Softball on Spring Break - Fern's Homer Lifts Blugolds Past Knights

CLERMONT, Fla. (Blugolds.com) — After a day off on their spring break trip, the UW-Eau Claire softball team was back in action Thursday for another doubleheader. In the first game, the Blugolds snuck past SUNY-Geneseo (N.Y.) 8-7, and in the second game, it was all Blugolds as they defeated Plymouth State (N.H.) 15-0 in five innings.

UW-Eau Claire (9-1) jumped out to a big lead early against SUNY-Geneseo (4-6). The Knights struck first for a run in the top of the first inning, but the Blugolds responded with a five-spot in the bottom of the first.

Jenny Hess
(Sr.-Wisconsin Rapids, Wis./Lincoln) doubled to left field to start the rally, and Sarah Fern (Sr.-Brooklyn Center, Minn./Park Center) followed with and RBI double to right field. Emily Haluska (Sr.-Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH) singled to put runners on the corners and Deanna Gilane (So.-South Milwaukee, Wis./South Milwaukee) reached on a fielder's choice to bring home another run. Casey Arnold (So.-Kaukauna, Wis./Kaukauna) followed with a double to drive in two more runs and it appeared the Blugolds were going to run away with the game.

But in the third inning the Knights cut the lead to 5-3, adding two more runs, and in the fourth, they scored three more to take the lead 6-5. Arnold responded though in the bottom of the fifth inning with a solo homer to left field to tie the game up 6-6.

Heading to the bottom of the sixth tied, Amanda Fischer (So.-Wausau, Wis./West) was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Hess moved Fischer over to second with the sacrifice bunt and that set the stage for Fern. With first base open, the Knights elected to pitch to Fern and she homered to put the Blugolds up 8-6.

SUNY-Geneseo did rally to cut it to a one-run lead in the seventh, but Emma Wishau (Jr.-Burlington, Wis./Waterfod Union) was able to get the final out and secure the victory for the Blugolds. Wishau pitched the final three innings and gave up one run on two hits to pick up the win. Zana Lorbetske (Fr.-Rhinelander, Wis./Three Lakes) started and went 2 1/3 innings and gave up three runs on five hits.

Fern was 2-for-4 with three RBIs and the game-winning, two-run homer. Arnold was 2-for-2 with a homer and three RBIs as well to lead the Blugolds.

In the second game, UW-Eau Claire scored in every inning, while putting up 13 hits in only five innings. Fern once again led the offensive attack, going 3-for-4, including two doubles and four RBIs.

The Blugolds broke the game open in the second inning when they scored four runs on two hits. They put the game away in the fifth with a six-run inning on four hits.

Emily Ruegemer
(Jr.-St. Cloud, Minn./Cathedral) picked up the win, pitching three scoreless innings while allowing three hits. Nikki Brooks (So.-New Richmond, Wis./St. Croix Central) gave up one hit over two scoreless innings to finish the game.

The Blugolds are back in action again starting tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. They will play their final game in Florida at 10 a.m. as part of a doubleheader. 

-JM-