Softball splits weekend games

Story by Monica Baltich

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Game 1

The Blugolds began the first game with an immediate two run lead in the first inning, and even though they lost 6-2, Head Coach Leslie Huntington said this feat really impressed her.

“I think we caught Luther off guard because we came out right away with a lot of energy,” she said. “Unfortunately, we went into a kind of lull and wasn’t able to get (the lead) back.”

Junior Emily Muller earned the second run of the game and said being able to come out strong against Luther’s pitcher was a great achievement.

“We came out on fire against their top pitcher, so I was pretty pumped,” she said. “But we were victims of that one bad inning. Our bats just died and it is hard to come back from that.”

Both Huntington and Muller said the team has been struggling defensively, but Huntington said part of the problem in the first game was just a matter of confidence.

“In the first game, there were mixed messages between the players believing that we could play against a team like Luther,” she said. “In the second game, at some point we just started to believe we could.”

Game 2

With a newfound confidence, the Blugolds won the second game 6-5, but it was by no means an easy win. UWEC had the initial lead until Luther scored four runs in the second inning.

By the sixth inning, the score was 5-2 in Luther’s favor. With the bases loaded, Junior Nikki Bromelkamp stepped up to the plate and hit a grand slam, putting them up by one and taking the game.

“I just had to laugh because as I was running I heard coach yelling ‘get out, get out!’” Bromelkamp said. “It was pretty exciting because this was my first official collegiate home run.”

This week, the Blugolds will have their first WIAC game against UW-Stout on Thursday and will also be playing Central College (Iowa), another nationally ranked team.

Huntington said they will be working on their defense this week in preparation for Stout. She said they are hoping to practice on the field because she thinks their indoor practices are a liability.

“It’s kind of like taking one step forward and two steps back because we go away and get to play on the field and then have to come back and play inside,” she said. “ A lot of other teams have been able to practice outside for a while now so we need to catch up.”