North Dakota State served as a salve for the University of Wisconsin softball team’s recent woes Monday, as the Badgers earned a doubleheader sweep of the visiting Bison to improve their overall mark to 15-19. UW has now won three consecutive non-conference games while losing seven straight conference contests.
After pounding NDSU 7-0 in game one, the Badgers held on for a 5-3 win in the nightcap.
In game two, sophomore pitcher Eden Brock improved to 11-8 with a complete game seven-hitter during which she tied a career high with nine strikeouts. Brock allowed three unearned runs, including two in the top of the seventh.
After drawing within 5-3, the Bison had runners on the corners with no outs. A lineout, a stolen base and a fielder’s choice loaded the bases with one away. But Brock was able coerce a strikeout and a groundout to close out the game.
UW trailed 1-0 in that affair before plating two runners in the fourth and three in the fifth, including two unearned runs. Sophomore center fielder Sam Polito led the rally, with an RBI single in each inning and a pair of runs scored.
NDSU pitcher Bekki Rasmussen (3-6) allowed just six hits but took the loss in game two. The Bison fell to 18-23 overall.
The Badgers played home run derby in game one, chasing Bison starter Allison Bakke (8-14) with a school-record-setting four home runs in building a 7-0 lead in just 2 2/3 innings.
Senior Anastasia Miller began the power surge with a two-run shot in the bottom of the second to make it 2-0 UW.
With two outs in the bottom of the third, freshman first baseman Katie Hnatyk hit a two-strike two-run round tripper to make it 4-0. Senior catcher Boo Gillette then made it back-to-back home runs with her team leading eighth of the season. Following freshman third baseman Joe Daniels’ single, Miller blasted her second home run of the game, tying Gillette with her eighth of the season to give UW a commanding 7-0 lead.
That was more than enough support for senior pitcher Katie Layne (3-6), who pitched a complete-game shut out, allowing three hits and four walks while striking out six.
Gillette and Miller each tied the single season school record home run record Monday. Miller also tied the record for home runs in a game, and a single gave her the school record for total bases (9) in a contest. The Badgers three home runs in an inning tied a school record.
UW continues its homestand with a doubleheader with Loyola-Chicago Tuesday afternoon. First pitch is at 4 p.m. at Goodman Diamond.