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Softball Shuts Down La Crosse In Sweep
Posted: Saturday, April 28, 2007
EAU CLAIRE - The UW-Eau Claire softball team picked up its first home doubleheader sweep of a conference opponent today as it defeated UW-La Crosse 5-1 and 4-0 at Gelein Field in Carson Park.
The sweep improves the Blugolds record to 25-11 and an 8-6 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) record. Eau Claire currently sits in fourth place two games behind River Falls and a game ahead of Whitewater with two games to play. The Eagles fall to 10-20 overall and 2-10 in the conference. La Crosse is in eighth place with four games left to play.
In game one Blugold pitcher Bri Sturm (So.-Zumbrota, MN/Zumbrota-Mazeppa) got out of trouble in the second inning by getting a fly out and a strike out with runners at second and third. The Blugolds then took advantage in the bottom of the inning. Michelle Butkus (Jr.-Medford, WI) led off the frame with a walk. Mandy Tschernach (Sr.-Rice Lake, WI) then reached on an error and Katie Stalker (Fr.-Madison, WI/La Follette), who pinch ran for Butkus advanced to third. Tschernach then stole second and no one covered second base as the ball went into the outfield allowing Stalker to score. With two outs Stephanie Salter (Sr.-Schofield, WI/D.C. Everest) hit a triple over the right fielder's head to score Shannon Barone (Sr.-De Pere, WI) and Tschernach to make the score 3-0. A Bekki Kidnie (Fr.-St. Paul, MN/Johnson) groundout then scored Salter to give Eau Claire a 4-0 lead.
The Eagles scored their only run of the game on a Sarah Pfeifer RBI single in the third inning to make the score 4-1. The Blugolds added to their lead in the fourth inning when Casey Leisgang (Jr.-Seymour, WI) hit a RBI single to left field to score Barone to give Eau Claire a 5-1 lead. The Eagles did not threaten the rest of the game as the Blugolds won 5-1.
Barone was 2-for-2 with two runs scored and Jill Janke (Jr.-Black River Falls, WI) was 2-for-3 to lead Eau Claire at the plate. Sturm (13-4) pitched five innings and scattered six hits while striking out five. Mallory McKinney (Sr.-Brooklyn Park, MN/Champlin Park) pitched the final two innings and did not allow a hit and struck out two.
The Blugolds would get up on the Eagles early in the second game. In the first inning, Jill Janke hit a groundout that scored Rachel Paulus (Sr.-Wisconsin Rapids, WI/Lincoln) from third. Mandy Tschernach then hit an infield single that scored Katie Stalker to make the score 2-0.
McKinney pitched well on the mound as she had a string of five consecutive strikeouts from the second inning to the fourth inning. Eau Claire scored their third run of the game in the fourth inning on a Shannon Barone squeeze bunt that scored Tschernach from third.
The Blugolds' final run of the contest came on a RBI single by Janke that scored Paulus in the fifth inning. Eau Claire cruised to a 4-0 victory and its sixth consecutive win over the Eagles. McKinney (10-7) got credit for the win as she struck out seven in five innings of work. Bri Sturm game up just two hits in the two innings she pitched.
The Blugolds conclude their regular season tomorrow with a doubleheader against UW-Platteville. It will be Senior Day and Breast Cancer Awareness Day at Gelein Field. The doubleheader begins at 1 p.m.
- JR -