The Wisconsin softball team's 8-3 win over Minnesota Sunday in Minneapolis meant a lot of different things for the Badgers. With the win, Wisconsin swept its regular-season series against Minnesota, won its 17th of the last 19 games and clinched the first-ever Border Battle Cup for the University of Wisconsin.
The Badgers rallied back from a 3-1 deficit to get the win and improve to 30-21 overall and 11-9 in the Big Ten.
Down 3-1 through two-and-a-half innings, Wisconsin added a run in the bottom of the third and three in both the fourth and fifth innings, with help from freshman first baseman Katie Hnatyk, who led the way with three runs, two hits and two runs batted in. In the bottom of the first, Hnatyk scored from third on a wild pitch.
Minnesota (25-27, 6-14) added three runs, from freshman right fielder Chrissy Sward, sophomore catcher Megan Higginbotham and junior second baseman Valerie Alston, in the top of the third to go up 3-1.
In the bottom of the third, though, Hnatyk jump-started a UW rally with a solo home run to put Wisconsin down by only a run.
Badger senior shortstop Kris Zacher followed Hnatyk's suit and knocked one just barely out of the park in the fourth inning, scoring junior second baseman Kaitlin Reiss as well as herself to put Wisconsin up 4-3. It was Zacher's ninth home run of the season and 20th of her career, which ties her with senior catcher Boo Gillette for the school record. Hnatyk then scored her third run of the day on a double by Gillette, giving Wisconsin a 5-3 advantage.
Wisconsin tacked on three insurance runs in the fifth inning, two of which came on an error on a ball hit by sophomore center fielder Sam Polito. Hnatyk added an RBI single to close out the scoring.
In addition to Hnatyk, Gillette, freshman third baseman Joey Daniels and Reiss each had two hits in the effort, as the Badgers out-hit Minnesota 11-8. Sophomore pinch runner Nicole Simmons and senior right fielder Natalie Phillips scored one run each, while Reiss scored two.
UW senior starter Katie Layne (10-8) pitched a complete game, giving up eight hits (five of which were in the third inning) and three earned runs, while walking two and striking out one. Minnesota senior pitcher Lyn Peyer (16-18) took the loss, giving up seven hits, five earned runs and three walks while striking out two in 3 2/3 innings pitched. Sophomore Mandy Valdez came in to relieve Peyer and gave up three unearned runs, three hits and a walk in 1 1/3 innings of work. Sophomore Rene Konderik finished out the game, allowing one hit and striking out one batter.
Wisconsin earned the fifth seed in the Big Ten Tournament, hosted by regular-season champ Michigan, and will face fourth seeded Ohio State at 1:30 p.m. Friday in Ann Arbor, Mich. If the Badgers win they would play again at 6:30 p.m. Friday, against the winner of Thursday's No. 1 Michigan/No. 8 Michigan State matchup. The Badgers beat Ohio State twice in Madison in UW's first conference games of the season.
In the Border Battle Cup, Wisconsin finished with 235 points to Minnesota's 205. The cup pitted the rival schools against each other in 20 head-to-head competitions, with each sport being worth 40 points. The softball team collected 20 points for each of its two wins against Minnesota this weekend.
Men's golf: Badgers finish seventh at championship
Wisconsin finished in seventh place as Michigan State claimed the 2005 Big Ten Men's Golf Championship title Sunday at Wisconsin's University Ridge Golf Course, scoring an 847 (282-276-289) over 54 holes. Indiana senior Jeff Overton took the individual title and Player of the Year honors after shooting a 199 (65-65-69), which tied the record at the tournament and set a new course record.
Wisconsin carded a team total 875 (292-293-290), 11 over par. Individually, Wisconsin senior Kevin Tassistro shot a 4-under 68 Sunday to bump him from a tie for 15th to a tie for 8th with a 213 (72-73-68). Sophomore Garrett Jones finished with a 218 (72-73-73) in a tie for 21st, while senior Brian Brodell carded a 222 (73-76-73) to finish in a tie for 36th. Sophomore Adam DeLawyer dropped from a tie for 22nd on Saturday to a tie for 48th Sunday after shooting an 80 to finish with a 226 (75-71-80). Freshman Jeff Kaiser took 55th out of 55 players, finishing with a 236 (80-80-76).
Wisconsin did not earn any post-season conference awards.