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St. Thomas Sinks Softball on First Day of Regionals
By: Ashley Hofer, Sports Information Student
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (UWECBlugolds.com) - The UW-Eau Claire softball team managed three runs off 10 hits, but it wasn't enough to move past the University of St. Thomas (Minn.) as the Blugolds fell 9-3 in the first day of the NCAA Division III Regional tournament at Gelein Field this afternoon.
St. Thomas took an early three-run lead with scores in the second and third innings. Aleisha Harper (Jr.-Mondovi, Wis./Eau Claire North) got the Blugold offense started by launching a lead-off double to left center in the fourth inning. Later, a single from Jess Freagon (Jr.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./McDonell) drove Harper home for the team’s first score of the afternoon.
But the Tommies continued to charge ahead of the Blugolds. St. Thomas added five runs in the bottom of the fourth, powered by a solo home run and a pair of doubles. Eau Claire kept fighting, and notched three consecutive singles to load the bases in the fifth. A fielder’s choice gave the Blugolds all they needed to add another run to the board. The Blugolds drew even closer in the sixth inning, as Brittany Bergquist (So.-Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH) hit a sacrifice fly to score Haley Williams (Fr.-Waunakee, Wis.) for the team’s third and final score of the evening.
St. Thomas tallied one more run in the sixth to seal the game, beating the Blugolds with a final score of 9-3. Emma Wishau (Fr.-Waterford, Wis./Union) recorded the loss for the game. She pitched just over two innings, giving up six hits and three runs. Freagon, who hit one of the Blugolds’ RBIs, had a strong day at the plate going three-for-four.
The Blugolds are now 29-15 overall. St. Thomas improves to 40-4 on the season.
Regional action will continue when the Blugolds will play the loser of today’s game four, UW-River Falls or Ripon College, at 1:30 p.m. tomorrow. St. Thomas will play the winner of the same game tomorrow at 6:30 p.m.