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Softball Splits With River Falls
Posted: Thursday, April 19, 2007
EAU CLAIRE - At Gelein Field today the UW-Eau Claire softball team split its doubleheader with UW-River Falls, losing game one 1-0 and then winning game two 10-2 in five innings to hand the Falcons their first conference loss.
The Blugolds, who are ranked 13th in the current National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) poll, now have an overall record of 20-8 and a Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) record of 3-3. The Falcons improve to 24-6 overall and 7-1 in the conference. The loss drops River Falls to a tie for first place with UW-Oshkosh.
There was not much offense in the first game. The Falcons scored the lone run of the game on an Emily Howlett home run to left field in the top of the first inning. Nobody for either team would reach third base the rest of the game. The Blugolds would leave runners at first and second in the fifth and sixth. The closest Eau Claire got to scoring was the final at-bat of the game when Bekki Kidnie (Fr.-St. Paul, MN/Johnson) gave the ball a ride to deep center field, but it was caught by the fence to end the game.
Rachel Paulus (Sr.-Wisconsin Rapids, WI/Lincoln) and Jill Janke (Jr.-Black River Falls, WI) had the only two hits for the Blugolds. Mallory McKinney (Sr.-Brooklyn Park, MN/Champlin Park) received the loss as she struck out seven and allowed just five hits. She falls to 8-5 this season.
Game two was a different story. The only similarity this game had with game one was the fact that River Falls scored in the first inning. Howlett hit a RBI double to right center field to make the score 1-0. The Blugolds responded in the bottom half of the inning when Mallory McKinney hit a two-run home run over the left field fence to give Eau Claire a 2-1 lead.
After a dropped foul ball in the bottom of the second prolonged the inning, Amber Haack (Sr.-Madison, WI/La Follette) laid down a squeeze bunt that scored Stephanie Salter (Sr.-Schofield, WI/D.C. Everest) to make the score 3-1 Eau Claire. After the Falcons got a run in the top of the third, the Blugolds answered on a RBI-single by Casey Leisgang (Jr.-Seymour, WI) that scored Michelle Butkus (Jr.-Medford, WI) from second to give Eau Claire a 4-2 lead.
With the bases loaded in the bottom of the fourth, Michelle Butkus hit a single that scored Rachel Paulus. Jill Janke then reached on an error by River Falls that scored Mandy Tschernach (Sr.-Rice Lake, WI) to make the score 6-2. Leisgang then ripped a two-RBI single that plated both Butkus and McKinney to give Eau Claire an 8-2 lead.
After River Falls left the bases loaded in the top of the fifth, the Blugolds closed the game in the bottom half of the inning. With the bases loaded Kristi Doucette (So.-Green Bay, WI/Ashwaubenon) was walked and Bekki Kidnie walked in from third. Butkus then hit a single to right to score Haack to end the game 10-2.
Casey Leisgang was 3-for-3 with three RBIs to lead the Blugolds at the plate. Bri Sturm (So.-Zumbrota, MN/Zumbrota-Mazeppa) won again on the mound striking out six in five innings of work. She is now 10-3 and has won her last four decisions.
The Blugolds will play a doubleheader at UW-Oshkosh on Saturday. The first game begins at 2 p.m.
- JR -