Blugolds beaten soundly

Story by Martha Landry

It was a mutual agreement among the UW-Eau Claire softball team that they were a little off their game during Monday’s doubleheader.

“Usually we are a team who thrives under pressure,” senior Kaity Acker said. “I think any of us would say we wish we could replay those two games again.”

They had the mindset going into the game that it would be like any other, Acker said, even though they knew it was going to be tough.

Head coach Leslie Huntington agreed with Acker saying the Blugolds normally handle pressure well.

“We lacked focus and I think that we lacked positive energy … and the team agrees,” said Huntington.

In game one, the Blugolds committed six errors, tying their season high. As a team, they were unable to figure out exactly where they went wrong in game one and what caused the errors.

“The game of softball is a crazy game … you can never predict what is going to happen and so we really focus on playing the game one pitch at a time,” Huntington said. “The mistakes just compounded one on another and we didn’t come out very sharp.”

UW-La Crosse came out swinging in game one. They jumped to an early lead in the second inning, but the Blugolds soon answered when senior Sara Baumgartner scored on junior Jess Freagon’s double.

The Eagles kept bringing the heat, scoring four runs in the third and two more in the sixth, bringing their lead to 9-1.

In the bottom of the sixth, Freagon and sophomore Emily Haluska scored two runs, but the Blugolds were unable to keep the Eagles from scoring three more times in the seventh, cinching their loss.

Freshman Emma Wishau pitched her first loss of the season on Monday. She had five runs scored against her. Junior Ashley Meinen had better luck and struck two batters out in the three innings she pitched.

Game two wasn’t any easier than game one. In the second inning La Crosse took the first run.

Game two wasn’t any easier than the first. In the second inning La Crosse took the first run.

The Eagles kept coming and in the sixth inning the they had a lead of 8-0.

Acker sent a homer sailing to right center field in the bottom of the sixth, to keep the game from ending early. Junior Aleisha Harper also scored a run in the sixth, but it was the last the Blugolds would score.

“I don’t think we underestimated (UW-La Crosse),” said Acker, “but we knew we had to play well to beat them and we just didn’t do it.”

The Blugolds are now 23-9 on the season and 6-4 in conference play. Today they face UW-River Falls at Gelein Field for a doubleheader.