The Wisconsin softball team was holding on to third place in the Big Ten by a half-game going into Wednesday's scheduled doubleheader against Northwestern. Michigan and Nebraska were ahead of the Badgers in the standings, with each team playing 13 home games so far this season. Prior to Wednesday, Wisconsin had hosted just five games at Goodman Diamond. If the wintry weather lets up for another couple weeks, the Badgers could end up with 10 home games, while most of the teams from southern schools ahead of the 27th-ranked Badgers will play three times that.
"The record we've put together on the road...we're just thrilled to be able to do that, to put together that many wins when you're traveling," said head coach Yvette Healy at a press conference last week. Her team is 10-6 in hostile territory and an incredible 19-2 at neutral sites.
Healy is in her third year at Wisconsin. She took over a program that was 20-31 in 2010 and has won 30 or more games in each of her three seasons, including a program-record 34 last year. The 2013 squad is poised to obliterate that, having compiled a 33-9 record with eight games remaining (five at home).
A key to the Badgers' success has been dominating performances from pitchers Meghan McIntosh, a senior lefty from Arizona, and Cassandra Darrah, a junior right-hander from Iowa. The pair have combined for eight shutouts and three no-hitters.
"I think it had been a decade since the last no-hitter," said Healy last week. "To put three together in the same season, that's a big deal."
Wisconsin's remaining home games are scheduled for May 3-5 against Michigan State at Goodman Diamond.