With the win, the Blugolds advance in the double elimination tourney to face fellow Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opponent UW-Oshkosh at 11 a.m. Saturday.
The Blugolds started Friday’s game with a fantastic defensive play from right fielder Rachel Paulus (Sr.-Wisconsin Rapids). With a Titan runner on first, Valerie Hackett hit a single to right and Paulus then threw the runner out at third with a perfect strike through the air to end the inning.
Eau Claire threatened in the bottom of the third as it had runners at second and third with no outs. However, Titan pitcher Christy Engel got a strikeout and a groundout to end the inning.
The Blugolds got things rolling in the bottom of the sixth. After the Titans got the leadoff batter, the Blugolds worked two consecutive walks. Michelle Butkus (Jr.-Medford, WI) then singled to left field to load the bases. Jill Janke (Jr.-Black River Falls, WI) then would work the third walk of the inning to force in Paulus from third. The next batter, Mandy Tschernach (Sr.-Rice Lake, WI) hit a ground shot at the second baseman, but Tamara Zeman (Fr.-Lodi, WI) beat out the throw home to give Eau Claire a 2-0 lead. The final run came on a Amber Haack (Sr.-Madison, WI/LaFollette) fielders choice that scored Butkus.
The two teams started the game with identical records. Eau Claire improved to 33-12 while Wesleyan, an at-large entry in the tournament, is now 32-13.
Wesleyan will play to stay alive in a 1 p.m. game Saturday against the winner of the last Friday contest between Coe College and the University of Chicago.