

Once again Nebraska countered, knocking in a run thanks to doubles from Barrow and Lexey Kneib. With the bases loaded, pitcher Kaitlyn Menz walked the batter and the Huskers solidified a 9-4 win.