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Softball Falls Twice to UW-La Crosse
By: Kevin Meinholz, Sports Information Director
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (UWECBlugolds.com) - The 25th-ranked UW-Eau Claire softball team had a tough time handling UW-La Crosse and dropped a doubleheader, 12-3 in game one and 8-2 in game two, at Gelein Field today.
The Blugolds are now 23-9 on the season and 6-4 in conference play while UW-La Crosse improves to 21-12 overall and 7-5 in the conference. Eau Claire has dropped six straight games to La Crosse, three of which were home games, dating back to 2009.
In game one today, La Crosse jumped out to the early lead with a run in the second inning but the Blugolds answered right back in the bottom of the inning with Sara Baumgartner (Sr.-Arcadia, Wis.) scoring on a Jess Freagon (Jr.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./McDonell) double.
But the Eagles poured it on and scored four runs in the third, two in the fourth and two more in the sixth to take a 9-1 lead. The Blugolds cut the lead to six in the bottom of the sixth as Freagon and Emily Haluska (So.-Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH) scored two runs. However, the Eagles added three more runs in the top of the seventh to get back up by nine.
The Blugolds struggled on defense as they committed six errors to tie a season high. But La Crosse also came away with 14 hits, the second highest total the Blugolds had given up all season.
Three different Blugold pitchers saw action but starter Emma Wishau (Fr.-Waterford, Wis./Union) was given the loss, her first of the season. She pitched 2.2 innings and had five runs score against her, three of which were earned. Ashley Meinen (Jr.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./McDonell) pitched three innings and struck out two batters while Emily Ruegemer (Fr.-St. Cloud, Minn./Cathedral) closed the game.
In the second game, La Crosse again scored a run in the second inning to get things going. They continued to put up more runs with four in the third, one in the fourth and two in the sixth to take an 8-0 lead.
Eau Claire was able to avoid having the game end early by scoring twice in the bottom of the sixth. Kaity Acker (Sr.-Cross Plains, Wis./Middleton) got it going as the leadoff batter with a homer to right center. Later in the inning, Aleisha Harper (Jr.-Mondovi, Wis./Eau Claire North) scored but that was all the Blugolds could manage.
Again, La Crosse batted well, coming away with 16 hits, which tied a season high for most given up in a game by the Blugolds. Eau Claire finished with just two hits but did not have any errors.
Lauren Carlson (Fr.-Eagan, Minn.) started the game for the Blugolds and dropped to a record of 7-3 after pitching 2.1 innings. Wishau saw time in 3.1 innings and struck out one batter while Jess Hegseth (So.-Zumbrota, Minn./Zumbrota-Mazeppa ) closed the game facing seven batters.
Next up, the Blugolds will be at home Thursday for a doubleheader against UW-River Falls beginning at 4 p.m. The doubleheader was originally scheduled for Tuesday but predicted weather conditions moved the game back two days.