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Softball Concludes Regular Season With Sweep Of Platteville
Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2007
EAU CLAIRE - The UW-Eau Claire softball team finished off its regular season today with a sweep of UW-Platteville, winning game one 2-0 and game two 10-3 at Gelein Field.
The Blugolds end their regular season with a 27-11 overall record and a 10-6 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) record. The 27 wins ties for eighth-most in school history. The Blugolds will be the four-seed in next weekend's conference tournament. The Pioneers drop to 8-24 overall and 1-13 in the conference. They have one more series against La Crosse tomorrow. They will be opening the tournament either as an eight or a nine seed.
Blugold seniors Shannon Barone (Sr.-De Pere, WI), Amber Haack (Sr.-Madison, WI/La Follette), Mallory McKinney (Sr.-Brooklyn Park, MN/Champlin Park), Rachel Paulus (Sr.-Wisconsin Rapids, WI/Lincoln), Stephanie Salter (Sr.-Schofield, WI/D.C. Everest), and Mandy Tschernach (Sr.-Rice Lake, WI) were playing their last regular season games at Gelein Field today. These seniors combined for a 123-45 record, three consecutive WIAC regular season titles, and a WIAC Tournament championship over the last four years.
With just one hit in the first three and a half innings in game one, the Blugolds finally broke through in the bottom of the fourth. Rachel Paulus and Mallory McKinney led off with back-to-back singles. Jill Janke (Jr.-Black River Falls, WI) then loaded the bases with a single to right. Mandy Tschernach then laid down a bunt that allowed Katie Stalker (Fr.-Madison, WI/La Follette) to score, but Platteville's throw to get Stalker was high and the ball rolled to the backstop which allowed Michelle Butkus (Jr.-Medford, WI) to score to give Eau Claire a 2-0 lead.
The Pioneers would not get a base runner or a hit the rest of the game as the Blugolds won game one 2-0. McKinney (11-7) allowed just one hit and had seven strikeouts in five innings. Kristi Doucette (So.-Green Bay, WI/Ashwaubenon) then came in the final two innings to pick up her first save of the season.
The Blugolds had a big first inning in game two. With runners on first and second Mallory McKinney hit a single to left field, but the ball was misplayed allowing Casey Leisgang (Jr.-Seymour, WI) and Rachel Paulus to score. McKinney advanced all the way to third. Michelle Butkus then hit a RBI single to plate McKinney to make the score 3-0. Butkus later scored in the inning on a wild pitch.
Still in the first Mandy Tschernach hit an infield single that allowed Katie Stalker to score. Amber Haack then laid down a bunt, but the throw to first went into right field that allowed Tschernach to score from first to make the score 6-0. Haack scored later on a wild pitch and the final run of the inning came on a sacrifice fly by Leisgang that plated Stephanie Salter to give Eau Claire an 8-0 lead.
The Pioneers got on the scoreboard in the top of the third on a three run home run by Nikki Hansen that cleared both fences at Gelein Field to make the score 8-3. The Blugolds got one run in the bottom of the fifth on a Leisgang RBI single to center that scored Amber Haack. Eau Claire's final run came in the sixth inning when a Platteville error allowed Tessa Pecha (Jr.-Eau Claire, WI/North) to score to give the Blugolds a 10-3 victory.
Casey Leisgang was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored. Jill Janke finished 3-for-4. Kristi Doucette (3-0) received the win pitching five innings and striking out three.
Eau Claire will host the WIAC Conference Tournament next Friday and Saturday. Games will be played on Gelein Field and Hobbs Field. The tournament kicks off at 9 a.m. Friday. The Blugolds will play the No. 5 seed UW-Whitewater at 1 p.m. on Friday.