TUCSON, Ariz. (Blugolds.com) – Taking on two opponents on the first day of its Spring Break trip at the Tucson Invitational Games, the UW-Eau Claire softball team won both games today, starting with an 18-10 win in six innings against Augsburg College (Minn.) and following with a 7-0 victory over Marian University.
In game one, Augsburg struck first with two runs in the top of the first and led 4-1 after an inning and a half. But the Blugolds scored nine runs in the bottom of the second and never looked back.
The Auggies were able to close the gap to one run (10-9) after scoring five runs in the top of the third. The game ended early when the Blugolds scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth, leaving three runners on bases with no outs.
Nikki Brooks (Jr.-New Richmond, Wis./St. Croix Central) led the game with four runs while three Blugolds each had three hits to tie for a game high. Eau Claire recorded 16 hits and Augsburg had nine. Taylor Pierce (Jr.-Ashwaubenon, Wis.) finished the game with three RBI and three hits, one of which was her first home run of the year.
Zana Lorbetske (So.-Rhinelander, Wis./Three Lakes) earned the win in the circle as she allowed nine runs and eight hits while striking out five batters in four innings. She is now 4-0 on the season. Laura Raflik (Jr.-Plover, Wis./Pacelli) was credited with a save after pitching two innings, striking out three batters while giving up one run and one hit.
The 18 runs scored tied for the 11th most in school history while the 28 combined runs ranks second all-time in school history.
Game two was a much different story with just seven runs being scored the entire way, all from Eau Claire. While the Blugolds scored only two runs through five innings, they added five in the bottom of the sixth, nearly ending the game early with the eight-run rule.
Casey Arnold (Jr.-Kaukauna, Wis.) finished with a game-high three hits as Eau Claire recorded a total of eight. Seven different Blugolds scored runs while Kenzie Winning (Fr.-Waupun, Wis.) led with two RBI.
Emma Wishau (Sr.-Burlington, Wis./Waterford Union) pitched the complete game and earned the win after striking out seven batters while giving up just two hits. She is now 1-0 on the season.
Eau Claire improves to 5-1 on the season.
The Blugolds have a quick turnaround, playing again Monday morning. They will take on Crown College (Minn.) at 9 a.m. MST and will follow with a game against Denison (Ohio). A total of 10 games will be played this week.