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Softball Falls To Whitewater, Warhawks Take Conference Crown
Posted: Sunday, April 27, 2008
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. - With a sweep today over the 11-ranked UW-Eau Claire softball team, the UW-Whitewater Warhawks captured the regular season conference title.
Third-place Eau Claire is 10-4 in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) and has one more conference doubleheader. Whitewater is 14-2 and wrapped up its conference games today. The Blugolds are 25-9 overall while the Warhawks are 28-6.
This first game today was a 2-0 pitchers' duel while the second was 12-4 game that ended in five.
Jenny Ross (Fr.-Mendota Heights, Minn./Henry Sibley) and Jessica Stang both went seven innings for their respective clubs in Game One and traded zeroes until the fourth. The tally came off a solo homer and it would be enough for Stang, who threw a one-hitter and walked just two. She struck out 11 Blugolds.
Ross gave up another run in the seventh when Whitewater strung together three hits. She gave up seven hits and a walk while whiffing four during the day. The game was the first loss of the year for the 16-1 hurler. The lone Blugold hit was a Casey Leisgang (Sr.-Seymour, Wis.) single.
Whitewater's bats woke up in the second game and jumped out to three runs in the first off starter Kristi Doucette (Jr.-Green Bay, Wis./Ashwaubenon). They all came off a homer by Lauren Cruz, who also homered in Game One. Whitewater struck for two more in the third and one in the fourth before Eau Claire scored.
The Blugolds made it 6-3 after the bottom of the fourth due to four hits, two walks and a passed ball. Michelle Butkus (Sr.-Medford, Wis.) started it with a leadoff double and came in during a Doucette single. Bekki Kidnie (So.-St. Paul, Minn./Johnson) and Katie Stalker (So.-Madison, Wis./La Follette) loaded the bases with singles and Leisgang walked to force a run in. Tamara Zeman (So.-Lodi, Wis.) followed that with another two-out free pass to push across another run. However, Eau Claire left the bases loaded in the inning.
The top of the fifth seemed to be going smoothly for Eau Claire after two quick outs, but the Warhawks put together six hits and a walk to score six runs and make it 12-3. The two-out spree included a grand slam. A Blugold run in the bottom of the inning wasn't enough to avoid the mercy rule as Eau Claire fell 12-4.
Doucette dropped to 2-3 with the loss. She went three and a third innings with six runs off seven hits and walk. Jessica Flood (So.-Madison, Wis./La Follette) pitched one and a third innings while giving up three runs off three hits. Jackie Chlan (Fr.-Apple Valley, Minn.) saw just a third of a frame and also gave up three runs off three hits with a walk thrown in. Kidnie and Doucette had the best offensive games with 2-for-3 performances. Each knocked a runner in while Doucette also scored. The Blugolds were outhit 13-to-7.
Eau Claire looks to get out of third tomorrow when it faces UW-Superior at home. No. 23 UW-Oshkosh is currently second at 10-3 but it plays UW-Platteville and UW-Stevens Point in the next couple days.
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