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Softball Closes Regular Season at UW-Stevens Point
By: Kevin Meinholz, Sports Information Director
STEVENS POINT, Wis. (UWECBlugolds.com) - The 23rd-ranked UW-Eau Claire softball team struggled in its final regular season outing, falling twice at UW-Stevens Point today.
Eau Claire dropped game one 7-5 while falling in game two 8-1. The Blugolds finish the regular season with a 26-12 overall and 9-7 conference record to take in fourth place in the league. Stevens Point improved to 21-15 overall and 6-10 in the conference.
In game one, the Blugolds jumped out to a 3-0 lead in their first at-bat. Sara Baumgartner (Sr.-Arcadia, Wis.), Aleisha Harper (Jr.-Mondovi, Wis./Eau Claire North) and Jess Freagon (Jr.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./McDonell) all scored runs in the inning. While Stevens Point answered with two runs in the bottom of the first, the Blugolds built a two-run lead after an Emily Haluska (So.-Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH) score in the top of the third.
However, the Pointers scored four runs in the bottom of the third, three of which came on a home run to left field, to take a lead they wouldn’t give up.
Baumgartner scored the Blugolds’ final run in the fourth to make the score 6-5 in favor of Stevens Point but the Pointers scored once more in the fifth to take a two-run lead.
Emma Wishau (Fr.-Waterford, Wis./Union) was given the loss after allowing seven hits and seven runs in 4.1 innings. She faced 23 batters, striking out three. Ashley Meinen (Jr.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./McDonell) finished the game and allowed just one hit.
In the second game, Stevens Point used a big second inning to take a commanding lead. The Pointers scored six runs in the second inning, three of which came on another home run to left field.
The lone Blugold score came in the fourth as a Jenny Hess (So.-Wisconsin Rapids, Wis./Lincoln) single scored Freagon. Stevens Point scored two more runs, one in the fifth and one in the sixth, to push its lead to seven.
Meinen, who started the game and pitched just 1.2 innings, gave up six hits and six runs while picking up one strikeout. She was given the loss to drop to 9-6 on the season. Emily Ruegemer (Fr.-St. Cloud, Minn./Cathedral) pitched the final 4.1 innings and gave up nine hits but only two runs. Ruegemer had one strikeout.
Next up, the Blugolds will compete in the WIAC Tournament, which is scheduled to be played May 6-8. The Blugolds enter the tournament as the No. 4 seed and will play at 2 p.m. Friday against UW-Whitewater. The double-elimination tournament will take place at River Falls, the tournament's No. 1 seed.