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Softball Takes Second Doubleheader At Rosemount Dome
Posted: Saturday, March 8, 2008
ROSEMOUNT, Minn. - After sweeping St. Mary's University (Minn.) yesterday to start the season, the sixth-ranked UW-Eau Claire softball team took down Gustavus Adolphus College (Minn.) in both games again today.
The first game would last just six innings as Eau Claire cruised to a 10-2 win. The team bust open for a five-run fifth that put it out of reach. The second saw Gustavus climb back to tie it 4-4 in the fourth, but Eau Claire had one more big inning than the Gusties en route to a 7-4 victory.
It was the first action of the season for the Gusties, who went 32-10 last year and made the NCAA Tournament. They were eliminated in the regionals after losing 2-1 to Luther College (Iowa) in eight innings and 8-1 to Wartburg College (Iowa). There was a 5-3 nine-inning victory over UW-Stevens Point sandwiched in. It was the second NCAA appearance ever for Gustavus, which made it as an at-large bid.
The 2008 season did not start so well for Gustavus, as it allowed a leadoff homer to Casey Leisgang (Sr.-Seymour). It was her program-record 27th career home run. Though the Blugolds tacked on another run in the inning, Gustavus matched them in the bottom of the first with a two-run blast.
From there on out, Jenny Ross (Fr.-Mendota Heights, Minn./Henry Sibley) was in control, allowing four hits total while striking out five during her five innings. Three of the hits were in the first.
The Eau Claire bats would provide all the offense it would need in the third when Bekki Kidnie (So.-St. Paul, Minn./Johnson) cranked a two-run shot. Eau Claire put it away with five runs in the fifth. The inning saw five hits, with the big one being Jen Barron's (Jr.-Brooklyn Center, Minn.) pinch-hit grand slam.
Jill Janke (Sr.-Black River Falls) also homered to give Eau Claire four roundtrippers in the 10-2 six-inning contest. Kidnie and Michelle Butkus (Sr.-Medford) each went 3 for 4 and knocked in two runners. Butkus crossed the plate twice while Kidnie did so once. Kidnie had a double to go with her homer as the Blugold bats outdid Gustavus 14 hits to four.
Ross would pick up her second win of the day in Game Two while pitching the final four frames of the 7-4 victory.
Eau Claire's offense staked starter Jessica Flood (So.-Madison/La Follette) to a 1-0 lead after one and a4-0 lead after two. Kristi Doucette (Jr.-Green Bay/Ashwaubenon) plated one in the second with a double while the second run of the inning came during a throw that followed an error. A passed ball and a Leisgang sac fly allowed Sara Baumgartner (Fr.-Arcadia) to score the final run of the inning.
After Flood allowed a Gustavus run in the third, Bri Sturm (Jr.-Zumbrota, Minn./Zumbrota-Mazeppa) came in for the fourth. She failed to record an out while allowing three runs off three hits and a base-on-balls. All three runs came off ground-rule doubles. Ross came in at this point and tallied three outs but the Gusties had tied it up 4-4 in the frame.
The next Blugold scoring came in the bottom of the fifth and the trio of runs all came with two out. Janke doubled with one down and Butkus made it on with a fielder's choice. With two down, a passed ball moved both Janke and Butkus into scoring position. Tamara Zeman (So.-Lodi) knocked in Janke with a single and moved to second on the throw. Butkus and Zeman came in during Ross' subsequent at-bat. Her single knocked in Butkus and Zeman scored due to an error by the leftfielder.
Ross threw four innings and allowed just two hits while ringing up four. As for the other battery, Gustavus had six passed balls, which along with four errors, helped the Eau Claire offense. Zeman had the best numbers on the day, going 2 for 3 with two runs and an RBI. Doucette also went 2 for 3, collecting a run and an RBI along the way. The Blugolds outhit the Gusties 8-to-7.
The Blugolds will play 10th-ranked St. Thomas (Minn.) tomorrow in the final day of the Rosemount Dome event.
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