WHITEWATER, Wis. (Blugolds.com) The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire softball team fell in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Tournament Championship (presented by Culver's) on Sunday, falling to UW-La Crosse 2-0 and 2-1.
Heading into championship Sunday, the Blugolds were undefeated in the tournament while the Eagles made their way to the title game from the loser's bracket and needed to win two games to claim the tournament championship. The Eagles did just that, handing the Blugolds a 2-0 loss in game one and scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh in game two to win by a score of 2-1.
In game one, the only runs of the game came in the top of the first thanks to a two-run homerun for the Eagles. La Crosse would outhit Eau Claire 7-1 en route to the win. Sarah Peka (Jr. – Chanhassen, MN/Minnetonka) took the loss on the mound, surrendering four hits in four innings.
Game two saw the Blugolds score first as Cheyenne Johnson's (Poplar, WI/Northwestern) RBI-double plated the first run on the game in the fourth inning. The Eagles would even the score in the sixth with their second homerun of the day, this time a solo shot to lock the score at one apiece.
In the bottom of the seventh, La Crosse tallied the winning run with a single to left field to secure the win and an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.
Eau Claire had a 5-4 edge in hits, with Johnson and Brooke Varian (Sr.-Madison, WI/West) leading the way as both recorded a double. Johnson took the loss in the circle, scattering four hits and striking out four in 6.1 innings.
The Blugolds now must wait to see if they earn an at large bid into the NCAA tournament. The NCAA selection show will begin at 12 p.m. on Monday, May 6.