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Softball Falls Twice on Second Day of NFCA Leadoff Classic
By: Kevin Meinholz, Sports Information Director
PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (UWECBlugolds.com) - A day after the UW-Eau Claire softball team won two games to open the season, the Blugolds fell twice on the second day of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Leadoff Classic at the Frank Brown Complex today.
The Blugolds (2-2) opened the day against fourth-ranked East Texas Baptist with an 8-2 loss. The loss put the Blugolds into the tournament's silver bracket as the No. 1 seed and set up a game against 20th-ranked Central College (Iowa). Eau Claire gave up two early runs and was never able to recover in a 2-0 loss.
In the first game of the day, Eau Claire jumped out to an early lead, as Katie Stalker (Sr.-Madison, Wis./La Follette) scored following an Aleisha Harper (So.-Mondovi, Wis./Eau Claire North) sacrifice fly in the first inning. The Blugolds held the lead until the third inning when East Texas scored twice while adding two more runs in the fourth.
Jess Freagon (So.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./McDonell) scored in the fifth for the Blugolds to cut East Texas' lead to just two, but the Tigers scored four runs in the sixth to help secure the win.
The Blugolds finished the game with four errors and East Texas' only runs came in the innings the Blugolds committed the errors.
In game two against Central College, the Dutch scored twice in the bottom of the first and the Blugolds managed just two hits the rest of the game. The Blugolds' best opportunity at scoring came in the sixth inning when runners were on second and third but Emily Muller (So.-Lancaster, Wis.) was thrown out at home to end the inning.
Ashley Meinen (So.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./McDonell) pitched six innings on the day and struck out two batters while Jess Hegseth (Fr.-Zumbrota , Minn./Zumbrota-Mazeppa ) pitched three innings against East Texas and Kassie Krummel (Fr.-Walcott, Iowa/Durant) pitched three innings against Central. Hegseth and Krummel were credited with losses in the circle.
Eau Claire will play two more games Sunday with the first one slated for 8:30 a.m. against Alma College (Mich.), a team the Blugolds beat 6-5 in eight innings Friday in their season opener. The time and opponent of the Blugolds' final game at the classic will be determined based on the outcome against Alma.