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Softball Strikes Back With Conference Sweep
Posted: Friday, April 10, 2009
EAU CLAIRE, Wis.- After playing to a split against UW-Stout on Wednesday, the seventh-ranked UW-Eau Claire softball team took two from WIAC opponent UW-Superior 7-6 and 10-2 at Gelein Field.
With the two wins, the Blugolds improve to 20-5 overall and 8-2 in conference play. The loss drops Superior to 9-9 overall and 0-4 in the WIAC.
The first game turned into a marathon of sorts, taking Eau Claire ten innings to seal the deal. After the top of the fourth inning, the Blugolds found themselves facing a 3-0 deficit. Eau Claire would rally for two runs in the bottom half of the inning on Nikki Brommelkamp (Fr.-Zumbrota, Minn./Zumbrota-Mazeppa) single that drove in Sara Baumgartner (So.-Arcadia, Wis.), who had reached on an error, and Ainsley Klar (Jr.-La Crosse, Wis./Aquinas) who singled to right field. Superior answered the Blugolds' scoring output with three more runs in both the fifth and six innings to take a commanding 6-2 lead.
With its back against the wall, Eau Claire tied the game in the bottom of the seventh with three runs, all with two outs. Tamara Zeman's (Jr.-Lodi, Wis.) single to right scored Becca Moos (Fr.-White Bear Lake, Minn./St. Agnes) and Bekki Kidnie (Jr.-St. Paul, Minn./Johnson). With the bases loaded, junior Heidi Arciszewski (Jr.-Thorp, Wis.) drove in the tying run on a single to third base, scoring pinch runner Emily Pierce (So.-Onalaska, Wis./Holmen) and sending the game into extra frames. Both teams battled mightily to break the tie, with the score remaining 6-6 heading into the home half of the tenth inning. With one out and the bases loaded after two Superior errors and an intentional walk, Kidnie drove in the winning run with a line drive down the left field line plating Arciszewski.
Kidnie and Arciszewski led the charge offensively, going 2-for-3 and 3-for-5, respectively. Jenny Ross (So.-Mendota Heights, Minn./Henry Sibley) picked up the win in the circle, throwing five and two-thirds innings allowing two hits and striking out nine.
The second game proved to be less dramatic than the first, with the Blugolds winning convincingly in six innings. Eau Claire exploded in the first inning with five runs on four hits and never looked back. In the fourth and fifth innings, the Blugolds would put up one run each and then tack on three more in the bottom of the sixth to end the game by way of mercy rule. Defensively, the team allowed just six hits while committing only one error.
Four Blugolds recorded multiple hits in the game, with Katie Stalker (Jr.-Madison, Wis./LaFollette) leading the way going a perfect 3-for-3 with a run scored. Baumgartner, Klar and Zeman each pitched in to go 2-for-4 with Baumgartner driving in two runs and Klar scoring twice.
Ross notched the win once again on the mound, throwing a two-hit shutout in five innings of work while striking out five.
Eau Claire will take the field for a doubleheader on Monday afternoon against non-conference opponent Luther College (Iowa). The twin bill is set to begin at 4 p.m. at Gelein Field.
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