EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com)—A windy day at Carson Park saw a UWEC Softball squad rested and ready to go after a 10 day, 14 game spring break schedule in East Texas. The home opener against Marian proved to again be a battle of the bats but hitting would not be enough to propel the Blugolds (9-11) who split the header, winning game one 8-1 but falling 10-7 in game two.
Game 1 Box Score | Game 2 Box Score | Photos | Coach Huntington's Recap
In the first game, UW-Eau Claire put up four runs late in the 2nd inning. With two outs, Deanna Gilane (Sr.-South Milwaukee, WI) reached first base after being hit by a pitch. Two Blugold singles and two Marian errors would score three runs and put a player on 3rd base. A Leah Wolff (So.-Middleton, WI) single scored one more before the inning ended. Just one inning later, UW-Eau Claire put up another four runs off of four hits. Nikki Brooks (Sr.-Hammond, WI/St. Croix Central) got the ball rolling with a single through the left side. After an error and a sacrifice bunt, Casey Arnold (Sr.-Kaukauna, WI) sent a line drive to center field to score two runs. Wolff then put another ball through the left side, this time a double, to score two more and give the Blugolds an 8-1 lead.
Three and a half more innings would pass with no score change as UW-Eau Claire picked up victory number nine on the season.
However, game two was a different story for the Blugolds.
The first score of the game would come from Marian in the 4th inning as they picked up a single run. UW-Eau Claire answered back soon after as Gilane sent a line drive over the left field fence. The homerun would score three runs, giving the Blugolds a 3-1 advantage. But the Sabres had other plans and in the top of the 5th inning they tacked on five more runs. They would add four more runs just two innings later.
Down 10-3 heading into the bottom of the 7th, Eau Claire looked ready to rally. After the first batter was walked, pinch hitter Morgan Lecheler (So.-Menomonie, WI) sent a single through the left side followed by a Rachel Heffel (So.-Racine, WI/Case) single to score one. Amanda Fischer (Sr.-Wausau, WI/West) then hit a blooper to center field that wold score one more. The Blugolds then scored as Wolff hit a hard ground ball up the middle. The final run came as Kelsey Meredith (So.-Golden Valley, MN/Armstrong) ripped a shot to deep left-center. The sacrifice fly scored Fischer but one more quick out would end the game with a score of 10-7, Marian on top.
Leading the way for the Blugolds in the box was Arnold who went 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs. Wolff and Heffel both went 3-for-5 adding four and two RBIs, respectively.
Fischer and Gilane both put up three RBIs on the day while the pitching staff collectively struck out 16 batters. Another Blugold highlight was the defensive game that strung together two huge double plays, one in each game, both to end innings.
UWEC will be on the road Friday evening as they open up Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) play at UW-Stevens Point. Game times are 3 and 5pm.