Wisconsin held off Iowa, 5-4, Sunday in the rubber game of this weekend’s Big Ten-opening series. Marissa Mersch went 2-for-3 and drove in two runs to pace the Badgers’ eight-hit attack. Cassandra Darrah (9-5) earned the win for Wisconsin, scattering 10 hits and allowing four earned runs en route to the complete game victory. Iowa’s Katie Kiem blasted a home run and drove in a game-high three runs. Chelsea Lyon (5-10) took the loss, surrendering four earned runs in 5 1/3 innings. Get all of Sunday’s results.
We’re off to the semifinals of BTN.com’s Big Ten football uniform bracket, and the upsets continue. No. 5 Iowa stunned No. 2 Penn State and Cinderella No. 9 Purdue is one win away from playing for it all after downing No. 10 Illinois. Also, No. 1 Michigan drilled No. 6 Michigan State to advance to the title matchup, by virtue of amassing the most quarterfinal votes.
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In its first attempt, Nebraska won the Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics Championships title on Saturday night. The Huskers tallied a team score of 197.100, while Ohio State followed in second place (196.225) and Minnesota finished third (195.950). Michigan took fourth place (195.875), followed by Illinois in fifth (195.850), Penn State in sixth (195.700), Iowa in seventh (195.425) and Michigan State in eighth (194.675).
The Big Ten posted 10 top-ten finishes on the final day of the NCAA Championships on Sunday. Michigan paced the Big Ten with a fifth-place finish (271 points), Indiana finished 10th (140) and No. 12 Ohio State (106), No. 17 Purdue (56) and No. 24 Minnesota (37) followed in the standings. Iowa, Michigan State and Wisconsin also received points. See all the results.
Took a spin around the Internet and found a few solid pieces. With spring ball here, it’s time to rearrange the puzzle at Wisconsin; at Michigan, offensive coordinator Al Borges would like more depth on the Wolverines’ offensive line. Who will win the Penn State quarterback job? What’s new on the Iowa defense? And MarQueis Gray is the starting quarterback at Minnesota ‘right now.’
You have questions, I have answers in my weekly mailbag. There is a lot going on, with the NCAA tourney at the Sweet 16 stage and spring football in full swing across Big Ten territory. Which of the four Big Ten teams has the best shot to reach the Final Four? What will Wisconsin do at quarterback? I address those questions—and more—in this week’s mailbag.
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In Wednesday’s web links, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart sends you to some of the best Big Ten spring football stories and offers his perspective on each one. Among the topics: Kirk Ferentz and his offense in need of a fix, a pair of receivers who need to prove something and an update on Maryland transfer QB Danny O’Brien, among other things. See the links, plus Dienhart’s take, in this post.