By: Jake Krier, UWEC Sports Information
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (blugolds.com) - For the second straight day, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire softball team won game one of their doubleheader only to drop the second game to the opposition. On Wednesday, a complete game shutout from Sarah Peka (So.-Chanhassen, MN/Minnetonka) led to a 4-0 win for the Blugolds. UW-Stout responded with a 7-3 win in game two to split the "War on I-94."
Peka limited the Blue Devils to five hits and recorded three strikeouts with no walks. She received help from her offense early, with a big, two-run home run from Gretchen Arneson (So.-Chippewa Falls, WI/Chi-Hi) coming in the first inning, her third on the year. They took a 3-0 lead after one when an error by Stout plated the third run of the inning.
The sophomore pitcher helped her own cause with an RBI single to drive in Katie Rongstad (So.-Slinger, WI) in the sixth frame. Both Arneson and Peka finished the game 2-for-3.
The Blue Devils jumped out to a 2-0 lead in game two, but Eau Claire responded with a two-run double from Arneson in the bottom half of the first inning. Stout recaptured the lead in the second before a Rongstad single tied it back up at three. In the sixth, Stephanie Wilczynski (So.-Naperville, IL/Waubonsie Valley) gave up four runs, albeit only one of them was earned. The late surge would be enough for the Blue Devils to hang on for the win.
Rongstad finished 2-for-4 in game two, and Mikayla McEnery (Fr.-Savage, MN/Prior Lake) added a pair of base-knocks as well.
Following Wednesday's competition, Eau Claire's overall record sits at 18-12, now with a 5-3 mark in the conference.
The Blugolds return to Bollinger on Saturday for a double dip against UW-Whitewater. The games begin at 1:00 p.m. and will serve as Alumni Day where the 2008 National Championship team will be honored to celebrate the ten-year anniversary.
Follow the action all season long on Blugold Game Day.