BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (Blugolds.com) – The 22nd-ranked UW-Eau Claire softball team kicked off NCAA Regional play with a 6-1 victory over Fontbonne University (Mo.) at Illinois Wesleyan University Field today.
With the win, the Blugolds advance to play ninth-ranked Illinois Wesleyan tomorrow at 2 p.m. The Blugolds played the Titans on April 14 and fell twice, 4-1 and 5-4.
Eau Claire, which played Fontbonne earlier this year on April 15 and won 8-2, scored three runs in both the first and third innings while giving up a single run to Fontbonne in the second.
In the opening inning, Emily Muller (Sr.-Lancaster, Wis.) grounded out, allowing Jenny Hess (Jr.-Wisconsin Rapids, Wis./Lincoln) to score, and after a throwing error by the first baseman, Taylor Pierce (Fr.-Ashwaubenon, Wis.) was able to come home and give the Blugolds a 2-0 lead. Nikki Bromelkamp (Sr.-Zumbrota, Minn./Zumbrota-Mazeppa) then came up and hit a solo home run to put the Blugolds up 3-0.
After Fontbonne scored one run in the second, the Blugolds answered with three in the bottom of the third.
With the bases loaded and only one out, all the Blugold runners advanced on a wild pitch and Pierce scored. Jess Freagon (Sr.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./McDonell) then singled on a bunt to score Amanda Fischer (Fr.-Wausau, Wis./West). Bromelkamp scored later in the inning after Sarah Fern (Jr.-Brooklyn Center, Minn./Park Center) singled through the right side.
Pierce and Bromelkamp led the game scoring two runs each while seven different Blugolds each had one hit.
Emma Wishau (So.-Waterford, Wis./Union) pitched a complete game, her 18th of the season, and recorded a career-high nine strikeouts. She allowed just five hits and one run.