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Wisconsin softball: Gophers sweep UW in crucial late-season doubleheader

The Badgers are one of the many teams on the bubble of the NCAA Tournament and, well, this result is not helpful

@BadgerSoftball; UW Athletics

The Wisconsin Badgers softball team hadn’t played the Minnesota Golden Gophers since 2019, and had to wait a few extra weeks this season as their doubleheader was postponed on April 20 due to weather in the Twin Cities, and Wednesday afternoon’s series did not go like UW hoped.

Game one was a pitcher’s duel which the Badgers lost 1-0 on a walk-off double in the bottom of the seventh while the second game was a back and forth affair which Minnesota won 4-2. UW has now lost three games in a row.

Maddie Schwartz (22-7) scattered six hits over 6.1 innings, walking three and striking out one, and only giving up the one, game-winning, run. Minnesota’s Autumn Pease and Emily Leavitt (12-9) had electric stuff all afternoon and combined for the shutout, allowing one hit each and striking out 16 Badgers overall.

Game two was another low-scoring game, but Wisconsin struggled to solve Leavitt (13-9) again. She pitched a complete game, giving up seven hits and two runs while mowing down 10 Badgers via Ks. Down 2-0 in the fifth inning, Wisconsin loaded the bases against Leavitt, and then scored a run when Lauren Foster drew a walk (one of only two that Leavitt issued), but couldn’t do any more damage.

The Gophers tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the fifth and, despite Wisconsin scoring once more in the sixth thanks to a Peyton Bannon triple, won the Border Battle with a sweep, 4-2. Tessa Magnanimo (1-2) went 4.1 innings for UW, giving up two runs on six hits.

UW returns home for its final series of the regular season against No. 22 Michigan. First pitch on Friday is set for 5 p.m., Saturday’s game is set for a 1 p.m. start while the series finale on Sunday is scheduled for noon. The Badgers have never won a series against the Wolverines in Madison and have only won two (1999 and 2014) against Michigan overall.

The Badgers will recognize their seven-member senior class prior to first pitch on Sunday.