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Softball Secures two Wins over 15th-ranked UW-Whitewater
By: Kevin Meinholz, Sports Information Director
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (UWECBlugolds.com) - The UW-Eau Claire softball team picked up two wins over the 15th-ranked UW-Whitewater Warhawks to push its winning streak to six games at Gelein Field today.
The Blugolds needed an extra inning to beat the Warhawks 5-4 in game one and followed with a 5-2 victory in the second game. The Blugolds improve to 15-15 on the season and 7-1 in conference play, while staying unbeaten (8-0) at home this year. The Warhawks, who also lost twice to UW-Superior yesterday, drop to 18-10 overall and 6-4 in the conference.
In game one with the scored tied at four apiece in the eighth inning, Aleisha Harper (So.-Mondovi, Wis./Eau Claire North) hit an RBI single with two outs to allow Tamara Zeman (Sr.-Lodi, Wis.) to score the winning run from second base.
The Blugolds, who led 3-0 after three innings of play, let the Warhawks back into the game in the fourth as Kate McDonnell hit a two-run homer to make the score 3-2. Whitewater scored two more times in the inning but the Blugolds came back with the tying run in the bottom of the fourth. Emily Haluska (Fr.-Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH) scored the run in the fourth while Harper scored in the third along with Katie Stalker (Sr.-Madison, Wis./La Follette), who picked up the game's opening run in the first.
In game two, while Eau Claire fell behind as Whitewater scored two runs in the third, Bekki Kidnie (Sr.-St. Paul, Minn./Johnson) gave the Blugolds the momentum back in the bottom of the fourth with a three-run homer, driving in Sara Baumgartner (Jr.-Arcadia, Wis.) and Emily Muller (So.-Lancaster, Wis.). The home run was Kidnie's second of the season. In the sixth, Jess Freagon (So.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./McDonell) and Jenny Hess (Fr.-Wisconsin Rapids, Wis./Lincoln) pushed the Blugolds' lead to three runs as they both scored.
Stalker and Harper both led the team with three hits on the day while Haluska had two. Kidnie had three RBIs to lead the Blugolds and Muller added two. The Blugolds managed 13 hits for the doubleheader but Whitewater had 19.
Kassie Krummel (Fr.-Walcott, Iowa/Durant) had an exceptional day in the circle as she picked up two wins to improve to 6-5. She struck out nine batters on the day, and gave up just three hits and no runs. Ashley Meinen (So.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./McDonell) started game one and pitched 3.2 innings while Jess Hegseth (Fr.-Zumbrota, Minn./Zumbrota-Mazeppa ) started game two and pitched 3.1 innings.
Next up, the Blugolds will head to UW-Superior for a Thursday doubleheader. Action will get underway at 3 p.m. Eau Claire will play its final home game of the regular season next Saturday when UW-Oshkosh comes to town.