Eau Claire softball team plays two games on Sunday

Blugolds secure one win out of two matches

Liz Curtin

More stories from Liz Curtin



Softball team plans to reflect and improve

The UW-Eau Claire softball team played two games on Sunday in Rochester, Minnesota. Eau Claire lost their first game against Gustavus Adolphus 5-11 but won their second game against Grinnell 16-2. 

Eau Claire had a total of 63 at-bats this Sunday with 33 in the first game and 30 in the second. These matches gave the team their fourth win and fourth loss this season. The team’s coach, Leslie Huntington, said the loss to Gustavus Adolphus may have been due to their pitching. 

“I think our pitchers need to do a better job of getting ahead in the count and then staying ahead in the count,” Huntington said. 

She also explained Gustavus Adolphus is a hard team to play against due to their coach, Coley Welter. Chloe Garofalo, a sophomore softball player, and exercise science student, said that the team also struggled to take charge in the first game. 

“During that game versus Gustavus, we were being a little bit too cautious because a lot of us have really big bats so we were letting the pitcher and the umpire determine the outcome of our bats rather than us taking control,” Garofalo said. 

Garofalo plays outfield and first base but caught in the most recent games. Before playing Grinnell, Eau Claire used its downtime to eat, stretch, reflect and discuss what they could improve on from the previous game. 

Megan Maruna, a senior business management student, who played second and first base in the most recent games, said  Huntington has them discuss what they have done well after each game but also what they need to improve on and how they can do that. She calls it a “well, better how” discussion. 

Huntington also said that it’s important that her players gain a stronger game awareness meaning they are able to assess the current state of the game and adjust accordingly. 

“Ultimately, the difference maker between the good teams and the great teams is just having that awareness,” Maruna said. 

In addition to game awareness, Huntington made it clear there was another thing the team would need if they wanted to succeed in the future. 

“We’re just looking for some players with some grit and determination, somebody to step up, take charge, take the team on their back and be that emotional leader for us,” Huntington said. 

After their break, Eau Claire was able to win against Grinnell. Garofalo said the team was helped by their ability to “refocus” during their break. 

However, her teammate Maruna explained that during the second game, they did a better job of attacking the strike zone and were able to improve in other areas as well which may have led to their victory. 

“We just did a really good job of making plays for our pitchers and making the routine plays,” Maruna said. 

The team returned from their trip to Rochester Sunday evening and was given Monday off to recharge. Both Garofalo and Maruna have said they were relieved to have the day off. 

Garofalo also expressed her gratitude towards the athletic staff for making sure that the team is in a good condition before practice starts again. 

The team went back to practice on Tuesday. The team will have their next two games on March 19 against St. Catherine and Tufts University at the Diamondplex Field

Curtin can be contacted at [email protected]