EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – Playing for the first time on its home field, Gelein Field, in 712 days, the UW-Eau Claire softball team picked up two conference wins over UW-Stevens Point today. The Blugolds opened the doubleheader with a 7-2 win and closed the day with an 8-0 victory in six innings.
In game one, the Blugolds struck first in the bottom of the first and held a 7-0 lead headed into the seventh inning. In the seventh, the Pointers scored two runs but the Blugolds hung on for the win.
The Blugolds' biggest inning came in the fifth when they scored four runs. After leading 3-0 after four innings, the first two Blugold batters in the bottom of the fifth grounded out but the Blugolds were able to get things going after that and scored four runs in the inning. Two Pointer errors in the inning plus a wild pitch contributed to keeping the inning alive for Eau Claire.
Eau Claire had only two hits but the Pointers finished with five errors. All seven of the Blugolds' runs were scored unearned.
In the circle, Lauren Blasczyk (Fr.-Appleton, Wis./East) picked up the win, pitching a complete game to improve to 3-3 on the season. She gave up five hits and two earned runs while striking out three batters.
In the second game, the Blugolds jumped out to an early lead, scoring five runs through the first three innings. After getting up by two runs in the first, Amanda Fischer (Jr.-Wausau, Wis./West) hit a two-run homer in the second and Kenzie Winning (Fr.-Waupun, Wis.) added a solo home run in the third to give the Blugolds a 5-0 lead. The Blugolds scored two more runs in the fifth and added a final one in the sixth to end the game early.
Fischer led the game with two RBI and two runs while Leah Wolff (Fr.-Middleton, Wis.) and Taylor Pierce (Jr.-Ashwaubenon, Wis.) each had two hits to lead the game. The Blugolds finished with eight hits while the Pointers had four.
Laura Raflik (Jr.-Plover, Wis./Pacelli), who was on track for a perfect game through the fourth inning, pitched the complete game and gave up just four hits while striking out four batters. She improves to 7-4 on the season.
Fischer's homer in game two gives her 10 this season, just one short of the single season school record. She also stole three bases, two in game one and one in game two, for a total of 29 this season, five away from the single season school record. She now has 70 stolen bases in her career, which is also just five short of the Blugolds' career record.
Eau Claire is now 19-13 on the season and 4-4 in the WIAC. Stevens Point drops to 10-17 overall and 1-9 in conference play.
The Blugolds have a busy week coming up next week to complete the regular season, playing four conference doubleheaders, two on the road and two at home. They will open the week Monday at UW-River Falls.