UPDATE: Wisconsin will now play No. 1 seed Michigan at 8 a.m. CT on Saturday
No. 5 seed Wisconsin out-pitched No. 4 seed Ohio State in a run-rule shortened 10-1 victory during a Big Ten softball tournament quarterfinal at Andy Mohr Field in Bloomington, Ind.
The Badgers chased Buckeyes senior pitcher Morgan Ray (27-8, 2.27 ERA) after only two-thirds of an inning. Though Ray started the first inning by retiring Big Ten Player of the Year Kayla Konwent, Wisconsin worked Ray for a single, four walks, and two runs.
Ohio State then brought in Lauren Rice who permitted a few more runs to give Wisconsin a 4-0 lead after the first. Between Ray, Rice, and Katya Duvall (who replaced Rice in the third), OSU issued 12 walks in six innings pitched.
In contrast, Wisconsin’s starting pitcher Kaitlyn Menz (18-7, 1.97 ERA) did not walk a batter until there were two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Backed up by an error-free defensive effort, Menz was excellent, giving up one earned run on three hits and one walk. Menz also struck out four Buckeyes and earned the six-inning complete game thanks to the game being condensed by the run-rule.
Offensively, Wisconsin didn’t just walk in runs, as Taylor Johnson and Jordan Little homered in the second and third, respectively, to blow the game wide open.
NO DOUBT! Round those bases TJ! pic.twitter.com/6poClKmxpA— Wisconsin Softball (@BadgerSoftball) May 10, 2019
Wisconsin (40-11) will play in the conference tournament semifinal at 12 p.m. CT tomorrow, and it will face the winner of No. 1 Michigan and No. 9 Illinois.