Softball splits versus Titans

Poor weather halts UW-Eau Claire’s final two games of regular season against UW-Whitewater on Sunday

Story by Meghan Hosely, Staff Writer

Last weekend, the Blugold softball team was scheduled to face UW-Oshkosh and UW-Whitewater for their final four games of conference play.

Instead, UW-Eau Claire only played against Oshkosh, the games against Whiterwater were cancelled due to poor weather.

On Saturday, UW-Eau Claire split their doubleheader against Oshkosh, losing the first game 7-5 and winning the second 6-1.

The Blugolds won its first game against the Titans  7-5. Although, the Blugolds didn’t start off hot and gave up four runs in the first inning.

Freshman pitcher Lauren Blascyzk allowed three runs and only recorded a single out before the coaches turned to the bullpen. Senior Emma Wishau replaced her.

In their half of the first inning, Eau Claire warmed up their bats and started chipping away at their quick deficit. By the bottom of the third, the Blugolds were down by just two runs. One inning later, they had a 5-4 lead and it was just a matter of keeping it.

But Oshkosh didn’t give up easily. At the top of the sixth, a two-run home run gave the Titans the lead they wanted, and they kept it. Eau Claire recorded their first loss of the weekend, even with good pitching and batting.

“In my opinion, we should’ve won the first game,” junior left fielder Nikki Brooks said. “It’s a game of inches, and we’re off by one inch to lose a game.”

The next game was a different story for the Blugolds. Although Oshkosh scored first again, Eau Claire took the lead in the bottom of the second.

Freshman Kenzie Winning hit her fourth career-long ball out to center, a three-run homer, pushing the Blugolds in front of Oshkosh 3-1.

The Blugolds didn’t strike again until the bottom of the sixth, adding three more runs to win 6-1. Junior pitcher Laura Raflik was credited the win, her ninth of the season.

The doubleheader on Sunday against Whitewater was cancelled due to rain. Head coach Leslie Huntington said the WIAC has a “drop dead date,” which is the last day to play any postponed games. Since that day was last Tuesday, Huntington said there is little chance the team will face the Warhawks.

“We really look forward to the Whitewater double header every year,” Huntington said. “It’s always a battle when we play. … It’s competitive, it’s exciting, it’s a lot of respectful competition.”

The Blugolds have a week of practice before the WIAC Tournament. Entering the postseason, the team has a chance to face opponents it played earlier in the year, such as UW-La Crosse and UW-Stout.

Junior catcher Casey Arnold said she is feeling positive about the tournament this weekend.

“We’re definitely bringing it together in the areas we were struggling; we’re better … a completely different team now,” Arnold said. “So I definitely think that we’ll be able to beat those teams, and I think we have a great shot to win the tournament.”

The Blugolds play this Friday through Sunday, their first game starting at 2 p.m. at UWStout. The winner of the tournament gets an automatic bid into NCAA Regional play.