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Softball Ends WIAC Tournament with Two Losses
By: Kevin Meinholz, Sports Information Director
OSHKOSH, Wis. (UWECBlugolds.com) - After picking up with two wins on day one of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Tournament yesterday, the UW-Eau Claire softball team was unable to score a run today and fell twice at Oshkosh Sports Complex.
The Blugolds opened the day with a 5-0 loss to conference and tournament champion UW-La Crosse and fell 7-0 to UW-Whitewater later in the day. The Blugolds finish the season with a 21-21 record, but finished in second place in the WIAC with an 11-5 record.
La Crosse earned the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament. The complete 60-team field will be announced Monday on NCAA.com. Eight of the 60 teams will advance to the national championship, which UW-Eau Claire will host at Gelein Field in Carson Park May 21-25.
Coming into the day, the Blugolds had only been shut out three other times this season with the last time coming on March 28 in a 1-0 loss at Simpson College (Iowa).
Eau Claire struggled the entire day on offense, managing just three hits on the day, two in game one and one in game two. Katie Stalker (Sr.-Madison, Wis./La Follette), Jess Freagon (So.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./McDonell) and Aleisha Harper (So.-Mondovi, Wis./Eau Claire North) recorded hits for Eau Claire.
Stalker and Freagon each finished game one with a stolen base. It was Stalker's 33rd of the season, which tied for second on the Blugolds' list for most stolen bases in a season. Tammy Brandt also had 33 in 1996 while the record is 34, set by Brandt in 1995.
In the circle, Ashley Meinen (So.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./McDonell) pitched 3.2 innings in game one and suffered the loss after giving up four runs and seven hits. Kassie Krummel (Fr.-Walcott, Iowa/Durant) finished the game and struck out four batters while allowing one run and three hits.
In game two, Jess Hegseth (Fr.-Zumbrota, Minn./Zumbrota-Mazeppa ) pitched just 1.1 innings but gave up five hits and a four runs before Krummel relieved her. Krummel stayed in 4.2 innings but gave up six hits and three runs with one strikeout while Meinen pitched the final inning.