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Softball Splits with Fourth-Ranked Luther
By: Ashley Hofer, Sports Information Student
DECORAH, Iowa (UWECBlugolds.com) - After dropping the first game 6-2, a grand slam in the sixth inning of the second game rallied the UW-Eau Claire softball team to a 6-5 win to split games against No. 4 Luther College (Iowa) in today's doubleheader.
In game one, the Blugolds jumped out to a two-run lead in the first inning, but couldn’t get the offense going the rest of the game. Aleisha Harper (Jr.-Mondovi, Wis./Eau Claire North) connected on a lead-off single, and later stole second to get into scoring position. Emily Muller (Jr.-Lancaster, Wis.) nailed a double to score Harper, and later tallied a run of her own off Jess Freagon's (Jr.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./McDonell) single.
Luther raced away with the game, scoring five runs in the second and adding another in the sixth to seal the game. Ashley Meinen (Jr.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./McDonell) recorded the loss in the outing after pitching 2.1 innings and giving up five runs.
The Norse initially took control of the second game as well. Eau Claire started the first inning two up, two down, but Muller broke through with a single. After she stole second, Sara Baumgartner (Sr.-Arcadia, Wis.) nailed an RBI-single that gave the Blugolds a one-run lead.
But the advantage was short lived, as Luther tied up the game with a run in the second and blasted out four runs in the second. Eau Claire slowly started a comeback in the fourth, when Freagon hit a solo homerun to make it a 5-2 game. Then, in the top of the sixth, the Blugolds loaded the bases. With the go-ahead run at the plate, Nikki Bromelkamp (Jr.-Zumbrota, Minn./Zumbrota-Mazeppa) hit a grand slam to snatch a one-run lead and the game.
Emma Wishau (Fr.-Waterford, Wis./Union) earned the win, pitching 3.2 innings. She gave up just two hits and struck out three batters. Bromelkamp’s homerun led the Blugolds in RBIs while Baumgartner went three-of-four and recorded one run and one RBI.
Eau Claire improves to 12-4 on the season. Next up on the Blugold schedule is a doubleheader at UW-Stout this Thursday, the Blugolds’ first games in WIAC play this year. Competition is set to begin at 4 p.m.