By: Jake Krier, UWEC Sports Information
CLERMONT, Fla. (blugolds.com) - On Wednesday, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire softball team bounced back with a pair of victories over Buffalo State (N.Y.) and Benedictine (Ill.). Following four straight losses, a day off proved to be beneficial for the Blugolds to regroup and come back with two wins.
Against Buffalo State, Eau Claire scored runs in five out of their seven innings at the plate on way to the 11-5 win. The Blugolds compiled a huge, seven-run inning in the second that put the game out of reach early. Of their fifteen hits in the game, they strung together seven in that second inning. Six of those went for extra bases (ten total in the game), including back-to-back home runs from Carlie Christensen (Sr.-Ellsworth, WI/River Falls) and Gretchen Arneson (So.-Chippewa Falls, WI/Chi-Hi).
Christensen finished 3-for-5 with three RBIs in the cleanup spot, while Arneson went 2-for-4 with a pair of runs batted in as well. Katie Rongstad (So.-Slinger, WI), Abbey Place (Fr.-Naperville, IL/Naperville Central), and Brooke Varian (Jr.-Madison, WI/West) also contributed multiple hits at the dish.
Stephanie Wilczynski (So.-Naperville, IL/Waubonsie Valley) pitched six innings, struck out six, and improved her record to 2-1 after receiving the win.
In game two of the day, Eau Claire held off a late comeback attempt from the Eagles, outscoring Benedictine, 4-3. After surrendering a run in the opening frame, the Blugolds responded with two runs, capitalizing on two BenU errors. They put together another two-run inning in the third to go up by three. The Eagles scored two of their own in the sixth, but Sarah Peka (So.-Chanhassen, MN/Minnetonka) slammed the door in the seventh to secure Wednesday's second win.
Peka entered the game in relief after the bases were loaded with only one out in the first inning. She finished with two earned runs, five hits, and three strikeouts in addition to the win to her record.
The Blugold hitters were limited to only five hits in this contest, but they were timely. Place led the way with a 2-for-2 game, including a run driven in and run scored.
On Thursday afternoon, the PFX Games continue as the Blugolds take on Williams College at 1:00 p.m. CST, followed by a game with fellow Wisconsin squad, Lawrence University, at 3:30 p.m. CST.
Follow the action all season long on Blugold Game Day.