Ducks end Badgers' NCAA Tournament run

EUGENE, Ore.-- It was a pair of long balls that did the Badgers' season in Saturday afternoon, as No. 3 Oregon hit two home runs to defeat No. 25 Wisconsin 3-0 in the NCAA regional finale at Howe Field in Eugene, Ore. The loss ended the Badgers' season and advanced Oregon to Super Regional action.

Wisconsin (44-13) concluded its best season in program history with its first-ever trip to an NCAA regional championship game. The Badgers finished regional play with a 2-2 record, posting the most regional wins in school history. Cassandra Darrah, Shannel Blackshear and Stephanie Peace were named to the NCAA Tournament All-Regional team, joining Andrea Kirchberg in 2001 as the only Badgers to earn the honor.

Despite the loss, it was a season to be remembered for head coach Yvette Healy.

"Of course we would love to still be playing," said Healy. "Disappointment is a tough word. When you put together a season like this you get that many wins and you see this many kids making big strides in their game, I don't think I could be disappointed for a second."

Oregon (49-9) will await the winner of the regional being played in Lincoln, Neb., to determine its post season fate. The Ducks' starting pitcher, Jessica Moore was named tournament MVP, while six teammates joined her on the NCAA Tournament All-Regional team.

The Badgers outhit the Ducks, 4-3, but just couldn't find a way across the plate.

Both teams posted a hit in the first inning, but it was a big swing by Samantha Pappas in the second that gave the Ducks and early lead as Pappas homered to centerfield to put the host team up 1-0.

Wisconsin threatened in the bottom of the third with runners in scoring position and less than two outs, but was unable to find a way to score.

The Badgers recorded a hit in the fifth and seventh innings, but was unable to capitalize.

Cassandra Darrah pitched all 7.0 innings in her 27th complete game of the year. Darrah allowed just three runs on three hits, walked three and struck out five.

Cheridan Hawkins and Moore combined for time in the circle for Oregon, with Hawkins earning the win and Moore the save. Oregon held the Badgers to no runs on four hits, struck out seven and didn't allow any walks.

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