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Wisconsin battle back to beat Buckeyes during last frame Saturday

first_imgNo one could have blamed the Badgers if they had just gone through the motions in Saturday’s nightcap after losing the first game.Wisconsin’s loss came in familiar fashion — a late-inning rally by its opponents after a dominating performance for much of the game.The Badgers entered the seventh inning with a 3-0 lead, only to allow six runs in the inning on four hits, a walk and two hit batters.“It’s happened all year; we’ve lost a lot of games at the end,” second baseman Livi Abney said. “It’s something we have to work on. I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s a mental thing, but that’s the thing we’ve got to work on to be a lot better.”It happened again in the nightcap as the Buckeyes scored a pair of runs in the top of the seventh to break a 1-1 tie. The runs all came with two outs as Badger pitcher Letty Olivarez retired the first two hitters before allowing three hits.Wisconsin’s postseason hopes were dashed, but the team stayed positive and put together a win, one that came in dramatic fashion with a three-run rally in its last at-bat.“It was probably one of the best feelings of the whole season,” Abney said of the comeback. “We didn’t really have anything left to play for, but we didn’t want to lay down.”The comeback all started with Abney. With a runner on second base, the freshman hit her second career home run to tie the game once again.Following a walk by freshman Jennifer Krueger, the Badgers nearly won the game as senior Joey Daniels drove a double to the wall, but Krueger held up at third on the play.This brought junior Theresa Boruta to the plate, who hit a hard grounder to third. The Buckeyes’ third baseman fired to first but was unable to retire Boruta as Krueger broke for home.The first baseman’s throw beat Krueger to the plate, but a hard slide knocked the ball out of the catcher’s mitt, winning the game for Wisconsin.“It was great; I’ve never done that before,” Krueger said. “I just committed to going right away once the third baseman got rid of the ball. I went in hard and it just happened.”Making the run even better for Krueger was a bit of personal redemption from the Buckeyes’ rally in the previous inning.Ohio State got its first break in the inning as Krueger misjudged a fly ball, dropping it. While the freshman said she should have caught it, it was not ruled an error.“That was really in the back of my mind the entire seventh inning,” Krueger said. “Then with that home run, Livi picked me up, so I felt good and just wanted to get the win for the team.”The inning was a big change from the way much of Saturday’s second game unfolded for Wisconsin offensively. As a team, the Badgers left 13 runners on base, including loading the bases three times in the first three innings and coming away empty-handed.One of the players who was unable to come through early in the game was Abney. After killing the rally early in the game, the freshman changed her approach to tie the game in the seventh.“In the third inning, we had the bases loaded and I struck out,” Abney said. “I knew my swing was too long then, and this time I was just trying to keep it short. I was just hitting for contact, and it went out.”Much like Abney, Boruta struggled early in the game, flying out to right field with the bases loaded in the second inning. Yet she also made up for it as she drove in the winning run.“For me personally, I was just like ‘Just put that ball in play and make the D work,’” Boruta said. “In that case, we felt the last-minute nature of the last inning and we pulled through.”last_img read more