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Softball Split Rematches At Sun West Games
Posted: Wednesday, March 21, 2007
ORANGE, CA - The UW-Eau Claire softball team split a pair of rematch games defeating Amherst (MA) 8-6 and losing to St. Thomas (MN) in the bottom of the eighth inning on a triple play here today at Hart Park Field.
In game one Eau Claire blitzed Amherst early scoring four runs in the top of the first inning. Casey Leisgang (Jr.-Seymour) started the game with a double down the left field line. Rachel Paulus (Sr.-Wisconsin Rapids/Lincoln) advanced Leisgang to third on a bunt single. After Paulus advanced to second base on a steal Mallory McKinney (Sr.-Brooklyn Park, MN/Champlin Park) cleared the bases with a single to left. McKinney advanced to third on the play on a throw to home plate and an error by the catcher. McKinney scored two batters later on a Jill Janke (Jr.-Black River Falls) single to center field. Katie Stalker (Fr.-Madison/La Follette) entered the game to pinch run for Janke and made an immediate impact on the base pads stealing second and third base. Mandy Tschernach (Sr.-Rice Lake) was walked and stole second base. On the play Stalker scored from third base to give the Blugolds a 4-0 lead.
The Lady Jeffs scored two runs in the bottom of the first and after a scoreless second Eau Claire added another run in the top of the third when Amber Haack (Sr.-Madison/La Follete) singled down the right field line scoring Janke on an error by the right fielder extending the lead to 5-2.
McKinney added an RBI single in the fourth inning to make the score 6-2. The Blugolds where held scoreless in the fifth and sixth innings but awakened the bats to score two more runs in the top of the seventh. With two outs Michelle Butkus (Jr.-Medford) doubled to left field scoring Haack from first base. Stephanie Salter (Sr.-Schofield/D.C. Everest) scored Butkus on the next at-bat with a single to the pitcher making the score 8-2 entering the bottom of the seventh inning.
The Blugolds weathered an Amherst outburst as the Lady Jeffs exploded for four runs in their final at-bat. With two outs and two on Bri Sturm (So.-Zumbrota, MN/Zumbrota-Mazeppa) entered the game and struck out the only Amherst batter she faced to secure the win.
Kristi Doucette (So.-Green Bay/Ashwaubenon) entered the game and pitched 6.2 innings in relief allowing four earned runs on six hits including one strike out. Eau Claire tallied 14 hits on the day as five Blugold batters finished with two hits apiece. The Blugolds where a menace on the base pads stealing six bases without being caught compared to one stolen base for Amherst.
Game two saw the Blugolds take on the nation's top-ranked team in St. Thomas for the second time in four days. The Tommies struck first scoring one run in the top of the first inning and held a 1-0 lead until Eau Claire went to bat in the bottom of the fifth inning. Tschernach hit a one-out single to center field and scored off a Haack double to right center field to tie the game at 1-1.
St. Thomas scored one run in the top of the sixth inning to retake the lead at 2-1. The Blugolds matched the Tommies when Leisgang led off the inning with a solo home run to tie the game at 2-2.
After a scoreless seventh inning the game went into extra innings where St. Thomas scored on a two-out single to take a 3-2 lead. In the Blugold half of the eighth inning Shannon Barone (Sr.-De Pere) started the inning on second base and advanced to third on a bunt single by Salter. Salter stole second base and Leisgang was intentionally walked to load the bases with no outs for Paulus. Paulus lined a shot to second base which was caught and then quickly tossed to first and third base for a triple play to end the game and secure the Tommie win.
McKinney pitched all eight innings scattering five hits allowing two earned runs while striking out three and walking two. Eau Claire left four runners on base compared to three for St. Thomas. The Tommies stole four bases compared to one for the Blugolds. Ea