By Justin Dade – Sports Information
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (Blugolds.com) – The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire softball team fell to No. 13 Washington University (Mo.) 8-0 and No. 9 Illinois Wesleyan University 2-1 on Friday in the Illinois Wesleyan Tournament to send their overall season record 8-8.
After numerous cancellations due to the weather, the Blugolds finally got a chance to take the field for the first time this month in the Illinois Wesleyan Tournament featuring some nationally ranked opponents.
In Friday's first game, the Blugolds fell to Washington-St. Louis 8-0 in six innings. Eau Claire looked strong in the first inning, holding the 13-ranked Bears scoreless and put runners into scoring position in the bottom half of the inning, however, the Blugolds couldn't get a run on the board. The Eau Claire defense would commit four errors in the game that proved to be costly.
Zana Lorbetske (Sr.-Rhinelander, WI/Three Lakes) took the loss, giving up nine hits and two earned runs. The senior struck out three and walked three in five innings of work.
In game two against host Illinois Wesleyan, the Blugolds gave up a run in the first inning but kept the potent Titan offense at bay in the next few innings while tallying a run of their own in the fourth. Abby Hansen (Sr.-Kaukauna, WI) started the inning with a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Leah Wolff (Jr.-Middleton, WI) got on with a fielder's choice and advanced to second.
Kiley Rondeau (So.-Shakopee, MN) came in to pinch run for Wolff and would score on the next play with a Bri Calder (Fr.-Corcoran, MN/Rockford) single to right field, but a groundout would end the inning.
The Titans would take advantage of several Blugold miscues in the bottom of the fifth, putting an unearned run on the board that would prove to be the game-winner.
Lauren Blasczyk (Jr.-Appleton, WI/East) took the loss in the circle, scattering seven hits, striking out three and issuing one free pass.
The Blugolds will look to get back to their winning ways Saturday as they continue in tournament play. They will first take on Hope College (Mich.) at 9 a.m. and will then face DePauw (Ind.) at 1:30 p.m.