Taylor-Paige Stewart

Badgers baffled by Oregon again, see NCAA tournament run end

Taylor-Paige Stewart, who took the loss to Oregon on Saturday, took to the mound in hopes of extending Wisconsin’s NCAA tournament appearance. However, it felt like more of the same for Wisconsin and herself, as UW went down 6-0 to the Ducks.

It was the Badgers third straight loss to Oregon in the NCAA tournament, but this time UW put up a bigger fight than the score line indicated.

After Stewart gave up a first-pitch single, Oregon’s Janie Takeda knocked her first home run of the season to dead center field and gave the Ducks a 2-0 lead. Stewart gave up three hits and nearly had a disaster inning thanks to an untimely fielding error by Megan Tancill.

Oregon turned around and got the Badgers 1-2-3 in the bottom of the first, but the Badgers came back with a golden opportunity in the bottom of the second.

Chloe Miller led off the inning with a single, and advanced to third on a pair of wild pitches by the Ducks. With no outs, it appeared UW would find a way to get back in the game quickly. However the Badgers couldn’t get Miller across the plate.

It would become the theme for the day for Wisconsin, as they left five runners on base and left a runner in scoring position in each of the final three innings of the game.

Stewart also couldn’t keep the Ducks off the bases, giving up 11 hits and six runs (all earned) in seven innings of work. She managed to strike out five Oregon batters though.

While the Badgers failed to get out of the NCAA regional for the second-straight year, many firsts were set in Eugene.

After winning just one NCAA tournament game in the program’s first 17 years, the team has won four games in the last two years alone. UW also ended the season with 36 wins, which is the second-best total in school history.

Heading in to next season the Badgers will have to find replacements for some of the biggest catalysts to UW’s success over the last to seasons. Gone will be pitcher Cassandra Darrah, infielder Mary Massei and third baseman Michelle Mueller.

Andrew Coppens

About Andrew Coppens

Andy is a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). He is the Managing Editor of MadTownBadger and associate editor of Bloguin's World Cup site, 32flags.com as well as Publisher of Big Ten site talking10.com