Huskers cool off No. 21 Badgers hot start, take game two 8-3 - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Huskers cool off No. 21 Badgers hot start, take game two 8-3

Posted: Updated:

MADISON, Wis. (Per UW Athletics) – The No. 21 Wisconsin softball team (23-5 overall, 2-3 Big Ten) was outlasted by Nebraska (10-20, 2-3) in the second game of the series, dropping the contest 8-3 on Saturday afternoon at Goodman Diamond.

A strange but great series of events pushed the Badgers ahead with a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Nebraska’s starter, Sydney McLeod, walked Wisconsin’s first three batters to load up the bases. Sara Novak was hit by McLeod in her first time at the plate, bringing in the Badgers’ first run. A sacrifice fly from Stephanie Lombardo clinched the second run for the Cardinal and White as Chloe Miller came home.

The Badger defense started strong, retiring the Husker batters in order in both the top of the first and fourth innings.

Nebraska opened up the game in the top of the fifth inning, putting in five runs off of five hits and a UW error. Alyvia Simmons reached on an error by Lombardo to bring in the initial run for the Huskers. The bases had been loaded up by with back-to-back singles and a walk. But two consecutive singles from MJ Knighten and Tristen Edwards put the Huskers up by two more runs (3-0) until a two-RBI double from Kaylan Jablonski capped off a five-run inning for Nebraska.

The Huskers added three more runs to secure an 8-2 edge after six innings, using three runs off of three hits and two Badger miscues to extend their lead.

The Badgers were able to tack on one final run in the bottom of the seventh inning when a fielder’s choice allowed Miller to run in, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the five-run deficit.

Nebraska’s Jablonski picked up her second win of the weekend, pitching seven innings and allowing just five hits and one run. She walked three and struck out one Badger batter.

Notes to know:
- Chloe Miller led all players with two runs scored, reaching base both times on a walk.
- Miller's 128 career runs puts her just one run shy of tying for the third-most career runs at Wisconsin.
- Kelsey Jenkins scored one run against the Huskers, marking her 13th-consecutive game with at least one run.
- Brooke Wyderski extended her three-game hitting streak, going 1-for-3 at the plate.
- Stevens (8-2) threw all seven innings, dealing one strikeout and walking three batters. She allowing eight runs and 10 hits.
- Wisconsin recorded three errors to Nebraska's one.
- The Badgers left 10 runners on base for the second time during the series with Nebraska, forcing the Huskers to strand just six runners.
- This is the second time in this series the Badgers forfeited a 2-0 lead.
- It was Wisconsin’s season high in runs given up (8).
- Five Badgers recorded one hit apiece. Senior Sara Novak led UW with two RBI, tying Nebraska’s Tristen Edwards and Kaylan Jablonski for game-high honors.
- Melanie Cross and Jordan Little had a season-high four at bats in the contest.
- Stephanie Lombardo hit out the second sacrifice fly of her career.

Details from the dugout:
On what Jablonski brings to the mound:

"She's tough. She's thrown a great game and we're not making adjustments. She's your typical Big Ten pitcher. I'm just impressed with how greedy she's been, that she's really a competitor. So, that side is fun to watch, kids that are like that, but on our end we just have to do a better job making adjustments sooner."

On Stevens' pitching today:
"She did some good things. She didn't pitch well enough to win, but she hung in there. She had some errors around her and some mixed-in with where we just didn't execute what we wanted to do. We got beat up by the bottom of the lineup, which you don't see a lot. A couple of their bottom lineup kids put up runs on us and walks and things like that when we were in the driver seat, but they're a good team."

On what Nebraska's been able to do these past two games despite their record:
"I wouldn't look at what their record says because their strength of schedule is so good. They're historically a good team, they've got a lot of experience. All of those kids on their team have played in the NCAA tournament multiple times and our team hasn't. So, we're trying to grow and become that kind of team, but they've got that experience that when I see them, they play like they've been there in big games. For a lot of our players, we've got some kids that it's their first Big Ten outings that they just haven't played a season in the Big Ten, especially like the middle and bottom of our lineup, and those kids just have to know what that pressure feels like."

On the feeling in the team locker room: 
"Every season, we just talk about our goal is to sweep a couple teams and not get swept and that goal is still alive. I mean, obviously, you want to win this series, that goal isn't standing anymore we don't have a shot at it, but we've got a chance to not get swept. We've got a chance to take a game from every team and last year we were able to do that. That every team we played, we took a game in every single series, it didn't matter if it was Minnesota. Anybody that was playing great, we still took a game from so that's our goal going in to tomorrow." 

Up Next:
The Badgers close out their first home series of the year with a 12 p.m. matchup with Nebraska on Sunday.

Powered by Frankly