MADISON, Wis. – Stellar pitching and clutch hitting helped the Wisconsin softball team to a 7-1 win over Purdue Saturday evening at Goodman Diamond to even the series, 1-1.
The Badgers (21-17 overall, 5-6 B1G) outhit the Boilermakers (13-33, 4-9) 7-2 en route to their seventh home win of the season. Freshman pitcher Haley Hestekin had a fantastic day, striking out a career-high seven batters while only allowing two hits.
Taking a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth, Kelly Welsh and Taylor Johnson hit back-to-back singles to start the inning. The Badgers loaded the bases when Kelsey Jenkins reached on a fielder’s choice. Brooke Wyderski made Purdue pay when she stepped up to the plate and sent a bomb over the left field wall for her first grand slam as a Badger to widen UW’s lead to 7-0.
Wisconsin got on the board in the second inning with a pair of runs off of a Purdue error. Melanie Cross got on base with a single up the middle and was replaced on the basepath by pinch runner Brianna Flugaur. She stole second and advanced to third on a Heather Rudnicki groundout. Kelly Welsh drew a walk to put Badgers on the corners with two outs. That’s when Taylor Johnson created havoc and reached on the error that allowed Flugaur and Rudnicki to score.
The Badgers tacked on another run in the bottom of the third when a passed ball gave Sydney Lawson just enough time to cross the plate for Wisconsin’s third run of the day.
Purdue didn’t go down easy, loading the bases in the top of the seventh inning. A pair of hits and an error helped the Boilermakers score one run, but the Badgers nabbed the last out of the inning before they could do any more damage.
Freshman phenom Haley Hestekin allowed just two hits in the Badgers’ win while striking out a career-high seven batters. Brooke Wyderski blasted her team-leading sixth home run of the season and led all players with four RBI. Kelsey Jenkins had a hit and a walk to extend both her hitting streak and on-base streak to 11 and 38 games, respectively.
Wisconsin faces Purdue in the last game of the series at 12 p.m Sunday.
–Wisconsin Athletic Communications