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Eau Claire To Host 2007 WIAC Softball Tournament
Posted: Tuesday, May 1, 2007
EAU CLAIRE - Gelein Field and Hobbs Field in Carson Park will be the home this Friday and Saturday of the 2007 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Softball Tournament.
This is the second time in the tournament's history that Eau Claire will host. The tournament is structured in a double-elimination format. The eight and nine seed begin the tournament and the loser is eliminated. There will be at least a total of 15 games played throughout the two days with a possibility of a 16th game. The winner will receive the automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Eau Claire is the defending tournament champion defeating UW-Oshkosh 3-0 in last year's championship game to become the first top seed to win the tournament since Whitewater in 1999. The Blugolds have been in the championship game the last two years. Eau Claire has won a league-high five tournament championships.
No. 14 UW-Oshkosh comes into this year's tournament as the WIAC regular season champion with a 15-1 record. The Titans have never won a conference tournament. Oshkosh's lone loss of the conference season came against UW-Whitewater by a score of 1-0. Since then the Titans have won 15 straight games. During one point of the season Oshkosh had six consecutive shutouts over WIAC opponents.
Titan pitchers Ronessa Stampfli and Amy Sullivan have dominated this season on the mound. Stampfli is 14-3 with a 0.47 ERA and has one no-hitter. Stampfli holds the all-time WIAC record with 644 career strikeouts. Sullivan is 11-1 with a 0.63 ERA.
No. 21 UW-Stevens Point comes in as the No.2 seed after finishing with a 13-3 conference record. The Pointers have won the tournament title on two occasions. Stevens Point ended the season on a seven-game winning streak.
Pitcher Stephanie Anderson has performed well for the Pointers this season with two no-hitters, including one perfect game against UW-Stout. Stevens Point is the top hitting team in the conference with a .341 batting average and a conference-high 15 triples. Laura Van Abel is second in the WIAC is hits (54), runs scored (40), and in RBIs (37).
UW-River Falls will be the No. 3 seed after finishing with an 11-5 record. The Falcons won back-to-back tournament titles in 1994 and 1995. River Falls went 3-3 in its last six conference games. Emily Howlett and Mindy Rudiger have led the Falcons at the plate. Rudiger leads the conference with 10 home runs, while Howlett is on top of the WIAC with 15 doubles.
After being predicted to win its fourth straight regular season conference title at the beginning of the season, Eau Claire finished fourth with a 10-6 record. The Blugolds won their final four games of the regular season. Eau Claire has all of the major contributors who led the team to a perfect conference record last season.
The Blugolds are second in the conference in hitting with a .330 batting average. They lead the conference with 48 stolen bases. Casey Leisgang (Jr.-Seymour, WI) has six home runs this year and has a school record 25 in her career. Mallory McKinney (Sr.-Brooklyn Park, MN/Champlin Park) is 11-7 this year and is second all-time in the WIAC with 522 career strikeouts. Bri Sturm (So.-Zumbrota, MN/Zumbrota-Mazeppa) is 13-4 with two saves this season in 24 appearances
UW-Whitewater finished with an 8-8 conference record and went 3-3 in their last six conference games to finish fifth. Whitewater's Amy Gahl leads the WIAC with a .488 batting average, 55 runs scored, 95 total bases.
UW-Superior finished with a 6-10 conference record to finish in sixth place. The Yellowjackets finished the regular season with a five-game winning streak. Superior is a two-time winner of the WIAC Tournament. Jen Reid has pitched a league-high 151.2 innings and is second in the conference with 155 strikeouts.
UW-La Crosse swept Platteville in their last conference doubleheader to move into seventh pla