Darrah keeps her composure against No. 2 Wolverines

first_imgThe Wisconsin softball team received publicity in all forms Sunday as the game was broadcasted live on the Big Ten Network. What was even more impressive was the fan support.The attendance was a season-high 664, nearly triple the amount at Saturday’s game, which can mostly be blamed on the annual Mifflin Street Block Party. “It was the best crowd support I’ve seen all year,” head coach Yvette Healy said. “It really made a difference in how the team played and it really bolstered them.”“It was exciting,” freshman pitcher Cassandra Darrah said. “I love when a ton of people come out and watch.”Most coaches would be nervous putting a freshman like Darrah in the circle against the No. 2 team in the country, but not Healy, who has continued to show all the confidence in the world in her young ace.“Going into the game we just told her, look, you’re going to face Michigan for four more years,” Healy said. “Yes, they’re ranked No. 2 right now, but battle and let’s figure out how to beat them,”Darrah fed off the crowd and her coach’s confidence from the start, holding Michigan scoreless with only three hits through the game’s first four innings.“I thought I did well,” Darrah said. “I felt really good, and I just wanted to come out and throw one of my best games for my team.”Darrah nearly did just that, as she posted eight strikeouts, second-most in a game in her young career, and no walks in a complete game, which was her 18th of the season.“I’m super-proud of Cassandra [Darrah],” Healy said with enthusiasm as the freshman walked by. “She did a really great job. To have a freshman play like that, she really battled and got herself out of some jams. What a great effort she put out there. She really gave us everything she had.”Unfortunately for the Badgers, the dominating pitching performance by Darrah was outdone by Michigan pitcher Jordan Taylor, who came in for relief of starter Stephanie Speierman and threw eleven strikeouts, giving up no runs, no walks and only four hits in 6.2 innings of work.“[Jordan Taylor] is tough,” Darrah said. “We did well, but we came up short.”For a freshman, not only has Darrah shown off her impressive talent in the circle, she has displayed maturity beyond her years. Sunday was no exception, as Darrah refused to get down on her teammates despite a few fielding mistakes and a lack of run support (one run scored Sunday).“[The lack of run support] is not frustrating. I know they’re trying, I believe in all of them,” Darrah said. “[The fielding mistakes] happen. I don’t let it bother me.”Darrah was adamant about making no excuses for the loss. She wouldn’t even admit that the wind, which was up to 31 mph at one point, was much of a factor.“[The wind] wasn’t that bad,” Darrah said “I didn’t really notice it as much. I was kind of worried at the beginning because it was blowing out completely. But, it didn’t affect us.”Worried or not, the strong wind blowing out to center field would have been a huge advantage for Michigan’s power hitting lineup, had Darrah allowed it to be. Though she gave up 12 hits on the day, Darrah was able to keep the ball on the ground. Impressively, all of the hits she gave up were singles.Darrah saw a glimpse of consolation in her team’s close battle, but, like any competitor, she was ultimately disappointed that it ended in a loss.“It’s encouraging at one point, because they’re the No. 2 team,” Darrah said. “But, it’s also frustrating because we should have had it. We were that close.”last_img

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