By Tommy McGowan, UWEC Sports Information
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (blugolds.com)- The No. 21 University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire softball team split the series Friday night against UW-La Crosse, winning a thriller 3-2 in eight innings before losing the final game of the night.
After falling behind 2-0 in the fifth inning of game one, the Blugolds played well down the stretch. They responded with two runs of their own an inning later, as Sarah Peka (Jr. – Chanhassen, MN/Minnetonka) knocked in Ellie Decker (Fr.-Germantown, WI) and Haley Robinson (Fr.-Hoffman Estates, IL/St.Viator) scored off an error.
Eau Claire played great defense in the final few innings before a walk-off hit by Peka, who knocked in Bailee Sillman (So.-Chippewa Falls, WI/Chi-Hi) for the game-clinching RBI. Peka was also credited with a win for her pitching performance, improving her record to 9-2 on the season.
The Blugolds displayed their offense throughout the game, notching seven hits to UW-La Crosse's five. Catcher Abbey Place (So.-Naperville, IL/Naperville Central) led the way with two big hits while Katie Rongstad (Jr.-Slinger, WI) had an important double to start off the offense in the first inning.
Eau Claire wasn't able to continue the offensive success in the second game of the night, but pitcher Cheyenne Johnson (Poplar, WI/Northwestern) impressed, notching five shutout innings after the Eagles jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first.
The night's results left the Blugolds 18-5-1 on the season and 4-1-1 in Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play. They'll hope for even better results as they return to Bollinger Field Saturday to host UW-Platteville, which will serve as their Senior Day and Alumni Day. Follow the action on Blugold Game Day or on the 'UWEC Blugolds' app' on your mobile device.