The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Blugolds sweep Friday doubleheader against MSOE

Blugolds come from behind in game one in the doubleheader, while an offensive outburst in game two propels them to sweep the series
The Blugolds at bat. These games brought the Blugolds to 10-6 overall for the season so far. Photo used with permission from UWEC Sports Information.

The Blugold softball team swept a doubleheader Friday afternoon against the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) Raiders, winning game one with a score of 6-3 and winning game two by 12-2 and increasing their winning streak to four games. 

In game one, the Blugolds fell behind in the fifth inning by a score of 3-2, but a two-run home run off the bat of first-year Molly Marquardt propelled the Blugolds ahead in the game.

Two insurance runs scored courtesy of first-year Breann Blanchard and second-year Paige Lathrop gave enough offense to help the pitching staff. 

The pitching staff was able to hold off the Raiders for the rest of the game as first-year Lauren Trottier pitched two scoreless innings in the sixth and seventh innings to seal the victory for the Blugolds and pick up her first collegiate victory. 

Story continues below advertisement

The Blugolds have prioritized their pitching getting better and head coach Leslie Huntington has stressed the importance of the pitching staff controlling their pitches and not walking batters. 

“A point of emphasis that we’ve made is cutting down on walks and is something we need to get a lot better at,” Huntington said. “We’ve got to keep improving on our ability to hit the strike zone and doing a better job of getting ahead in counts.” 

In game two for the Blugolds, the offense continued its success at the plate on the day as they got the scoring started on a run-batted-in single courtesy of third-year Megan Patterson in the second inning.

The Blugolds kept the scoring up in the 2nd as two more runs crossed the plate in the inning, getting them out to a 3-0 lead. The offense kept at it as Patterson drove in another run in the fourth inning and Marquardt hit a three-run home run in the fifth inning to extend the Blugolds’ lead 7-1. 

Marquardt, who homered twice on the day and moved herself to second place in the conference in home runs, gives credit to the emphasis on bunting and the selflessness of her teammates moving runners up for her success at the plate. 

“Our lineup did a really good job of laying down our sacrifice bunts on the first try,” Marquardt said. “That’s something that we worked on in practice this week and being able to move runners into scoring position for our batters to drive them in really helped us be successful today.”

The game was put out of reach in the sixth inning when third-year Claire Beck hit a grand slam on the first pitch of her at bat, forcing the ten-run rule to be put in place as the Blugolds won the game 12-2. 

The offense for their efforts only left two runners on base in game two and Huntington was very pleased with how the team executed with runners on base. 

“We’ve talked about in practice with the importance of moving runners into scoring position and getting them in with base hits,” Huntington said. “We did a really good job with our timing knowing that the pitcher was throwing a bit slower and showed good patience up at the plate.”

Despite the offensive output from the Blugolds in game two, the pitching staff was solid in game two being led by a complete game from third-year Jacie Schultz, who struck out seven Raiders and only gave up two runs in the outing. 

Getting length out of the pitching staff was crucial to the Blugolds in game two, who are still searching to find the right pitching combination going down the stretch and Huntington hopes that Friday’s performance for Schultz gives them a good option going forward. 

“We’re searching for that combination of starter, middle relief, and closer but are looking to use the strengths of our pitchers,” Huntington said. “Outside of some parts where she struggled early, Jacie did a fantastic job pitching to her strengths in game two.” 

The Blugolds return home on at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 7 for their home opener against College of St. Benedict for another scheduled doubleheader. 

Mikalofsky can be reached at [email protected]

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Spectator intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. The Spectator does not allow anonymous comments and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Spectator Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *