BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (Blugolds.com) — The second day of the Illinois Wesleyan Tournament did not go as well as the first day for the UW-Eau Claire softball team. After picking up a pair of wins against the 25th and 21st-ranked teams in the nation, they were in for two more tough tests on Sunday. In a rematch with Washington University (Mo.), the Blugolds fell 4-2 in the first game of the day and against 19th-ranked host Illinois Wesleyan, they fell 6-0 in the second game of the day.
The Blugolds (17-13) shutout the Bears (20-12) in the first game of the tournament on Saturday with an 8-0 win. The second time around on Sunday was much closer and low scoring. Both teams broke through with two runs in the third inning and neither team would score again until the seventh.
With runners on first and second in the bottom of the third and one out, Nikki Brooks (Jr.-New Richmond, Wis./St. Croix Central) doubled to left center to bring home two runs and tie the game at 2-2.
The score stayed that way until the final inning, thanks in large part to Zana Lorbetske (So.-Rhinelander, Wis./Three Lakes), who had a strong game in the circle. But in the top of the seventh, the Bears struck for two runs to go ahead 4-2.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Blugolds got a two-out single, but Amanda Fischer (Jr.-Wausau, Wis./West) popped out to third base to end the game. The Blugolds did get six hits in the game, with Brooks leading the way as she went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs. Fischer, Casey Arnold (Jr.-Kaukauna, Wis./Kaukauna), Kayla Meixner (Fr.-Pepin, Wis./Pepin) and Sam Noetzelman (Fr.-Delano, Minn./Delano) accounted for the other hits.
Lorbetske took the loss, despite going seven innings and giving up four runs, three of which were earned. She gave up ten hits and struck out five without walking a batter.
The second game presented another tough matchup with the 19th-ranked Titans. The Blugolds got five hits, but Illinois Wesleyan scored four runs in the fifth and added two in the sixth for the 6-0 win.
The Blugolds were unable to string together anything offensively and really did not put together a threat in any inning. They got a two-out single from Arnold in the seventh, but Noetzelman flew out to left field to end the game.
Lauren Blasczyk (Fr.-Appleton, Wis./East) started in the circle for the Blugolds and went five innings. She gave up four runs, three earned, on six hits and struck out one. Emma Wishau (Sr.-Burlington, Wis./Waterford Union) came on to pitch the sixth inning but she struggled and only lasted 1/3 of an inning. She gave up one just one hit but was plagued by three walks. Laura Raflik (Jr.-Plover, Wis./Pacelli) pitched got the final two outs of the sixth inning.
Amanda Houle (Sr.-Chisago City, Minn./Chisago Lakes) had a two-hit game for the Blugolds, while Arnold, Leah Wolff (Fr.-Middleton, Wis./Middleton) and Deanna Gilane (Jr.-South Milwaukee, Wis./South Milwaukee) accounted for the other hits, all singles.
The Blugolds will be back in action this week Wednesday when they travel to River Falls to take on the Falcons for a doubleheader. The first game is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. with the second game to follow shortly after the conclusion of the first game.