Softball suffers weekend sweep

Badgers lose two one-run games to first-place Northwestern

The University of Wisconsin softball team was swept Sunday afternoon by visiting No. 18 Northwestern, running the Badgers' losing streak to six games.

UW lost both games Sunday and has lost four of its last five overall by a single run.

Northwestern trailed 6-2 through four innings of Sunday's opener, but rallied to score six runs in the final three innings to take an 8-6 lead before hanging on for an 8-7 victory. In game two, the Wildcats broke a 2-2 tie with a run in the bottom of the fifth to prevail 3-2 and remain in first place in the Big Ten with an 8-0 conference mark and 26-9 record overall.

The Badgers, who were also swept by second-place and No. 1 ranked Michigan (40-3 overall, 7-1 Big Ten) this weekend, fell to 12-17 overall and 3-5 in conference play (eighth place).

In the first game Sunday, Badger left fielder Anastasia Miller went 4-for-4 and scored three runs, including one on her one-out solo home run in the bottom of the seventh that drew UW within 8-7. NU hurler Courtnay Foster, however, allowed just one more base runner before coercing a pair of groundouts to seal the Wildcats' win.

Foster pitched 3 1/3 innings, allowing three hits, two walks and one run in improving to 12-4. UW pitcher Eden Brock (9-6) took a complete game loss, giving up 15 hits and five earned runs.

After going 4-for-5 with three runs in game one, NU shortstop Stephani Churchwell was 3-for-3 in game two, including a two RBI single in the bottom of the second that gave the Wildcats an early 2-0 lead.

UW tied the game in the third on first baseman Katie Hnatyk's two-run homer, but Wildcat catcher Jamie Dotson's fifth-inning single plated Churchwell with the game-winning run.

Eileen Canney (14-14) pitched five strong innings for NU, allowing four hits and two earned runs. Foster picked up her third save of the year, pitching two scoreless innings.

Katie Layne (2-6) took the loss for the Badgers, scattering seven hits and two walks over six innings, while allowing three earned runs.

The Badgers travel to take on Valparaiso Wednesday at 5 p.m.

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