Softball takes on Florida

    The Blugolds finished above five hundred at PFX Games

    More stories from Alivia Kistler


    Photo by SUBMITTED

    The Spring Games tournament brought together over 300 teams from around North America to play in Clermont, Fla.

    UW-Eau Claire’s softball team took a trip down to Clermont, Fla. for the PFX Games over Spring Break. The Blugolds won eight of the 14 games they played.

    The Spring Game tournament is hosted by PFX Athletics and includes college softball teams from around the country as well as Canada.

    Blugolds opened Friday,March 16th with two wins to start the tournament. In the first game, Blugolds played against Pomona-Pitzer. Katie Rongstad, second-year and in/out fielder, started the game with a hit that resulted in a double. The third inning secured the victory in the first game, with UW-Eau Claire scoring four runs.The Blugolds won 6-4.

    In the second game, UW-Eau Claire played against Albright college. Throughout seven innings, Morgan Sivak,first-year and pitcher, threw seven strikeouts and held them scoreless. The Blugolds won 5-0.

    Saturday started with Blugolds facing off against the Transylvania Pioneers for their third game of the tournament. UW-Eau Claire out-hit Transylvania seven to four, but only managed one run this game. This resulted in their first loss of the tournament. Their second game of the day saw a turn around for the Blugolds as they out ran their opponents and kept up their offense. UW-Eau Claire scored twice in the first inning, five times in the second and ended the fourth inning with scoring once more. The Blugolds won the five-inning shortened game against MCLA 8-0.

    Sunday UW-Eau Claire was playing against Babson and Allegheny. When playing against the Babson Beavers, ranked number 14 in the country, the Blugolds lost 6-4. Even with the attempt to catch up in the top of the seventh, Gretchen Arneson‘s, second-year catcher for the Blugolds, runs did not surpass the Beavers. In their second game of the day, the Blugolds lost 10-9 to the Gators.

    On Monday March 19th, Blugolds played their seventh and eighth games in Clermont. Their first opponent of the day was the Knights from Carleton College out of Northfield, Minn. Carleton was the first to score with four runs at the top of the third. The Blugolds only made three hits throughout the game; their lone run came from Abbey Place, first-year infielder. UW-Eau Claire took a loss against the Knights for their seventh game in the tournament.

    Tuesday the 20th was an off day for the teams and the tournament picked up again that Wednesday. In light of the day of rest, Coach Huntington said that the Blugolds spent their day off spending time in the Orlando area with their families.

    The Blugolds came back from their four losses with two wins on Wednesday. They played against the Buffalo State Bengal Tigers and the Benedictine Eagles. During the second inning in their first game, the Blugolds pulled ahead with seven runs. Carlie Christensen,a senior catcher and infielder for the Blugolds, hit back-to-back homeruns with fellow catcher, Gretchen Arneson, second-year. They also managed 18 hits, 11 more than the Tiger’s seven. In the end, UW-Eau Claire won 11-5 against Buffalo State.

    Benedictine University versus UW-Eau Claire was the last game of the day. It came down to a score of 4-3 with the Blugolds coming out on top.

    UW-Eau Claire played against Williams College but were defeated 2-1. The Blugolds came back with a win in the second game on Thursday with a final score of 9-1. Their second game was against Lawrence University and brought them their sixth win of the PFX Games.

    The final day of the tournament was Friday, March 23rd. UW-Eau Claire played against the Calvin Knights and the D’Youville Spartans. The Blugolds started their first game behind two runs, but only to come back with a run by Christensen for the Blugolds. Calvin came back with another run, but Eau Claire responded with three more runs in the bottom of the fourth. A bases loaded walk gave the Blugolds another run, defeating the Knights 5-4.

    The final game of the tournament for the Blugolds was against the D’Youville Spartans from Buffalo, N.Y. The Blugolds took advantage of the six errors made by the Spartans and also made 11 runs throughout the third inning. Eau Claire managed to prevent D’Youville from getting any runs and went on to get five more for themselves, securing a 16-0 win for the Blugolds.

    The  Blugolds left the Sunshine State with a record of 8-6, bringing their season record to 11-7.

    Now being back home from the tournament Coach Huntington looked at the results of her team.

    “We showed growth and improvement over the stretch of 14 games,” Huntington said, “[we] got closer to what we think will be our regular lineup when we start conference games in April.”