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Eau Claire Rallies To Advance To First Round Championship Game
Posted: Saturday, May 12, 2007
EAU CLAIRE - UW-Eau Claire scored three runs with two outs in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game and then Amber Haack (Sr. -Madison, WI/LaFollette) hit a walk off three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth to give the Blugolds a 6-3 win over top-seeded UW-Oshkosh in a NCAA First Round Tournament game today at Gelein Field.
The Blugolds now move into NCAA First Round Championship game for second consecutive year. That game will begin at noon tomorrow. If the Blugolds lose that game they will play a winner-take-all game immediately following that contest.
Oshkosh struck first scoring a run in each of the first three innings. In the top of the first the Titans got the leadoff runner on base and then drove her in on a Whitney Tyriver RBI single to center. An Eau Claire error with two outs in the second inning led to the Titans' second run. Then in the top of third Brianna Bilotti hit a RBI double to left center that plated Jennelle Schmidt to make the score 3-0.
The Blugolds loaded the bases in the bottom of the third with one out. Oshkosh then got a force out at home and Ronessa Stampfli would get a strikeout to end the inning unscathed.
With their backs against the wall, the Blugolds responded with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. Casey Leisgang (Jr.-Seymour, WI) hit a two-run home run to left to make the score 3-2. The home run snapped Stampfli's scoreless inning streak at 20.2 innings. Rachel Paulus (Sr.-Wisconsin Rapids, WI/Lincoln) followed that with a double to center field. Then down in the count 0-2, Mallory McKinney (Sr.-Brooklyn Park, MN/Champlin Park) roped a single to left that scored Paulus from second to send the game into extra innings.
In the bottom of the eighth, Michelle Butkus (Fr.-Medford, WI) started things off with a double over the right fielder's head. Then after a walk, Amber Haack stepped to the plate and hit a three-run walk off home run to send the Blugolds into the NCAA First Round Championship game with a 6-3 victory.
Mallory McKinney received the win on the mound, going seven innings, scattering five hits, and striking out four. McKinney and Bekki Kidnie (Fr.-St. Paul, MN/Johnson) each had multiple hits for Eau Claire.
The Titans now await the winner of the Illinois Wesleyan University and Coe College contest. Oshkosh will play at approximately 3 p.m. later today.
- JR -