WHITEWATER, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire softball team defeated UW-River Falls 2-1 before falling to UW-Whitewater 7-0 in the first day of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Championship (presented by Culver's).
In game one against UW-River Falls, the Blugolds jumped to an early lead, plating two runs in the bottom of the first.
Katie Rongstad (So.-Slinger, WI) got things going with a leadoff double and stolen base. After a strikeout and line-out, Tessa Dachel (So.-Chippewa Falls, WI/Chi-Hi) drew a walk to bring up Sarah Peka (So.-Chanhassen, MN/Minnetonka). The sophomore drove in the first run of the game with a single up the middle.
Katelyn Yute (Fr.-North Prairie, WI/Kettle Moraine) followed with a single through the left side but a Falcon error would allow Dachel to score.
The Blugolds stifled the Falcon offense until the sixth inning where River Falls was able to score on an RBI single but it would not be enough as Eau Claire would get out of the inning with a strikeout and put the Falcons down in order in the top of the seventh.
In the circle, Peka earned the win to improve to 11-9 on the season while Stephanie Wilczynski (So.-Naperville, IL/Waubonsie Valley) picked up her third save of the season.
Peka scattered five hits in four innings while striking out two. Wilczynski gave up the lone Falcon run in three innings of work, giving up three hits.
It was a different story in game two against No. 1 seed UW-Whitewater, as the Blugolds only managed three hits to Whitewater's 10. The Warhawks tallied five runs in the third inning and added two more in the fifth to cruise to the win.
Peka, Bri Calder (Jr. – Corcoran, MN/Rockford) and Jessica Heffel (Jr.-Racine, WI/Case) all recorded hits for the Blugolds while Peka took the loss on the mound, giving up four runs on three hits, striking out two and issuing two free passes in 2.1 innings.
Wilczynski and Cheyenne Johnson (So.-Poplar, WI/Northwestern) closed out the game for Eau Claire, Wilczynski going 1.2 innings while Johnson pitched the final two frames.
The Blugolds (21-17) will now face the winner of the UW-Stout/UW-River Falls game, which will be completed Saturday morning. The Blue Devils and Falcons were tied at 5 and heading into extra inning before the game was halted due to darkness.