The record-setting University of Wisconsin softball team received the support of a record 2,007 fans for its regular-season finale Sunday afternoon at Goodman Field.
Unfortunately for the Badgers, Michigan State wasn’t interested in getting swept aside in the final appearance by UW’s seven seniors.
The Badgers (39-11, 16-7 Big Ten), whose win total is a program record, posted a 3-0 victory in the opener before dropping an 11-5 decision in the second game.
The loss gave the Spartans (24-24, 9-10) the weekend series win thanks to a 9-4 victory on Saturday afternoon.
UW junior left-hander Cassandra Darrah earned her 23th win of the season in her 22nd complete game of the year in the opener. She scattered six hits and walked one, striking out two.
Darrah got all the support she needed from junior Mary Massei, who hit home runs in the first and fifth innings.
Junior Stephanie Peace added a run-scoring single in the fifth.
In the second game, senior right-hander Meghan McIntosh managed to retire just one batter before she was replaced by freshman Taylor-Paige Stewart.
McIntosh allowed five of the Spartans’ six first-inning runs on four hits and a walk.
UW senior Whitney Massey provided the highlights by going 4-for-4 with her program-record 12th home run of the season.
The teams now await seeding for the conference tournament Thursday through Sunday in Lincoln, Neb.
The seeding will be set following the regular-season finale today between Nebraska and Penn State.
Michigan won the regular-season title and will be the No. 1 seed. Nebraska and UW are jockeying for the No. 2 seed, with Minnesota the likely No. 4 seed.
The top four seeds receive a bye in the first round.
WISCONSIN 3, MICHIGAN STATE 0
Michigan State 000 000 0 — 0 6 0
Wisconsin 100 020 x — 3 6 0
Pitchers — Smith (L, 17-15); Darrah (W, 12-3). SO leaders — Smith 8; Darrah 2.
Leading hitters — Stoffer (MS) 2x3, Freimuth (MS) 2x3; Massei (W) 2x4. 2B — Freimuth, Stoffer. HR — Massei 2. SB — Tancill (W), Christner (W). RBI — Massei 2, Peace (W) 1.
MICHIGAN STATE 11, WISCONSIN 5
Michigan State 600 030 2 — 11 9 0
Wisconsin 101 020 1 — 5 9 1
Pitchers — Goranson (W, 6-8), Smith (3); McIntosh (L, 12-7), Stewart (1). SO leaders — Goranson 2; Stewart 1.
Leading hitters — Freimuth (MS) 2x4, O’Bryant (MS) 2x4; Massey (W) 4x4, Massei (W) 2x3, Grimm (W) 2x3. 2B — Freimuth, O’Bryant, Massey. HR — O’Bryant, Sanders (MS), Massey. RBI — O’Bryant 5, Sanders 4, Bowling (MS), Luna (MS) 1; Massey 4, Mueller (W) 1.
The women’s lightweight rowing team finished fourth at the Eastern Sprints in Cherry Hill, N.J.
Harvard-Radcliffe (7 minutes, 17.823 seconds) ran away with the title, besting Princeton (7:26.082) and Georgetown.
UW’s varsity eight time of 7:31.578 was about 2.5 seconds behind the third-place Hoyas.
UW took second to Harvard-Radcliffe in the second varsity eight and beat Harvard-Radcliffe in the novice eight final. The Badgers’ varsity four finished second in its race.
The No. 14 Badgers, preparing for the Big Ten Conference championships May 19 in Indianapolis, won five of six races against Big Ten rivals Minnesota and Michigan State on Lake Mendota.
UW received wins from the varsity four crew, second varsity four, second varsity eight, novice and second novice eights. UW’s only loss came on a second-place finish in the varsity eight.