CLERMONT, FL (Blugolds.com) – On the last day of their spring break trip, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire softball team lost to the University of Chicago 5-3 before defeating Oberlin College 11-10 thanks to a seven-run rally in the bottom of the seventh.
Against Chicago, Katie Rongstad (Jr. – Slinger, WI) led the Blugold offense, accounting for two of the team's three hits and runs. The junior scored a run in the top of the first after starting the game with a single and stole second and third and would later score on an error. In the seventh, Rongstad hit an RBI single to right field with two outs while Meghan Witt (Fr. – Portage, WI) followed with a sacrifice fly to bring Eau Claire within two runs, but a flyout on the next at bat would end the rally.
In a wild second game, the Blugolds would need a late rally yet again but this time would not fall short. Despite the Blugolds holding the Yeowomen scoreless in the first and notched a run of their own in the bottom half, Oberlin would tally runs in every other inning except for the seventh, including a five-run fourth.
The Blugolds would score two more runs in the bottom of the fourth thanks to Witt's RBI double to centerfield and grabbed an unearned run in the sixth but still trailed 10-4 heading into the bottom of the seventh.
In the final frame, Katelyn Yute (So. – North Prairie, WI/Kettle Moraine) got things rolling with a single to left field and scored on Mikayla McEnery's (So. – Savage, MN/Prior Lake) single to right. After a pinch hit single by Cheyenne Johnson (Jr. – Poplar, WI/Northwestern), Eau Claire would take advantage of an Oberlin error to plate another run. Witt drove in another run as did Abbey Place (So. – Naperville, IL/Central) on a single up the middle.
Brooke Varian (Sr. – Madison, WI/West) joined the hit parade with a single to left that scored two and Yute would end the game with a double to center that would score Varian and give Eau Claire their 11th win of the season. In the inning, the Blugolds exploded for seven runs on seven hits and took advantage of two Oberlin miscues.
Both teams recorded 14 hits in the slugfest, with Yute finishing the game 3-for-5 with two doubles while Place also collected three hits in five at bats and Witt finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Rongstad also tallied two steals to bring her total to five for the day. Three Blugolds saw action on the mound with Stephanie Wilczynski (Jr. – Naperville, IL/ Waubonsie Valley) earning the win.
Eau Claire (11-3) will be action in action next week with doubleheaders scheduled for Wednesday (St. Norbert) and Saturday (UW-Stevens Point). Follow Eau Claire all season long on Blugold Game Day or on the 'UWEC Blugolds' app' on your mobile device.