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Softball Pulls off Eighth Inning Win to Split with River Falls
By: Ashley Hofer, Sports Information Student
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (UWECBlugolds.com) - An eighth inning triple pushed the Blugolds to the win in game two, and helped the No. 23 UW-Eau Claire softball team split a doubleheader with UW-River Falls this afternoon.
The Falcons claimed the 2-1 win in the first game, but the Blugolds turned the tables and secured the 2-1 win in the second. In the first game, Eau Claire was held hitless until the fourth inning, but the offense ignited when Sara Baumgartner (Sr.-Arcadia, Wis.) smacked a triple to right field to open the fourth. Aleisha Harper (Jr.-Mondovi, Wis./Eau Claire North) singled on a bunt and gave the Blugold the first lead of the game.
But River Falls countered with its first scores of the afternoon in the seventh inning to claim the win. With several runners on and two outs in the books, the Falcons came through with a single to score the two winning runs.
Emma Wishau (Fr.-Waterford, Wis./Union) recorded the loss, dropping to 5-2 on the year. She pitched 6.2 innings and recorded two strikeouts. At the plate, the Blugolds managed four hits and a walk.
In the second game, River Falls took a one-run lead in the fifth. After two quick outs, a single followed by a double was enough to step out in front of the Blugolds. With the game on the line in the bottom of the seventh, a Falcon error let Jenny Hess (So.-Wisconsin Rapids, Wis./Lincoln) reach and give Eau Claire a runner on base. With two sacrifices, Hess quickly advanced to third base. Baumgartner nailed a single to right field to score Hess and record the tying run.
As the game went into extra innings, Eau Claire halted the River Falls offense in the top of the eighth. When the Blugolds came up to bat, another River Falls error put Emily Haluska (So.-Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH) on first. Nikki Bromelkamp (Jr.-Zumbrota, Minn./Zumbrota-Mazeppa) came through with a triple, driving home the game-winning run.
Ashley Meinen (Jr.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./McDonell) pitched the key eighth inning and thus earned the win. She improves to 8-5 on the year. The win also boosted the Blugolds to 24-10 overall and 7-5 in the WIAC. River Falls drops to 18-13, 9-3 this season.
This Saturday, the Blugolds will hit the road to play a doubleheader against UW-Stevens Point. The first game is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.