Whitewater, WI (Blugolds.com)- The University of Wisconsin Eau Claire softball team punched their ticket to the WIAC tournament championship game tomorrow after at 10-2 (5 inning) victory over UW-Oshkosh.
The Blugolds, with an 8-3 win over UW-Platteville yesterday, didn't miss a beat with their bats coming up big early and often against the Titans. In the first inning the Blugolds scored four runs on four hits to take an early lead. Mikayla McEnery (So.-Savage, MN/Prior Lake) got things started with a single down the left field line. Abbey Place (So.-Naperville, IL/Naperville Central) got down a bunt and was thrown out at first but advanced McEnery to second. Junior, Katie Rongstad (Jr.-Slinger, WI) followed up with a single to right field, and Tessa Dachel (Jr. – Chippewa Falls, WIChi-Hi) reached on a fielders choice bunt, and McEnery scored from third. Dachel and Rongstad both advanced on a passed ball, and senior Emma Lehman (Sr.-Brooklyn Park, MN/Champlin Park) hit a sacrifice fly to right that scored Rongstad from third. It was then Brooke Varian (Sr.-Madison, WI/West) turn as she followed with a double to left field that scored Dachel. Katelyn Yute (So.-North Prairie, WI/Kettle Moraine), who was 3-of-4 yesterday, recorded another RBI on a single that scored Varian and scored the Blugolds fourth run of the innning. After a quick three outs on the field, the Blugolds bats were still hot. The Blugolds would add five runs in the second inning on three hits. The inning saw RBI hits from; Rongstad, Dachel, and Varian.
The Titans would score once in the bottom of the second and fourth innings, both Sarah Peka (Jr. – Chanhassen, MN/Minnetonka) and Cheyenne Johnson (Poplar, WI/Northwestern) were outstanding on the mound for the Blugolds again. In the top of the fifith the Blugolds scored on a single from Place, to give Eau Claire and eight-run lead. Johnson replaced Peka on the mound in the bottom of the fifth and got three straight ground-ball outs to end the game.
On the day the Blugolds had four hitters that had multi-hit games. Varian led Eau Claire with three RBI on two hits, followed by Dachel who had two RBI. On the mound, Peka improved to 12-5 on the year pitching four innnings and scattering four hits and one strike out. Johnson pitched a perfect fifth inning to earn another save and give the Blugolds the win.
The Blugolds advance to the WIAC tournament championship game tomorrow at 10:00am. With double ilimination in play, the Blugolds could face UW-Whitewater, UW-La Crosse, or UW-Oshkosh in the championship. With a win tomorrow the Blugolds would earn the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Follow the Blugolds on Blugold Game Day or on the 'UWEC Blugolds' app' on your mobile device.