MADISON, Wis. – Goodman Diamond was filled with fans on Sunday afternoon, as the Wisconsin softball team earned a thrilling 4-3 win over visiting Purdue.
The Badgers (22-17 overall, 6-6 B1G) were bested in the hits category by Purdue (13-34, 4-10), 10-5, but spectacular defense helped UW take the series from the Boilermakers, 2-1.
The Badgers pulled off two big double plays in the first and second innings that proved to be key in the outcome of the series against Purdue.
Wisconsin took the lead early with two first inning runs. Senior Kelsey Jenkins singled in the first at-bat and was sent home when Brooke Wyderski doubled to deep center field. After a fly-out, junior Melanie Cross knocked in the second run via a single to left field.
Both teams were locked in defensively after that until Purdue broke through in the top of the sixth. Back-to-back singles gave Purdue a pair of base runners who both scored on a Hixenbaugh single and UW error. The Boilermakers scored the go-ahead run later in the inning before Haley Hestekin ended the inning with a strikeout.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Purdue pitcher Sydney Bates gave up a walk to Taylor Johnson, putting the tying run on base. In the next at-bat Melanie Cross sealed the deal, hitting a crucial two-run home run that put UW back on top.
Senior Kelsey Jenkins earned her 200th career hit during Sunday’s game against Purdue. Freshman Haley Hestekin had another great day on the mound, ending with two strikeouts on the day. Junior Melanie Cross hit her fourth home run of the season to score two runs for Wisconsin. Kelsey Jenkins and Melanie Cross both had two hits, a team-high throughout Sunday’s game.
The Badgers hit the road for a doubleheader with Minnesota on Wednesday starting at 1 p.m.
–Wisconsin Athletic Communications