The Wisconsin Badgers’ softball team started off its 2017 NCAA Tournament hopes on the right foot.
With some solid hitting and pitching, along with some SportsCenter-worthy defensive play, Wisconsin defeated Missouri 7-2 in the Eugene Regional on Friday night at Jane Sanders Stadiums in Eugene, Ore.
The Badgers (34-15) trailed the Tigers (29-27) after the first inning but gained a 2-1 lead in the top of the third inning after Chloe Miller’s two-run homer. After Friday’s big win, the senior from Betterndorf, Iowa, now is first in Wisconsin history in runs (144) and tied for first in home runs (30).
Though the Tigers tied the game in the bottom of the third, the Badgers regained the lead for good starting in the fifth inning. Outfielder Kelly Welsh’s RBI single gave UW a 3-2 lead, with Brooke Wyderski driving in two more in that frame to give UW a three-run lead.
Hits by Miller and Wyderski drove in two more runs in the top of the seventh, capping the scoring in the win. The two combined for five hits in eight at-bats.
Freshman Kaitlyn Menz pitched a complete game, allowing only two runs on three hits in seven innings. Menz is now 24-10 this season.
Along with her bat, Welsh made an impact earlier in the game while robbing the Tigers of a home run with an amazing catch. That highlight made SportsCenter’s Top 10, coming in at No. 5.