Junior shortstop Kris Zacher's pair of walk-off hits highlighted Wisconsin's double-header sweep of Loyola-Chicago (15-17) Wednesday night at Goodman Diamond.
Zacher's third home run of the season invoked the mercy rule in game one, an 8-0 six-inning decision. In game two, Zacher's one-out single in the bottom of the seventh scored freshman centerfielder Sam Polito to give the Badgers a 2-1 win.
Freshman pitcher Eden Brock picked up her fifth shutout of the season in game one, while junior Katie Layne won here team-high tenth game of the season in game two.
With the doubleheader sweep, Wisconsin (21-17), has two more wins than it had all of last season.
Wisconsin had a 1-0 lead in game one after senior left fielder Diana Consolmagno's second-inning single to right-center brought home sophomore first baseman Kaitlin Reiss.
Then the Badgers' bats, largely quiet this season, came alive in a six-run fifth inning.
Polito legged out a bunt to open the fifth and an errant throw put her at third. After freshman designated hitter Stephanie Chinn drew a walk, Zacher plated Polito with a single down the right field line. Sophomore second baseman Emily Friedman followed with a two-run single and Reiss singled to advance Friedman. Junior right fielder Anastasia Miller then blasted a triple to right-center and Friedman and Reiss put up two more runs for Wisconsin. Miller scored the Badgers' final run of the inning on a base hit from freshman third baseman Athena Vasquez.
Wisconsin added its final run of the game on Zacher's sixth-inning homer. She went 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs.
Brock (9-6) was perfect through 5 1/3 and gave up only two hits while striking out two. Loyola sophomore pitcher Lindsey LaChiana gave up nine hits and struck out two.
In game two, Wisconsin did not have the scoring magic it did in the first game, posting only two runs to Loyola's one. Polito scored both Badger runs, one to open the game and the other to close it. Her first came as she had a first-inning infield hit and moved to second on a fielder's choice. Junior catcher Boo Gillette then singled to center and brought Polito home.
Loyola did not waste much time scoring its lone run in the third. Freshman centerfielder Tara Miller had a base hit to right-center and went to second on a fielder's choice. Sophomore designated player Becky Marx brought Miller home with a single to left field.
As in the beginning, a single from Polito eventually gave the Badgers another run. After her base hit, Polito stole second and Zacher's hit to right-center field brought her home for the game-winner.
Sophomore Sara Gonzalez pitched the first three innings for Wisconsin and Layne (10-8) relieved her and was credited with the win. Layne struck out five and gave up five hits while Gonzales allowed three hits and a run.