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Softball Defeats Amherst & Elmhurst At Sun West Games
Posted: Monday, March 19, 2007
ORANGE, CA - The UW-Eau Claire softball team ran their current win streak to seven games and are now 4-0 at the Sun West Games defeating Amherst (MA) 13-0 and Elmhurst (IL) 8-7 here today at Hart Park Field.
Against Amherst the Blugolds needed just five innings scoring early and often against the Lady Jeffs. Eau Claire scored four runs in the bottom of the first starting with an RBI single by Mallory McKinney (Sr.-Brooklyn Park, MN/Champlin Park) scoring Rachel Paulus (Sr.-Wisconsin Rapids/Lincoln). Paulus reached base with a single and advanced to scoring position by stealing second. Bekki Kidnie (Fr.-St. Paul, MN/Johnson) continued the hit parade scoring McKinney on another single and a 2-0 lead. Jill Janke (Jr.-Black River Falls) cleared the bases with her first home run of the season increasing the Blugold lead to 4-0.
After scoring one run in the second and two runs in the third the Blugolds put the game out of reach with a six-run fourth inning. With runners on first and second base Paulus hit an RBI bunt single scoring pinch runner Tessa Pecha (Jr.-Eau Claire/North). McKinney hit a sacrifice fly scoring Casey Leisgang (Jr.-Seymour) from third base. With two outs and runners on first and second Betsy Kettinger (So.-Bloomington, MN/Jefferson) hit an RBI single scoring Paulus from second base. Amber Haack (Sr.-Madison/La Follette) hit her second RBI double of the game scoring Kettinger and Janke while advancing to third on the throw home. Shannon Barone (Sr.-De Pere) capped off the scoring spree with an RBI single scoring Haack.
McKinney pitched four innings allowing three hits and striking out three batters. Kristi Doucette (So.-Green Bay/Ashwaubenon) pitched the fifth and final inning retiring all three batters faced. Haack finished the game 2-for-3 with three RBI's off two doubles. McKinney and Janke each drove in two runs while Janke and Paulus both scored two runs apiece.
Eau Claire built a 7-3 lead against Elmhurst holding off a late Blue Jay rally to secure the win. After trailing 1-0 the Blugolds took the lead scoring two runs in the bottom of the first. With runners on second and third and no outs McKinney hit a sacrifice fly to left field scoring Leisgang and advancing Paulus to third to tie the game at 1-1. Kidnie brought Paulus home on the next at-bat with a sacrifice fly to left field giving Eau Claire a 2-1 lead.
Hack led off the second inning with a home run to left field extending the lead to 3-1. Michelle Butkus (Jr.-Medford) followed Haack with a single to right field and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Butkus scored from second base on a Stephanie Salter (Sr.-Schofield/D.C. Everest) single to center field and a 4-1 Blugold lead.
After Elmhurst scored a run in the top of the third Janke led off the bottom of the inning with her second home run of the day as the ball sailed over the left-center field fence. Mandy Tschernach (Sr.-Rice Lake) walked after the Janke home run, stole second base, advanced to third on a passed ball and eventually scored on a wild pitch for a 6-2 Blugold lead.
Both teams traded run in the fourth inning and were held scoreless in the fifth inning before Elmhurst exploded for four runs in the top of the sixth to tie the game at 7-7. With one out in the bottom of the sixth Kidnie scored the eventual game-winning RBI as she hit a solo home run over the center field fence pushing Eau Claire back on top with an 8-7 lead.
McKinney pitched the last 1.1 inning of the game to earn the victory allowing no hits and striking out two Blue Jay batters. McKinney topped all Blugold batters with two hits in the game and Kidnie had a team-high two runs batted in.
The Blugold will have a day of rest Tuesday before returning to the diamond on Wednesday for two games. Eau Claire will face two familiar foes starting with Elmhurst at 10:30 AM followed by top-ranked St. Thomas at 12:45 PM.