Wisconsin softball will most likely only go as far as their pitching will take them this postseason and on Friday afternoon in Lincoln, Nebraska that was on full display as the No. 4 seed Wisconsin blanked No. 12 seed Northwestern 3-0 in a Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal.
The Badgers got behind their star pitcher Cassandra Darrah, who tossed seven innings of shutout baseball. She surrendered just 4 hits and struck out eight Wildcat batters, while giving up just three walks to earn the win and improve her season record to 24-5.
Darrah also got help from the Northwestern defense, who had three errors on the day and helped throw away a good enough to win performance from pitcher Amy Letourneau who allowed just three hits over six innings of work, striking out seven.
Letourneau also contributed to her own downfall by walking six Badger batters and contributing to the defensive errors as well.
After two scoreless innings of play it was Wisconsin breaking through in the bottom of the third inning.
UW recorded two outs to start off the inning and were on their way towards a third, however Kendall Grimm managed to reach first thanks to a throwing error by the NU third baseman. Whitney Massey singled to center field, allowing Grimm to reach third. Following a Letourneau walk of Shannel Blackshear the Badgers would take advantage of another miscue as Letourneau recorded a passed ball, allowing Grimm to score from third for the 1-0 lead and an unearned run.
The Badgers would double their lead the following inning as Stephanie Peace made NU pay for another combination of walks and errors. Peace walked, stole second and following a throwing error by Letourneau Peace was able to round for home and the 2-0 lead.
Wisconsin's final run of the day would come in the 6th as Northwestern loaded up the bases thanks another throwing error, a walk, and a single. Up stepped Mary Massei to the plate, only to watch four balls come her way and walk home Maria Van Abel for the final run and a 3-0. Massei recorded an RBI on the walk, the one recorded on the day.
Wisconsin moves on to the semi's where they will take on the winner of Michigan vs. Ohio State. That game takes place on Saturday at 2pm CT and will be televise by BTN.