ONALASKA, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – After nearly two weeks off, the UW-Eau Claire softball team picked up two wins over UW-La Crosse to push its conference winning streak to 17 games, tying a school record, at the Omni Center today.
The Blugolds' conference winning streak began on April 4 last season, and the 17 straight wins matches the longest in school history, which occurred between April 30, 2005 and April 14, 2007.
In today's first game, Eau Claire needed nine innings to take down the Eagles 3-2.
With the Blugolds playing as the home team and the score tied 2-2, Taylor Pierce (So.-Ashwaubenon, Wis.) singled up the middle with two outs in the ninth to drive in Amanda Fischer (So.-Wausau, Wis./West) for the winning run.
Casey Arnold (So.-Kaukauna, Wis.) and Emily Ruegemer (Jr.-St. Cloud, Minn./Cathedral) scored runs earlier in the game to give the Blugolds a 2-0 lead after the third inning. La Crosse scored one run in the top of the fifth and one in the top of the sixth.
Nikki Brooks (So.-New Richmond, Wis./St. Croix Central) and Pierce each recorded two hits to lead Eau Claire while the team finished with a total of nine.
Emma Wishau (Jr.-Burlington, Wis./Waterford Union) started the game in the circle and pitched five innings, giving up four hits and two runs. Zana Lorbetske (Fr.-Rhinelander, Wis./Three Lakes) pitched the final four innings and earned the win after giving up only two hits while striking out four batters.
In game two, Eau Claire defeated La Crosse 5-2.
The Eagles got on the board first, scoring in the top of the second, but the Blugolds answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning and never trailed again. Fischer started the inning with a home run, her third of the season, while Brooks scored on an Amanda Houle (Jr.-Chisago City, Minn./Chisago Lakes) groundout followed by Pierce scoring on a wild pitch.
La Crosse again scored once in the third but the Blugolds answered in bottom of the inning with Gracia Larson (Fr.-Eau Claire, Wis./Hillcrest Academy) scoring an unearned run following an Arnold single. Fischer scored the game's final run in the bottom of the sixth.
Sarah Fern (Sr.-Brooklyn Center, Minn./Park Center) led the game with three hits as she went 3-for-3 at the plate.
Lorbetske again picked up the win after striking out seven batters, pitching the final four innings. She gave up just one hit to improve to 6-1 on the season. Laura Raflik (So.-Plover, Wis./Pacelli) started the game and struck out three batters while giving up five hits and two runs in three innings.
The Blugolds are now 18-3 on the season and 6-0 in conference play. The Eagles drop to 17-10 and 4-5 in the WIAC.
Sunday, the Blugolds will take on UW-Platteville in a doubleheader beginning at noon at the Pammel Creek Fields in the Town of Shelby in La Crosse. Platteville was also at the Omni Center today and dropped two games against UW-Superior. The Blugolds were originally scheduled to play UW-La Crosse and UW-Platteville at home this weekend but poor field conditions forced the move to the La Crosse area.