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Softball Splits on Day Two of WIAC Tournament
By: Kevin Meinholz, Sports Information Director
RIVER FALLS, Wis. (UWECBlugolds.com) - The UW-Eau Claire softball team split on day two of the 2011 WIAC Tournament, losing 4-1 to 22nd-ranked UW-La Crosse in game one while beating UW-Superior 6-1 in game two at Ramer Field.
The Blugolds (28-13) will now face UW-La Crosse in an elimination contest tomorrow at 10 a.m. The winner will move on to the championship game, which is slated for noon, against UW-River Falls.
Against UW-La Crosse today, the Blugolds opened with a run in the first inning. Sara Baumgartner (Sr.-Arcadia, Wis.) led off with a double and went to third after an Aleisha Harper (Jr.-Mondovi, Wis./Eau Claire North) single. Baumgartner then made it home after a Jess Freagon (Jr.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./McDonell) groundout to give the Blugolds a 1-0 lead.
But La Crosse answered, scoring three runs in the top of the third and another in the fourth to take a 4-1 lead. The Eagles finished with 10 hits while the Blugolds had four.
Three different pitchers saw time in the circle for Eau Claire. Emma Wishau (Fr.-Waterford, Wis./Union) started the game and allowed four hits and three runs in two innings. She was given to the loss. Jess Hegseth (So.-Zumbrota, Minn./Zumbrota-Mazeppa ) and Emily Ruegemer (Fr.-St. Cloud, Minn./Cathedral) also pitched and Ruegemer recorded two strikeouts.
In game two against Yellowjackets, who the Blugolds eliminated from the conference tournament, the Blugolds’ bats came alive as they recorded 10 hits and six runs.
Eau Claire started quickly, scoring two runs in the first inning. Freagon and Emily Muller (Jr.-Lancaster, Wis.) both crossed home plate for Eau Claire in the opening inning.
While Superior scored once in the bottom of the fifth to make it 4-1, the Blugolds answered with two more runs in the top of the sixth. With one on and one out, Baumgartner came to the plate and nailed a two-run homer to left field. Haley Williams (Fr.-Waunakee, Wis.) scored on the play.
Ashley Meinen (Jr.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./McDonell) pitched 4.1 innings as she struck out two batters and allowed just two hits and a run. She improved to 10-6 on the season. Lauren Carlson (Fr.-Eagan, Minn.) closed the game, pitching the final 2.2 innings and struck out three batters.