Softball sweeps conference foes

UW-Eau Claire softball team on six-game conference winning streak


Photo by Elizabeth Jackson

Story by Spectator Staff

In their first two games at Gelein Field this season, the Blugold softball team proved they were more than happy to finally play on home turf.

They took both games in a doubleheader against UW-Stevens Point this weekend, winning 7-2 and 8-0, respectively.

In the first game Friday, UW-Eau Claire held a 3-0 lead heading into the fifth. After two quick groundouts in the bottom of the inning, the Blugolds were able to score four runs off of three consecutive walks, a couple costly errors and a wild pitch.

The Pointers were able to score two in the top of the seventh, but it wasn’t enough, as freshman Blugold pitcher Laura Blasczyk finished things off. She threw all seven innings, only allowing two runs off of five hits in their 7-2 victory.

The Blugolds dominance continued in to game two on Friday, putting 5 runs on the board courtesy of two home runs from junior Amanda Fischer and freshman Kenzie Winning before the fifth. Fischer said playing at home definitely played a role in their success Friday.

“We were so excited to be back at Gelein,” Fischer said. “We just went in with the mentality that we wanted to protect our home turf. We haven’t played there in almost two years.”

Eau Claire added two more runs that inning and one more in the sixth to end things early at Gelein Field, completing the home field sweep against Stevens Point with an 8-0 victory. Junior Laura Raflik pitched the complete game shutout, only giving up four hit
On Monday the Blugolds continued their winning streak in a doubleheader at UW-River Falls. Eau Claire won 6-1 and 11-6 against the Falcons, respectively.

The Blugolds started off early again, scoring a quick four runs in the first inning after a walk, a double and two singles. After being walked, Fischer stole second base allowing junior Casey Arnold to start off the scoring with a deep RBI single to center field. Fischer said succeeding in close games is something the team has learned over the season.

“We’ve been in a lot of nail biters that a couple we’ve come out on top, a couple we haven’t,” Fischer said. “Those are really good learning opportunities for the entire team, but coach does take us through those types of scenarios in practice as well.”

River Falls scored one in the fourth inning, but Eau Claire responded with two more in the sixth to finish the first game with a 6-1 victory.

Blascyzk started the game at the mound but was replaced by senior Emma Wishau in the fourth. She pitched a couple innings and then sophomore Zana Lorbetske closed out the game. Combined, the three ladies only allowed one run off five hits.

The second game of the River Falls doubleheader proved to be more exciting for the Blugolds than their past three outings. In an exciting, back and forth game two, Eau Claire was able to finish off the four-game sweep with an 11-6 victory.

Eau Claire got off to an early start again, posting three runs on the board in the first inning alone. Heading into the sixth, the score was a tight 6-5 in favor of the Blugolds.

Fischer and junior Taylor Pierce led off the inning with their back-to-back singles followed by a sac bunt and an intentional walk to load the bases. Junior Nikki Brooks then stepped up to the plate and delivered a two-RBI single to centerfield.

The Blugolds scored five runs in the sixth, putting the score at 11-5. The Falcons were able to respond with a score of their own in the same inning, but that was all they could do. The game finished 11-6, ending one of the Blugold’s wildest games in recent memory. Fischer said

“In that game, we came out hard and scored three runs right away and then we just had a dead point in the game where our energy was low for some reason,” Fischer said. “But then we recognized that and picked ourselves back up and had that big inning and got some more runs.”

Raflik pitched three and a third inning before being replaced on the mound for Wishau. The second pitcher picked up her second win of the day with the Blugold victory. Lorbetske finished up the last one and two thirds inning. Combined, the ladies gave up five runs off of 12 hits.

The Blugolds also swept UW-Superior Wednesday at Gelein Field 2-0 and 15-2, respectively. With the win, Eau Claire is now on a six-game winning streak and sit at 8-4 in conference play. They are 23-13 overall.

They will play another doubleheader against UW-Oshkosh Saturday at Gelein Field. The first game begins at 2 p.m. Fischer said the team’s is coming in with the mentality of that they have to go hard, regardless of the opponent.

“We have got to go in hard,” Fischer said. “We just need to go in and play our game. If we play our game, we are going to win games. So we are going in with confidence.”