RIVER FALLS, Wis. (Blugolds.com) - The UW-Eau Claire softball team's WIAC Tournament opener came down to the wire but the Blugolds prevailed, beating eighth-ranked UW-Whitewater 6-3 at Ramer Field today.
Tomorrow the Blugolds will take on 22nd-ranked UW-La Crosse at noon.
Neither team could get much going in the first six innings of the game today. The Blugolds only put three runners on base, but had no hits, through the first six innings while Whitewater also had three reach base on two hits and one Blugold error.
It all changed in the seventh inning, however, as the Blugolds scored all six of their runs and had four hits while Whitewater committed one error.
Emily Muller (Jr.-Lancaster, Wis.) was the first to cross home plate after a Jenny Hess (So.-Wisconsin Rapids, Wis./Lincoln) single, and Emily Haluska (So.-Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH) came in next after an Ashley Kenworthy (So.-Tomah, Wis.) single. Both Hess and Kenworthy also scored, as did Kaity Acker (Sr.-Cross Plains, Wis./Middleton) and Sara Baumgartner (Sr.-Arcadia, Wis.).
While the Blugolds had a strong advantage with a 6-0 lead, Whitewater came on strong in the end too. The Warhawks scored three runs, and with two runners still on base, Blugold pitcher Emma Wishau (Fr.-Waterford, Wis./Union) was able to put the batter representing the tying run away with a strikeout.
Wishau pitched a complete game to improve to 7-3 on the season while striking out three batters. She allowed seven hits but gave up just three runs.
Aleisha Harper (Jr.-Mondovi, Wis./Eau Claire North) led the Blugolds with two RBIs.
The Blugolds avenged the two losses they suffered earlier this season to the Warhawks. Eau Claire is now 27-12 on the season while Whitewater drops to 26-9.