PLATTEVILLE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) — Playing in Pioneer Stadium again at UW-Platteville, the UW-Eau Claire softball team squared off with UW-Stevens Point and UW-Superior for the second straight day. In the first game, the Blugolds defeated the Pointers 8-3 and in game two, they defeated the Yellowjackets 8-0, pushing their conference winning streak to 15-straight games.
Jenny Hess (Sr.-Wisconsin Rapids, Wis./Lincoln) laid down a bunt and reached safely on a throwing error by the Pointer's (15-5, 2-2) catcher that also brought in Houle. Emily Haluska (Sr.-Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH) followed with a double to left-center to bring home Hansen and Hess for the 3-0 lead.
The Blugolds tacked on two more runs in the top of the fourth, but the Pointers responded in the bottom of the inning with two runs to make it 5-2. With two outs in the fifth, Amanda Fischer (So.-Wausau, Wis./West) hit a solo homer to put UW-Eau Claire up 6-2.
UW-Stevens Point scored a run in the bottom of the fifth, but in the seventh, Taylor Pierce (So.-Ashwaubenon, Wis./Ashwaubenon) hit a two-run home run to provide plenty of insurance in the final frame.
Emma Wishau (Jr.-Burlington, Wis./Waterford Union) started but took a no-decision going three innings. She gave up two runs on four hits. Zana Lorbetske (Fr.-Rhinelander, Wis./Three Lakes) pitched the final four innings and gave up one run on four hits to pick up the win. She improved to 4-1 this season with the win.
Houle was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI and Haluska went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs to lead the Blugolds.
In game two, the Blugolds (16-3, 4-0) used a seven-run fourth inning to propel them past the Yellowjackets (9-12, 0-4) and cap off the 4-0 weekend and remain unbeaten in WIAC play.
UW-Eau Claire took the 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second on an unearned run. But a majority of the damage came in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Fischer doubled to left field to lead off the inning and Nikki Brooks (So.-New Richmond, Wis./St. Croix Central) followed with a homer to left-center, her second of the weekend. A few batters later, Houle hit a ground-rule double to bring home Pierce, who reached on a single.
After a Hess single, the Blugolds executed a double steal with Hess swiping second and Houle scoring on an error by the second baseman. Later in the inning, they executed another double steal, this time it was Fern swiping second and Hess scoring.
Arnold added a homer to left-center to bring home Fern and to cap off the big inning. The Blugolds shut down the Yellowjackets the rest of the way and the game ended after five innings due to the 8-run rule.
Laura Raflik (So.-Plover, Wis./Pacelli) went the distance picking up the shutout victory to improve to 6-1 this year. She gave up just three hits and struck out three in the victory.
The Blugolds finished with eight hits, with Hess leading the way going 2-for-3. Six other Blugolds had one hit each in the victory.
The win pushes the Blugolds within two wins of the school record 17-game conference winning streak that ended in 2007. The current streak began on April 4 of last year with a victory over UW-River Falls.
On Wednesday, the Blugolds are scheduled to take on UW-Stout in Menomonie for a doubleheader starting at 4 p.m. Be sure to check the softball page on Blugolds.com for updates on the game due to the continuing weather issues throughout the spring.