The University of Wisconsin-Platteville softball team split a doubleheader with UW-Eau Claire on Sunday to remain tied for first in the WIAC with the Blugolds.
The Blugolds (10-7, 2-1 WIAC) nearly got on the board in the first inning when Taylor Pierce doubled down the left-field line for UW-Eau Claire to start the game. Then, Emily Haluska hit a ground ball to an alert Chantal McReynolds, who initiated a rundown between second and third and the Pioneers. Then, UW-Platteville starting pitcher Melissa Anderson escaped further damage with back-to-back ground outs.
Again, UW-Eau Claire mounted a threat with runners on first and third and one out, however, the Pioneers got out of the inning when defensively, the Pioneers got a runner at the plate and a ground out.
After holding the Blugolds off the scoreboard twice in the first three innings, UW-Platteville (11-8, 3-0 WIAC) got on the board in the third inning when Megan Pozenzinski hit her first homerun of the season for a 1-0 lead.
The Pioneers picked up an insurance run in the fifth. Colleen Lowe singled to start the inning for UW-Platteville. Then, Jordan Johnson moved pinchrunner Cassandra Bonin into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. After a pop out by the Pioneers, she came into score on a RBI single by Gosdeck and ahead of the tag by the Blugolds.
UW-Eau Claire cut the deficit with a run in the sixth on a RBI single by Deanna Gilane. Then, in the seventh, the Pioneer defense rose to the occasion, again. After starting the inning with a single, the Blugolds looked to move the runners into scoring position on a bunt by Pierce. On the bunt, Amanda Fischer, who had reached on a walk to start the inning, was thrown out at third by the Pioneers’ catcher Molly Rice, who found an alert Pozenzinski covering third from her left-field position to erase the lead runner. Then, the Pioneers got their second runner at third on the inning on a single by Haluska for the second out of the inning. Next, UW-Platteville got a pop out for the third out and to preserve the win.
In the win for the Pioneers, five different players had a hit. Jeni Freiburger, in relief of Anderson, pitched the final six innings to raise her record to 3-4. She allowed six hits and struck out two in the win. UW-Eau Claire starter Emma Wishau went the distance, scattering five hits and striking out one in the loss to fall to 4-4. Taylor Pierce had three hits in the loss for the Blugolds.
In the nightcap, UW-Eau Claire scored in each inning en route to a 13-4 win over UW-Platteville to come away with the doubleheader split. Sarah Fern and Jess Freagon each had four hits to lead a 16-hit attack for the Blugolds.
UW-Eau Claire (11-7, 3-1 WIAC) scored the first nine runs of the game for the early lead. After the early 9-0 deficit, the Pioneers scored four times in the bottom of the fifth. Two came in on a two-RBI double by Ashlen Folkers and two more on a two-RBI single by Colleen Lowe. Ellyn Goerdt, Chantal McReynolds and Lowe each had two hits in the loss for the Pioneers, who fall to 11-9 and 3-1 in the WIAC.
UW-Eau Claire starter Ashley Meinen pitched four innings of three-hit softball to raise her record to 4-2 and UW-Platteville starter Brittany Caley picked up the loss to fall to 1-1.
The Pioneers, who remain tied for first in the WIAC with the Blugolds, will look to resume their winning ways on Wednesday, Apr. 4 at 3 p.m. with a doubleheader against Beloit.
Boxscore (Game 1)
Boxscore (Game 2)