MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin kept to its winning ways Friday night in University Park, Pa., picking up its eighth-straight win, as the Badgers smashed three home runs in a 6-3 victory over Penn State.
Down five runs entering the bottom of the seventh, Penn State (14-24, 5-8) pieced together a small rally, but Cassandra Darrah shut the door for her 15th win of the season.
Shelby Miller drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on Alyssa Sovereign’s infield single. Ashley Van Zeeland prevented the ball from reaching the outfield, but had no play to retire the runner at first base.
Pinch hitter Shannon Good loaded the bases on a fielder’s choice after Michelle Mueller came off the bag in an attempt to force Miller out at third.
The Nittany Lions scored on the next play, as Alicia Walker grounded out to Van Zeeland.
Lexi Knief added another run, singling in the infield to bring up Reina Furuya.
Katie Christner halted the rally, however, when she robbed the PSU shortstop in right field and then tossed to first to double off Knief, who was caught too far from the base.
Darrah pitched her 21st complete game of the season, allowing five hits and striking out three.
After slow starts by both teams, an offensive explosion in the third inning propelled UW (25-15, 7-5) to a 5-0 lead it would never relinquish.
Mary Massei smoked her eighth home run of the season—a three-run shot that sailed over the left field fence—that brought home Christner and Megan Tancill, who reached on an error and by fielder’s choice, respectively, to lead off the inning.
Stephanie Peace added a solo homer and Van Zeeland beat out an infield single to bring home Chloe Miller, both with two outs, to give Wisconsin a commanding lead.
After allowing a tally in the fifth inning, Miller regained the Badgers’ five-run lead the following frame, as she poked her sixth home run of the season over the centerfield fence.
UW leaned on its five, six, seven hitters in the win, as the trio gathered six hits—two apiece—and two RBI against Penn State pitcher Marlaina Laubach.
The Badgers head back to the diamond for a Saturday doubleheader against Penn State beginning at noon, as they look to sweep their fourth-straight series.