LA CROSSE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – Playing two close games at UW-La Crosse to open the 2014 conference schedule, the UW-Eau Claire softball team came up short in both at North Campus Field today. The Blugolds fell 5-3 in the first game and 5-4 in the second.
In game one, the Blugolds led early but couldn't hold off the Eagles in the end.
Amanda Fischer (Jr.-Wausau, Wis./West) crossed home plate first in the top of the first inning with two outs and the bases loaded after Deanna Gilane (Jr.-South Milwaukee, Wis.) was hit by a pitch. La Crosse answered in the bottom of the inning and then scored two more runs in the bottom of the second to take a 3-1 lead.
In the top of the third, again with two outs and the bases loaded, Leah Wolff (Fr.-Middleton, Wis.) doubled to left field to bring in Taylor Pierce (Jr.-Ashwaubenon, Wis.) and Nikki Brooks (Jr.-New Richmond, Wis./St. Croix Central), tying the game 3-3. But the Eagles scored two unanswered, one in the bottom of the fifth and one in the bottom of the sixth, and held off the Blugolds to capture the 5-3 victory.
The Blugolds finished the game with six hits, with Pierce leading the Blugolds with two. Fischer and Brooks each stole bases.
Emma Wishau (Sr.-Burlington, Wis./Waterford Union) started the game in the circle and pitched one inning before being relieved in the bottom of the second. She allowed six hits and three earned runs while striking out one batter. Lauren Blasczyk (Fr.-Appleton, Wis./East) was given the loss after pitching the rest of the game. She allowed seven hits and two earned runs. Blasczyk drops to 1-2 on the season.
In game two, La Crosse took the initial lead, scoring in the bottom of the second, but the Blugolds took the lead in the top of the third after Kelsey Meredith (Fr.-Golden Valley, Minn./Armstrong) and Emily Pomykalski (Fr.-Cross Plains, Wis./Middleton) scored runs. Eau Claire went up 3-1 in the top of the fourth after Amanda Houle (Sr.-Chisago City, Minn./Chisago Lakes) scored but the Eagles then had a three-run homer in the bottom of the inning to take a 4-3 lead.
The Blugolds answered in the top of the fifth with Pierce scoring a run and tying the game 4-4. The game remained tied until the bottom of the seventh. With just one runner on at second base and two outs, a fielding error in center field allowed the Eagles' runner to score from second to secure the victory.
Eau Claire finished with nine hits as Rachel Heffel (Fr.-Racine, Wis./Case) and Pierce tied for a team-high with two each. Gilane led the game with two RBI and Fischer again stole a base, bringing her season total to 23.
Laura Raflik (Jr.-Plover, Wis./Pacelli) started the game in the circle and pitched four innings, giving up nine hits and four runs, three of which were earned, while striking out one batter. Wishau relieved Raflik in the fifth inning and gave up one hit and one unearned run while striking out one batter. Wishau received the loss, falling to 4-3 on the season.
Eau Claire is now 13-9 this season, losing four straight games, and 0-2 in WIAC play. La Crosse is 13-3 overall and 2-0 in the conference.
Sunday the Blugolds will play another conference doubleheader at UW-Platteville. Action will get underway at noon.