CLERMONT, Fla. (Blugolds.com) — The UW-Eau Claire softball team kicked off its spring break trip with two convincing wins early Sunday in Clermont, Fla. at the NTC Complex. In game one they defeated Bethany College (W.V.) 8-1 and in game two, they defeated Oswego State (N.Y.) 15-1 in six innings.
In the bottom half of the fourth, the Blugolds responded with a run on a double steal. Amanda Fischer (So.-Wausau, Wis./West) stole home while Jenny Hess (Sr.-Wisconsin Rapids, Wis./Lincoln) stole third.
The score stayed that way until the bottom of the sixth inning when the Blugolds erupted for five runs. With two outs, Hess singled to start the two-out rally. Taylor Pierce (So.-Ashwaubenon, Wis./Ashwaubenon) followed with a two-run homer to give the Blugolds the 5-1 lead.
Laura Raflik (So.-Plover, Wis./Pacelli) picked up the win in the circle going four innings while giving up only the one run. Raflik also led the Blugolds with three hits and four RBIs, while Hess had two hits and scored two runs.
In the second game, the Blugolds scored early and often against Oswego State, the same school the men's hockey team defeated Saturday night to claim the NCAA Division III National Championship.
The Blugolds capitalized on four Lakers' errors in the game, as they jumped out to the 8-0 lead through three innings. In the sixth inning, Pierce tripled for the second time in the game to bring home three runs. That was followed by an RBI single and an RBI double as UW-Eau Claire scored seven runs in the sixth.
That was more than enough offense for Emily Ruegemer (Jr.-St. Cloud, Minn./Cathedral) and Zana Lorbetske (Fr.-Rhinelander, Wis./Three Lakes) who both pitched in the game. Ruegemer picked up the win, going four innings while giving up just one hit.
UW-Eau Claire finished with 20 hits with Sarah Fern (Sr.-Brooklyn Center, Minn./Park Center) and Emily Haluska (Sr.-Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH) leading the way with four hits each. Pierce and Hess both added three hits each to lead the way for the Blugolds.
The Blugolds did commit three errors in the game with Oswego State, but they were perfect in the field in the first game against Bethany College.
Tomorrow the Blugolds will be back in action with two more games at the NTC Complex. The first game will be at 4 p.m. against Benedictine University (Ill.) and the second game will be at 6 p.m. against Wellesley (Mass.). They will be playing all week down in Florida, wrapping up the trip on Friday.