March 30, 2014

Fischer Helps Propel Softball to Doubleheader Sweep in Iowa

OSKALOOSA, Iowa (Blugolds.com) — After picking up a doubleheader split against Simpson College (Iowa) on Saturday, the UW-Eau Claire softball team was back in action Sunday afternoon for another twin bill. The Blugolds earned a sweep on Sunday with a 7-4 win over St. Scholastica (Minn.) and a 2-1 win over Dubuque (Iowa).

Amanda Fischer (Jr.-Wausau, Wis./West) is a spark plug for the Blugolds (13-5) that, in a few words, can do it all. Sunday was the latest example of that, as she was the driving force that helped lead the Blugolds to the sweep.

In the first game of the day against the Saints (6-9), the Blugolds took a 7-1 lead into the bottom of the seventh and withstood a rally by St. Scholastica to hold on for the win.

The Blugolds got on the board first with a run in the top of the third. Fischer did what she does best on the bases, causing a raucous and forcing the Saints to make a mistake. After doubling to lead off the inning, Fischer stole third and an error on the throw from the catcher allowed her to score for the 1-0 lead.

UW-Eau Claire added two more runs in the top of the fifth on RBI singles from Taylor Pierce (Jr.-Ashwaubenon, Wis./Ashwaubenon) and Deanna Gilane (Jr.-South Milwaukee, Wis./South Milwaukee).

In the top of the sixth, it was Fischer again that did the damage, this time with the bat. After back-to-back walks with one out in the inning, Fischer drove one out of the park to left field for a 3-run shot and a 6-0 lead.

But the Saints responded with a run in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single to make it 6-1. The Blugolds answered right back in the top of the seventh on a solo homer by Pierce to left field to lead off the inning.

Down 7-1 in the bottom of the seventh, St. Scholastica put together a bit of a rally. With one out they scored three runs on consecutive batters to make it 7-4. But Lauren Blasczyk (Fr.-Appleton, Wis./East) got the next two batters out to finish what she started.

Blasczyk went the distance to pick up her first win of the season, improving to 1-1. She gave up four runs, only one earned, on 12 hits and struck out three while walking two.

The Blugolds finished with just six hits, but they made them count. Fischer finished 2-for-4 with the homer and a double and three RBIs. Pierce was 2-for-3 with a homer and an RBI and Gilane also picked up an RBI, going 1-for-2.

In the second game against Dubuque (11-5), Fischer once again provided the offense, and Zana Lorbetske (So.-Rhinelander, Wis./Three Lakes) did the rest in the circle.

In a scoreless game in the third, Amanda Houle (Sr.-Chisago City, Minn./Chisago Lakes) led off the inning with a walk and that set the stage for Fischer. Fischer hit her second homer of the day to left field to give the Blugolds all the offense they would need.

The score remained that way until the top of the seventh. With one out, Dubuque had the bases loaded and they got on the board with a sacrifice fly to center field. But on the throw back in, the Blugolds were able to cut down a runner trying to advance to end the game.

Lorbetske was impressive in the circle, as she went the distance and gave up the lone run on just three hits. She also struck out eight batters and walked four to improve to 4-1 this season.

The Blugolds finished with four hits, two coming from Gilane. She had a single and a double to finish 2-for-3. But it was Fischer that had the big blow with the 2-run homer.

Monday, the Blugolds will have a difficult task when they take on Central (Iowa), who is currently ranked 12th in the nation and appeared in the NCAA national tournament last year held in Eau Claire. It is a doubleheader with the first game scheduled to start at 1 p.m. and the second game to follow shortly thereafter. 

-JM-