By: Jake Krier, UWEC Sports Information
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (blugolds.com) - The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire softball team welcomed Saint Mary's (Minn.) to Bollinger Field for the team's home opener on Tuesday. The Blugolds were victorious in game one by a score of 8-2, but the Cardinals secured a split with a 4-3 win over Eau Claire in the second game.
The Blugolds scored five unanswered runs after leading 3-2 through three-and-a-half innings in the opening contest. Katelyn Yute (Fr.-North Prairie, WI/Kettle Moraine) and Abbey Place (Fr.-Naperville, IL/Naperville Central) each drove in a run in the fourth, and Tessa Dachel (So.-Chippewa Falls, WI/Chi-Hi) added some insurance with a two-RBI double in the sixth. The sophomore designated hitter finished the game 3-for-4 with two doubles and four RBIs.
Stephanie Wilczynski (So.-Naperville, IL/Waubonsie Valley) picked up the win after pitching four innings. Wilczynski fanned two Cardinal batters, allowed two earned runs and five hits. Morgan Sivak (Fr.-Oconomowoc, WI) threw the last three innings, giving up one hit and a walk and striking out one.
Dachel continued her big day at the plate in game two (2-for-3), giving the Blugolds a 3-2 lead in the bottom half of the fifth as she drove in two runs with a single. However, the lead would not be enough. Saint Mary's smacked a two-run double in the top of the sixth, and Eau Claire was unable to overcome the deficit.
Cheyenne Johnson (So.-Poplar, WI/Northwestern) went the first four innings, Sivak the fifth, and Sarah Peka (So.-Chanhassen, MN/Minnetonka) the last two innings from the circle. Peka received the loss, moving her record to 8-7 on the year.
Eau Claire completes a stretch of eight games in four consecutive days with a doubleheader on Wednesday. They will face the UW-Stout Blue Devils at Bollinger Field, slated to start at 4:00 p.m.
Follow the action all season long on Blugold Game Day.