FULLERTON, Calif. – Kaitlin Inglesby posted a career-high 12 strikeouts, and Courtney Gano and Kylee Lahners each hit solo home runs, as the No. 6 Huskies defeated Wisconsin, 4-2, on Friday at the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, Calif.
“We won the game with pitching and solid defense,” head coach Heather Tarr said. “We didn’t bring our ‘A’ game today, but the sign of a great team is that you can win without your ‘A’ game, and we did that.”
Inglesby allowed two earned runs on three hits over 7.0 innings pitched while striking out 12 Badgers (8-8), in besting her previous career high of 11 strikeouts, set vs. Seattle U on March 11, 2012. Inglesby improved to 5-1 with the win and picked up her fifth complete-game of the season in six starts.
The Huskies (18-2) got on the board in the bottom of the 1st inning after Victoria Hayward led off with a single and advanced to 2nd base on a wild pitch. A batter later, Lahners drove home Hayward with an RBI-single to give the Huskies a 1-0 lead.
Inglesby held the Badgers to just one base runner and zero hits until Wisconsin leadoff batter Mary Massei hit a single leading off the top of the 4th inning. Massei and Maria Van Able would eventually come around to score on back-to-back RBI-singles, taking a 2-1 lead.
But the Huskies responded with two runs of their own in the bottom of the inning, led by Gano’s leadoff solo home run, her 1st round-tripper of the season. The next batter, Dani Braun, reached on an error and scored on a two-out double from Hayward, as the Huskies re-took the lead, 3-2.
“Our ability to answer back immediately was the thing I’m most proud of,” Tarr said. “Not only did we answer back, but we found a way to come away with the winning run right away. When you do that, and you let your pitching and your defense take over, good things are going to happen.”
The Huskies gave Inglesby an insurance run when Lahners led off the bottom of the 5th with a solo home run of her own. Lahners finished 2-for-3, with one run scored, one home run, and two RBI. Lahners now has 8 home runs and 32 RBI on the season.
Inglesby dominated the Badgers over the final three innings of the ballgame, retiring nine of the last 11 batters she faced, with six of those outs coming on a strikeout.
“I tried to pick up the tempo a little bit,” Inglesby said. “ I was able to work the tempo in my favor, so that really helped me. I just wanted to get on a roll and go.”
The Huskies continue the Judi Garman Classic on Saturday with a double-header beginning at 5:30 p.m. vs. No. 16 Nebraska (13-7), followed by an 8:00 p.m. matchup vs. Texas (14-10).