UW-Eau Claire softball team begins conference games

The Blugolds won one game and lost three others

Maddie Kasper

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The Blugolds at UW-La Crosse.

After a series of postponed games, the UW-Eau Claire softball team began WIAC conference play with doubleheaders against UW-La Crosse and UW-Platteville last weekend.

Softball Head Coach Leslie Huntington said conference games are important and the team’s chance to fight for a bid in the conference tournament. 

“Our earlier games were also very important, with post-season implications, but if we don’t qualify for the WIAC tournament, none of those early games will matter,” Huntington said.

 

UW-La Crosse Doubleheader

 

The Blugolds faced off against the UW-La Crosse Eagles on Saturday, April 9 at the UW-La Crosse North Campus Field, according to Blugold Athletics.

The Blugolds beat the Eagles 8-4 in the first game, according to Blugold Athletics.

Blugold Athletics said third-year second baseman and designated hitter Sadie Erickson hit a homerun and third-year first baseman Megan Maruna scored during the top of the third inning.

“We played well, had timely hitting and good pitching. It was a really good win,” Huntington said.

Fourth-year catcher and outfielder Ellie Decker scored her second home run of the season during the top of the seventh inning, according to Blugold Athletics.

In the second game, the Blugolds lost to the Eagles 3-5, according to Blugold Athletics.

Both teams struggled offensively and the game was tied up, until the Eagles hit a walk-off homerun in the bottom of the seventh inning, according to Blugold Athletics.

“One pitch changes the game. The last pitch of the game was supposed to get up, and it didn’t get up quite enough, which resulted in the walk-off home run,” Huntington said. “That wasn’t the reason we lost, but it showed the importance of every single pitch.”

 

UW-Platteville Doubleheader

 

The Blugolds competed against the UW-Platteville Pioneers on Sunday, April 10 at the UW-Platteville Kendall Murray Field, according to Blugold Athletics.

The Blugolds lost to the Pioneers 4-5 in both the first and second games, according to Blugold Athletics.

Blugold Athletics said Maruna and Erickson scored in the top of the first inning during the first game.

Erickson scored a homerun during the top of the third inning and the Blugolds did not score for the rest of the first game.

“Our pitchers are getting us the balls in the play that we need, but we need to support our pitchers defensively, and through the weekend we didn’t do a very good job of that in the games we lost,” Huntington said.

Maruna scored during the top of the first inning of the second game, according to Blugold Athletics.

Third-year outfielder Shaelyn Talley scored during the top of the fourth inning and second-year outfielder and infielder Jayden Hodgson scored during the top of the sixth inning, according to Blugold Athletics.

First-year outfielder Kenna Strunsee scored the last run of the second game, according to Blugold Athletics.

“Our youth definitely shows at times but we are a very talented team, we just need to learn how to play to win rather than how to play not to lose,” Huntington said.

The games against UW-River Falls on Wednesday are postponed and the games against the College of Saint Benedict on Friday are canceled due to weather, according to Blugold Athletics.

The Blugolds return to action in a doubleheader against UW-Stevens Point on Saturday, April 23 at Bollinger Field.

Kasper can be reached at [email protected]