MADISON, Wis. -- Four runs in the first inning led to a big win for the Wisconsin softball team on Sunday at Goodman Diamond. The Badgers shut out Penn State 9-0 to sweep the Big Ten Conference series.
"Penn State is a great program and I think historically they really had our number," said head coach Yvette Healy. "To come in and take three games at home is always exciting, especially when it is a team like Penn State who was in the NCAA tournament last year."
Wisconsin (27-13 overall, 11-4 Big Ten) scored four runs on two hits in the bottom of the first inning. Mary Massei started the game off with a walk, followed by a single by Kendall Grimm and a walk by Whitney Massey. With the bases loaded, Shannel Blackshear drew the walk to get the Badgers on the board, ahead 1-0.
The Badgers offense forced Penn State's (13-26, 5-10) starting pitcher, Marissa Diescher, out of the game after the first run and Jordan Wheatley came in. After a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly by Stephanie Peace, Karla Powell hit a RBI single into right field to give Wisconsin a 4-0 lead early. An RBI double by Massey in the bottom of the second tacked on another run for the Badgers.
The offense kept rolling in the third inning with Peace singling to start it off. The Badgers scored with a two RBI double by Marissa Mersch, a sacrifice fly from Massei and an RBI single by Grimm.
Cassandra Darrah pitched her 19th complete game, improving to 18-7 in front of 1,002 fans, the fourth largest crowd in school history. Darrah only allowed two hits in five innings against the Nittany Lions. The sophomore right-hander held Penn State to only one run in 12 innings this weekend.
Wisconsin looks to continue its winning ways at Goodman Diamond on Wednesday, April 25 with a doubleheader against Indiana State starting at 3 p.m.
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