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Softball Cruises On Day Six In Arizona
Posted: Thursday, March 20, 2008
TUCSON, Az. - The seventh-ranked UW-Eau Claire softball team made a clean sweep today at Lincoln Regional Park, beating Midland Lutheran (Neb.) 6-1, and blanking Buena Vista (Iowa) 9-0 in five innings. The two wins improve the Blugolds' overall record to 12-4.
The Blugolds were first to strike in the opening game, putting three runs on the board in the top of the first. Jill Janke (Sr.-Black River Falls, Wis.) began the two-out rally with a single. Michelle Butkus (Sr.-Medford, Wis.) reached on an error, and Bekki Kidnie (So.-St. Paul, Minn./Johnson) followed with a double to left scoring Janke. After a passed ball scored Butkus from third, Heidi Arciszewski (So.-Thorp, Wis.) singled to left, scoring Kidnie. The Blugolds would score another run in the third and two in the final frame to seal the victory.
Bri Sturm (Jr.-Zumbrota, Minn./Zumbrota-Mazeppa) picked up the win, scattering six hits over four innings pitched. Jessica Flood (So.-Madison, Wis./La Follette) earned the save for the Blugolds, allowing just one hit in the final three innings. Midland Lutheran pitcher Lyndsi Heine took the loss for the Warriors.
Four Blugolds picked up at least two hits in the win. Arciszewski and Kidnie paced the offense with three hits and two RBIs apiece, while Janke and Tamara Zeman (So.-Lodi, Wis.) each went 2-for-4.
In the night cap, the Blugolds had no trouble handling Buena Vista University (Iowa), inflicting the mercy rule by a score of 9-0. The meeting between the two teams marked the final regular season matchup for BVU alum and Blugold head coach Leslie Huntington against her former coach and Iowa softball legend, Marge Willadsen. After 28 years and over 500 victories, Willadsen announced her retirement at the close of this season.
The Blugolds would not be denied offensively, highlighted by a five-run fifth which saw nine hitters in the inning. The scoring began on a Casey Leisgang (Sr.-Seymour, Wis.) double that scored Sara Baumgartner (Fr.-Arcadia, Wis.) who reached on an error to open the frame. Butkus followed later in the inning with a two RBI single, scoring Leisgang and Zeman. Kidnie finished the scoring run on a two-out single that scored Butkus and Janke, both unearned, to extend the lead to eight.
Jenny Ross (So/Fr.-Mendota Heights, Minn./Henry Sibley) fired off her sixth win of the season, allowing just two hits and striking out five. Brooke Malnory (Fr.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./Chi-Hi) pitched an inning of relief for the Blugolds.
Janke and Leisgang were perfect at the plate for UW-Eau Claire, going 2-for-2 and 3-for-3 from the plate, respectively. Butkus had a day for the Blugolds, going 2-for-3 with two runs scored and four RBIs, two of which came off of her second homerun of the season.
The Blugolds conclude their 2008 spring break trip tomorrow with two more games against Babson College (Mass.) and Nazareth College (N.Y.). UW-Eau Claire beat Nazareth earlier in the week by a score of 12-4 in five innings. The first pitch is scheduled for 10 a.m.
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