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Blugolds start New Streak In Sun West Tourney
Posted: Thursday, March 22, 2007
ORANGE, CA - After having an eight-game win streak snapped Wednesday, the UW-Eau Claire softball team began a new streak with a pair of wins Thursday in the Sun West Tournament here.
The two victories were achieved in completely opposite ways as the Blugolds won a pitching battle with host Chapman College, 3-2, then pounded out a season-high 16 hits and 20 runs in a 20-6 triumph over Williams College of Massachusetts.
Both wins were the first ever against those schools. The Blugolds had been shut out twice previously by Chapman, 5-0 in 1999 and 8-0 in 2000. In their only previous encounter with Williams, the Blugolds had dropped a 12-10 decision during the 2000 season.
The 20 runs was the most scored by an Eau Claire team since the 1995 season when the Blugolds beat Concordia, 21-1, and Mt. Senario, 23-0. This was only the seventh time in school history that a Blugold team has scored 20 or more runs. The school record for a single game is 24 runs, set in 1987 against Mt. Senario.
The 16 hits was the most since April 9 of last season when the Blugolds blasted 21 hits in a 15-6 triumph over Platteville.
The twin triumphs pushed the Blugolds' Sun West record to 7-1 and their season record to 10-4. The Blugolds close out their spring trip Friday with games against Augsburg College and Cal State-East Bay.
In the Chapman contest, the Blugolds rallied from a 2-0 deficit with a single run in the fourth and two in the bottom of the fifth.
Junior transfer Michelle Butkus (Medford), who had two of the four Blugold hits against Chapman, plated the first Blugold run with a two-out single in the fourth.
Senior Rachel Paulus (Wisconsin Rapids/Lincoln), who was left stranded on base after tripling in the third, got a one-out single in the fifth. She and freshman Bekki Kidnie (St. Paul, MN/Johnson), who walked, both scored on a two-out outfield error.
Senior Mallory McKinney (Brooklyn Park, MN/Champlin Park) went the distance on the mound, scattering eight hits with one walk and three strikeouts.
Six players rapped out two or more hits in the five-inning victory over Williams. Despite the final score, the Blugolds led just 8-6 after three innings. Butkus gave the Blugolds some breathing room in the fourth with a two-out grand slam home run, the team's second of the young season. That followed singles by Casey Leisgang (Jr.-Seymour) and Paulus and a walk to Jill Janke (Jr.-Black River Falls). The Blugolds put the game away with an eight-run fifth in which they sent 14 batters to the plate and collected seven hits plus two walks and two hit batters.
Janke led the way with three hits in three at bats with three runs scored and three RBI. She belted a two-run homer in the second. Leisgang, Paulus, McKinney, Amber Haack (Sr.-Madison/LaFollette) and Stephanie Salter (Sr.-Schofield/D. C. Everest) each had two hits. McKinney also plated three runs and Leisgang scored four times.
Sophomore Bri Sturm (Zumbrota, MN/ZZumbrota-Mazeppa) started the game but was relieved by McKinney who finished out the contest to pick up her second win of the day.
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