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Softball Takes Two From Green Knights
Posted: Wednesday, April 15, 2009
EAU CLAIRE, Wis.- The 14th-ranked UW-Eau Claire softball team got back on track with two convincing wins over St. Norbert College 7-1 and 9-1 in five innings in the last home doubleheader at Gelein Field.
With the sweep the Blugolds improve to 22-7 on the year, while the Green Knights fall to 7-13.
In game one, Eau Claire used a trio of pitchers to grab the win. Senior Bri Sturm started the game, pitching four innings and allowing one earned run, before giving way to Ashley Meinen (Fr.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./McDonnel). Meinen pitched the fifth and six innings, picking up her fifth win of the year. Jenny Ross (So.-Mendota Heights, Minn.) appeared to pitch the final scoreless inning.
St Norbert managed to get on the board in the top of the first, on a Kayla Krueger single that scored leadoff hitter Stephanie Ortiz. The Blugolds got off to a slow start, but turned the offense on in a big way, posting their seven runs in the final four innings, including three runs in the fifth and sixth. The productive fifth inning began with back-to-back singles from Tamara Zeman (Jr.-Lodi, Wis.) and Katie Stalker (Jr.-Madison, Wis./LaFollette). After a wild pitch advanced both runners one base, Aleisha Harper (Fr.-Mondovi, Wis./Eau Claire North) drove in Zeman. Harper stole second base, and on the ensuing throw, Stalker was able to steal home to give Eau Claire a 3-1 lead. The final run of the inning came on a Bekki Kidnie (Jr.-St. Paul, Minn./Johnson) double to left center scoring Harper. Eau Claire took advantage of two St. Norbert miscues and added two hits in the sixth inning to score three more runs, ending the scoring at 7-1.
Jenny Janke (Fr.-Black River Falls, Wis.) led the offense with a 2-for-3 outing. Stalker chipped in going 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored, and Zeman went 1-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored.
In game two, the Blugolds got off to another slow start, before exploding for five runs in the bottom of the third inning. After a walk and single from Stalker and Harper, Kidnie came through with a single scoring Stalker. Two batters later, Ainsley Klar (Jr.-La Crosse, Wis./Aquinas) snuck a bunt past the second baseman scoring Harper. Kristi Doucette (Sr.-Green Bay, Wis./Ashwaubenon) followed with a single up the middle scoring pinch runner Emily Muller (Fr.-Lancaster, Wis.). The final two runs of the inning came on a Janke single, scoring Klar and pinch runner Meghan O'Hearn (Woodbury, Minn.). The Green Knights scratched out one run in the top of the fourth, but Eau Claire would strike again in the fifth, scoring four runs on six hits, ending the game by the mercy rule.
Ross picked up the win in the circle, throwing all five innings allowing just one hit and striking out a career-high 10 batters. The win gives her an 11-1 record on the season. Klar went a perfect 3-for-3 in the game with an RBI and two runs scored. Harper and Janke each pitched in going 2-for-3, with Janke driving in a game-high five runs.
The Blugolds hit the road for three straight doubleheaders beginning tomorrow against St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minn. Eau Claire defeated the Saints earlier this season by scores of 11-0 and 10-1, both in five innings. Tomorrow's games are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.
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