TUCSON, Ariz. (Blugolds.com) – The UW-Eau Claire softball team split on its third day on Spring Break at the Tucson Invitational Games, falling to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.) 7-4 in eight innings but bouncing back to beat Grinnell College (Iowa) 12-1 in five innings.
In game one, the teams combined for just two runs through six innings. Claremont scored one run in the top of the fourth and Eau Claire scored one run in the bottom of the sixth.
In the seventh inning, Claremont added two more runs to take a 3-1 lead. But the Blugolds fought back and with two outs with two runners on base, Amanda Fischer (Jr.-Wausau, Wis./West) got on with an error and Amanda Houle (Sr.-Chisago City, Minn./Chisago Lakes) was able to score. Then with the bases loaded, a Casey Arnold (Jr.-Kaukauna, Wis.) walk gave the Blugolds one more run before the end of the inning to tie the game 3-3.
But in the eighth inning, Claremont added four more runs while Eau Claire would answer with only one to drop the game 7-4, ending a four-game winning streak.
Houle led the Blugolds with two of the team's five hits while Arnold tied for a game-high with two RBI.
Emma Wishau (Sr.-Burlington, Wis./Waterford Union) pitched all but the final out of the game, striking out two batters while allowing 13 hits and seven runs. Lauren Blasczyk (Fr.-Appleton, Wis./East) came into the game with the bases loaded in the eighth and the Blugolds were able to get the final out.
In game two, the Blugolds had little trouble getting by Grinnell. Eau Claire scored runs in every inning while giving up just one run in the bottom of the fourth.
The Blugolds finished with 10 hits with Taylor Pierce (Jr.-Ashwaubenon, Wis.) leading the team by recording two of them. She also tied with Houle and Morgan Lecheler (Fr.-Menomonie, Wis.) with a game-high two RBI. Fischer scored three runs to lead the game and also stole two bases, bringing her season total to a team-high 14.
In the circle, Laura Raflik (Jr.-Plover, Wis./Pacelli) earned the win to improve to 3-0 on the season after striking out three batters in four innings. She allowed four hits and one unearned run. Zana Lorbetske (So.-Rhinelander, Wis./Three Lakes) pitched the final inning and faced just three batters, striking out one.
Eau Claire is now 8-2 on the season.
The Blugolds will be off Wednesday but will play four more games to wrap up their trip, two Thursday and two Friday.