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Softball Splits Again At WIAC Cluster Tourney
Posted: Sunday, April 17, 2005
OSHKOSH - The seventh-ranked UW-Eau Claire softball team managed just seven hits in two games but salvaged a split, falling to UW-Stevens Point 3-0 and defeating UW-Platteville 2-1 here today in the final day of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Cluster Tournament.
The Blugolds go to 23-6 on the year and 6-2 in WIAC action. They finish the WIAC Cluster Tournament with an even record of 2-2.
Eau Claire could not get the bats going in either game today and managed only four hits in a shutout loss to Stevens Point. Mallory McKinney (So.-Brooklyn Park, MN/Champlin Park) and Kelly Jablonski were in an all-out pitchers dual until the bottom half of the sixth, when the Pointers finally broke a scoreless tie with three runs. McKinney carried a perfect game into the fifth but hit a batter and allowed a single with two outs in the inning. She could not record an out in the sixth and was lifted for reliever Molly Johnson (Jr.-Wisconsin Rapids/Lincoln) after allowing a double and a single to begin the inning. Danielle Ashbeck and Stephanie Anderson followed the pitching change with back-to-back doubles and a 3-0 Pointer lead.
The Blugolds put a small rally together in their last at-bat, as Jill Janke (Fr.-Black River Falls) doubled and Shannon Barone (So.-DePere) singled to bring the tying run to the plate with nobody out. Jablonski retired the next three hitters in order to end the threat and hand Eau Claire its sixth loss of the year.
Janke finished the day 2-for-3 as the Blugolds tallied just four hits in the loss. McKinney took the loss to fall to 10-4 on the year.
The Blugolds were able to muster just three hits in their final game of tournament but came away with a 2-1 victory over Platteville. Andrea Neuville (Jr.-Green Bay/West) baffled the Pioneer hitters, allowing just one run on five hits in a complete game effort. She struck out four and walked nobody.
Eau Claire took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first to give Neuville some early run support. Janke struck out to lead off the inning but reached first on a passed ball. A sacrifice bunt moved the pinch runner to third and Barone came up with a big, two-out RBI single for the early lead.
The Pioneers finally got to Neuville in the fourth, tying the game at one when Wendi Siedschlag knocked an RBI double with one out. Neuville would work out of the jam to keep the game tied. The Blugolds fired right back in the bottom of the fourth. Barone led things off with a single and moved to second on another sacrifice bunt. Two batters later, Megan Oster (Fr.-Eau Claire/Immanuel Lutheran) delivered the big blow, doubling to left field to score Barone for the game-winning run.
Neuville earned the win to improve to 11-2 on the season. Her ERA is a miniscule 0.84 on the year. Barone was 2-for-3 for the game with an RBI and a run scored.
The Blugolds will be back in action this Wednesday when they host UW-Stout for a doubleheader. The action begins at 4:00 p.m. at Carson Park.
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