By: Jake Krier, UWEC Sports Information
CLERMONT, Fla. (blugolds.com) - The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire softball team kicked off their Spring Break trip to the Sunshine State with a pair of victories on Friday. In the trip's PFX Games opener, the Blugolds topped Pomona-Pitzer, 6-4. They followed that up with a 5-0 shutout over Albright in the nightcap.
The key to the first game's win was a big third inning in which the Blugolds scored four runs. After trailing by a run through two innings of play, Eau Claire responded with the four-spot in the top of the third via three singles, a pair of walks, and a Pomona-Pitzer error. In the bottom half, the Blugolds' lead was cut to one. Both teams added a run in the fifth, and Eau Claire picked up an insurance run in the seventh to seal the win.
Sarah Peka (So.-Chanhassen, MN/Minnetonka) continued her solid start to the year with another complete game effort. The sophomore improved her record to 4-0 through four games started. Despite allowing eleven hits to the Sagehens and giving up four earned runs, Peka minimized the damage and kept the Blugolds ahead of the opposition with four strikeouts along the way.
Eau Claire's offense produced eight hits in the win, including 2-for-4 performances from their first two hitters in the lineup, Katie Rongstad (So.-Slinger, WI) and Gretchen Arneson (So.-Chippewa Falls, WI/Chi-Hi).
In game two on the day, the Eau Claire pitching proved to be the story. In just her second outing for the Blugolds, freshman pitcher Morgan Sivak (Oconomowoc, WI) blanked Albright to the tune of seven strikeouts over seven innings of work. Sivak gave up seven hits, but none led to any runs from the Lions.
Rongstad added another pair of base-hits, as did Cheyenne Johnson (So.-Poplar, WI/Northwestern), Katelyn Yute (Fr.-North Prairie, WI/Kettle Moraine), and Carlie Christensen (Sr.-Ellsworth, WI/River Falls) to account for Eau Claire's eight hits. Yute drove in three runs, and Johnson finished with a pair of RBIs.
Due up next for the Blugolds on their PFX Games slate is a 10:30 a.m. (CST) start time on Saturday against Transylvania followed by an afternoon contest against MCLA at 1:00 p.m. (CST).
Follow the action all season long on Blugold Game Day.