ROCHESTER, Minn. (Blugolds.com) – The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire softball team opened their 2019 campaign at the Rochester Dome on Saturday. The Blugolds tallied a 7-6 (9 inn.) win over Dubuque and an 8-0 (5 inn.) win over Rockford.
Eau Claire and Dubuque had a back-and-forth battle in game one with both teams collecting 11 hits.
Dubuque would score a run in the bottom of the first but Eau Claire would get on the board in the second inning on an RBI double by Sarah Peka (Jr. – Chanhassen, MN/Minnetonka). Several batters later, Katie Rongstad (Jr. – Slinger, WI) would tally an RBI double of her own to give Eau Claire a 2-1 lead.
Dubuque would regain the lead with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. The Blugolds tallied three runs in the top of the seventh but Spartans tallied two runs in the bottom half of the inning to force extras.
Both teams would tally a run in the eighth but with the game tied at six in the top of the ninth, Gretchen Arneson (Jr. – Chippewa Falls, WI/Chi-Hi) singled on a 1-1 count, scoring the go ahead run. The Blugold defense would hold in the bottom of the ninth to give Eau Claire their first win of the season.
Arneson, Peka and Rongstad each recorded multiple hits with Arneson leading the way, going 3-for-5 at the plate. Eau Claire also stole three bases in the victory, two by Rongstad.
Peka also earned the win in the circle, going 7.1 innings while striking out five.
In game two against Rockford, the Blugold ended the game early with an 8-0 win (5 inn.).
Abbey Place (So. – Naperville, IL/Central) and Brooke Varian (Sr. – Madison, WI/West) each had RBI doubles in the bottom of the first to plate three runs for Eau Claire. The Blugolds would tally three more runs in the third and another in the fourth to earn the run-rule win.
Place finished the game 3-for-3 with two RBIs while Stephanie Wilczynski (Jr. – Naperville, IL/ Waubonsie Valley) earned the win on the mound, scattering two hits and striking out four.
The Blugolds (2-0) will be back in action Sunday as they take on Gustavus Adolphus and St. Catherine at the RCTC Dome.