TUCSON, Ariz. (Blugolds.com) — With the snow returning in Wisconsin, the UW-Eau Claire softball team was enjoying a sunny day in Arizona on their second day of their spring break trip. Coming off two wins in their first action on Sunday, they picked up two more wins with an 11-2 win in five innings over Crown College (Minn.) and a 3-0 victory over Denison University (Ohio).
In the first game, the Blugolds (7-1) struck for one run on a sacrifice fly in the first inning. But it was the second inning where they broke things open. Sam Noetzelman (Fr.-Delano, Minn./Delano) doubled to right field to drive in two runs. Amanda Fischer (Jr.-Wausau, Wis./West) followed with a triple to center field to bring in two more runs. Nikki Brooks (Jr.-New Richmond, Wis./St. Croix Central) flew out to left field to bring in Fischer on a sacrifice fly for the six run lead.
UW-Eau Claire added an unearned run in the top of the third, but Crown cut into the lead with two runs in the bottom of the fourth to make it 7-2. But in the top of the fifth, the Blugolds scored four more runs to put the game away.
Casey Arnold (Jr.-Kaukauna, Wis./Kaukauna) had the big hit of the inning, an RBI double to bring home Brooks for the final run of the game.
Laura Raflik (Jr.-Plover, Wis./Pacelli) shut the door in the fifth to end the game early because of the eight-run mercy rule. Raflik went the distance and gave up two runs, one earned, on four hits and struck out six with no walks to pick up her first win of the year.
In the second game against Denison, Emma Wishau (Sr.-Burlington, Wis./Waterford Union) was the story of the game. She pitched a three-hit shutout and struck out eight in the win.
Wishau received all the offensive help she needed in the third inning when the Blugolds struck for the only three runs of the game. The first run came on a double steal with Fischer swiping home in the successful attempt. Deanna Gilane (Jr.-South Milwaukee, Wis./South Milwaukee) had the big blow of the inning with a two-run double that provided the final margin.
UW-Eau Claire is off to a strong start to the season, improving to 7-1 this season.
The Blugolds will now have a little time to recoup after a quick turnaround from Sunday night's games. They will be back in action Tuesday afternoon with the first game at 3:30 p.m. MST against Claremont -Mudd-Scripps (Cal.) and again at 6 p.m. against Grinnell College (Iowa).