ROCHESTER, Minn. (Blugolds.com) – The UW-Eau Claire softball team came from behind in both games at the Rochester Dome Tournament today, winning the first one while falling in the second. The Blugolds opened the day with a 7-6 win over St. Norbert College in eight innings and ended the day with an 8-7 loss to Gustavus Adolphus College (Minn.) in nine innings.
In game one, St. Norbert took the initial lead, scoring three runs in the top of the third while Eau Claire answered with just one in the bottom of the inning.
St. Norbert held the lead all the way until the bottom of the seventh. With two outs and two runners on base, Emily Ruegemer (Sr.-St. Cloud, Minn./Cathedral) reached on an error by the third baseman, allowing Kayla Meixner (Fr.-Pepin, Wis.) and Kelsey Meredith (Fr.-Golden Valley, Minn./Armstrong) to score to tie the game 3-3.
In the extra inning, St. Norbert hit a three-run homer with two outs to take a 6-3 lead. Then with one Blugold on base in the bottom of the eighth inning, Amanda Fischer (Jr.-Wausau, Wis./West) hit a two-run homer while Taylor Pierce (Jr.-Ashwaubenon, Wis.) singled later in the inning, driving in two more runs to give the Blugolds the 7-6 victory.
Fischer and Nikki Brooks (Jr.-New Richmond, Wis./St. Croix Central) led Eau Claire with two hits apiece while the team finished with six. Fischer and Pierce also tied for a team-high with two RBI. Seven different Blugolds scored runs.
Emma Wishau (Sr.-Burlington, Wis./Waterford Union) started the game in the circle and pitched 1.1 innings after giving up three runs. Laura Raflik (Jr.-Plover, Wis./Pacelli) pitched 5.2 innings and gave up one run and three hits while striking out two batters. Zana Lorbetske (So.-Rhinelander, Wis./Three Lakes) closed the game and earned the win, pitching one inning while giving up two runs.
In the second game, the Blugolds again played from behind but came up just short in the ninth inning. Down 5-1 after five innings, the Blugolds got one run in the top of the sixth and added three more in the top of the seventh to tie the game 5-5.
In the eighth inning, neither team would score but Eau Claire took a lead in the top of the ninth after scoring two runs. In the bottom of the ninth, Gustavus scored three runs to end the game and hand the Blugolds their first loss of the year.
Casey Arnold (Jr.-Kaukauna, Wis.) led the game with four RBI and three hits, including one homer and one double, as the Blugolds finished with a total of eight hits. Fischer tied for a game-high with two runs.
Lorbetske pitched 3.1 innings and gave up three runs and four hits while striking out four batters. Lauren Blasczyk (Fr.-Appleton, Wis./East) was given the loss after allowing five runs and five hits in 4.2 innings.
Eau Claire is now 3-1 on the season.
The Blugolds will be off for a couple weeks with their next games scheduled for Spring Break. Eau Claire will play 10 games at the Tucson Invitational Games in Tucson, Ariz., March 16-21.