Photo courtesy UW athletics

Wisconsin softball swept in Big Ten opening series

Wisconsin entered its first Big Ten softball series of the 2015 season with a .500 record, it came out of the series below .500 after being swept in a three-game series at the Purdue Boilermakers. After losing the first two games of the series, the Badgers were shut out in a 6-0 loss to cap it a bad weekend off in even worse fashion.

The three losses dropped Wisconsin to 13-16 overall and 0-3 in Big Ten play.

It didn’t take long for the Boilermakers to take control of things either, as they blanked the Badgers in the top of the first and then put home four runs on three hits. Purdue’s leadoff hitter starting the barrage with a leadoff single and got in to scoring position with a sacrifice bunt.

Two walks later and the bases were loaded against Wisconsin’s freshman pitcher Mariah Watts. It didn’t end well for her, as two straight doubles led to four runs crossing home plate.

It would be all the Boilermakers pitching staff and defense would need on the day, as Wisconsin couldn’t muster much in the way of offense all day long. UW was sent down in order during both the second and third innings and weren’t able to get a hit until the final few stanzas.

Wisconsin mustered up three total hits while giving up eight of their own in the loss. Watts (5-4) took the loss while pitching all six innings and be charged with all six earned runs on the day. However, it wasn’t an unfamiliar feeling for the Badgers.

In fact, it had to feel like a bit of deja vu for Wisconsin, who were dropped 9-0 in the series opener. UW was one-hit in that contest and Taylor-Paige Stewart (5-7) was credited with the loss after giving up seven runs, only two of which were unearned, in a five-inning affair.

Stewart got off to a great start in the contest, giving up just two hits in the first three innings. Unfortunately, the fourth inning did the Badgers and her in in a big way. Wisconsin gave up all nine runs on four hits and one error and couldn’t muster anything in response during their final at bat in the top of the 5th inning.

Things weren’t much better in the middle game of the series, as UW were dumped 4-1 by the Boilermakers.

UW struck first for a change, putting the first run on the board in the top of the 1st inning, but Purdue responded with two runs of their own and added two more in the second inning to put the Badgers on the back foot.

It worked, as the Badgers put up no more offense (including being no-hit from the second inning on) and Taylor-Paige Stewart (5-8) took a loss once again.

Stewart (5-8) tallied four strikeouts and allowed seven hits and four runs in 6.0 innings pitched for UW. Purdue’s Lilly Fecho gave up just one hit and tallied four strikeouts in her 15th win of the season.

Wisconsin will look to get back to winning softball games next weekend with a trip to Evanston, Ill. to take on Northwestern in a three-game series.

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, as well as Publisher of Big Ten site