Blugolds take down Pointers to open WIAC

Double home runs secure a win and a tie for the Blugolds

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Blugolds take down Pointers to open WIAC

The Blugolds getting excited to face off against the Pointers.

The Blugolds getting excited to face off against the Pointers.

Photo by Submitted

The Blugolds getting excited to face off against the Pointers.

Photo by Submitted

Photo by Submitted

The Blugolds getting excited to face off against the Pointers.

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After a week in Florida, the UW-Eau Claire softball team faced off against UW-Stevens Point, walking away with a win and a tie. The game opened the 2019 WIAC season.

The Blugolds started the first game off by scoring one run in the second inning. Then in the third, Meghan Witt, a first-year infielder, hit a two-run home run, giving the Blugolds a strong lead. Maria Back, a first-year infielder, hit an RBI double in the fourth inning, bringing in two more runs.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Pointers scored a run, which was countered by the Blugolds, who scored another run at the top of the sixth, thanks to Katie Rongstad – a third-year infielder and outfielder. The Pointers came back by scoring three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and two more in the bottom of the seventh, which pushed the game into extra innings.

In the top of the eighth, Witt hit her second two-run home run of the game, followed by a third run after second-year catcher and infielder Abbey Place hit a wild pitch. The game ended with a score of 9-6, securing the Blugolds first win in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Witt said her strong performance in the game felt amazing.

“Continuing to trust my process at the plate, looking for my pitch to hit, and trying to get on base any way I can,” Witt said. “Having the ball go over the fence is an added bonus, and being able to help the team out in any way I can is a great feeling.”

The team’s energy was high throughout the game, similar to their games over spring break.

“The high level of energy we brought to these games was the same energy we had in Florida,” Decker said. “Our team is constantly supporting each other. We would have played all night if that’s what it would have taken.”

The second game started with a big lead from the Pointers, who scored four runs in the first inning. The Blugolds retaliated by scoring three runs in the second inning and three more in the third. With a score of 6-4, the Pointers caught back up to the Blugolds in the seventh inning after scoring two more runs which pushed the game into extra innings.

Neither team scored in the final innings of the game and because of the lack of lights, the game ended in a tie.

Witt went 5-for-9 with two home runs, a double and four RBIs while Place 6-for-9 with two doubles.

The week in Florida along with both games against Stevens Point showed the team’s persistence, Witt said.

“I think those games in Florida and extra inning games yesterday show the fight and determination we have as a team,” Witt said. “How we always fight until the last pitch, but also emphasize the importance of capitalizing on any opportunity we have to score more runs and shut our opponents down offensively.”

Decker said something similar by highlighting the teams’ determination as well.

“In Florida, we definitely built up our team comradery and that continues to grow with every game we play,” Decker said. “We also brought back a sense of confidence and an expectation of victory. While Stevens Point put up a great fight to tie the game late, we did not break down and knew that we were not going to let it slip away. I feel like this moment really showed my team’s dedication to one another as we constantly picked each other up  and ultimately won the game together.”

The Blugolds will host UW-River Falls on Wednesday, April 10 as they continue their WIAC journey, as well as Northwestern University on Thursday in non-conference play.

Huling can be reached at [email protected]

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