Pioneers unable to recover from early deficits

Rachel Martin collected three hits and an RBI and UW-Platteville's first two home games of the season.
Rachel Martin collected three hits and an RBI and UW-Platteville's first two home games of the season.

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – Both games of a doubleheader between UW-Platteville (9-9) and UW-Eau Claire (14-8) saw the Blugolds go up 5-0, too much of a lead for the Pioneers to overcome. UW-Eau Claire would go on to win by finals of 7-2 and 5-1 at the UW-Platteville Softball Complex, in the first two WIAC games for both teams.

Abby Jaques and Rachel Martin each had three hits on the afternoon for the Pioneers, who were limited to 11 hits total in the two games. Alejandra Ochoa, Cayleen Ryan, and Martin each had a single RBI for UW-Platteville.

Ashton Hoeppner started both contests, throwing four innings of game one and all seven of game two. She struckout 13 Blugolds overall while giving up three earned runs in each game. Kate Snook had a pair of strikeouts and give up four runs in three innings of relief to finish game one.

Abbey Place got the scoring started for UW-Eau Claire in the top of the second with an RBI single, and two batters later Mikayla McEnery doubled to bring home Place. UW-Eau Claire tacked on a run in the third inning and two in the sixth before UW-Platteville was able to get on the board.

In UW-Platteville's half of the sixth, the Pioneers put runners on first and second to start the inning on a Ryan walk and Jessy Tanel single. Shannon Gaul advanced both runners on a ground out and Ochoa's sacrifice fly scored Ryan for UW-Platteville's first run of the game.

Martin followed with a single that scored Tanel to close the gap to 5-2, but the Blugolds added two runs in the top of the seventh and the Pioneers were retired in order to close out the game.

The Pioneers were held hitless by UW-Eau Claire until the fifth inning when Abby Burns and Rachel Bonnell collected back-to-back singles, but Jaques' popup ended the inning.

The first four batters reached in game two for the Blugolds, who went on to put up three runs in the first frame. Hoeppner settled down and recorded a pair of strikeouts in the next three innings, but a Pioneers' error in the fourth extended the inning for the Blugolds. Abbey Place took advantage of the UW-Platteville miscue with a two-out, two RBI double.

UW-Platteville put a runner in scoring position in four of the first five innings, and were able to plate their lone run of the game in the fifth on a Ryan groundout.

Cheyenne Johnson threw all seven innings of game two for UW-Eau Claire. She recorded eight strikeouts while scattering seven hits and giving up just the one earned run.

Next up for the Pioneers is a nonconference doubleheader against the University of Dubuque at the UW-Platteville Softball Complex with game one starting at 4 p.m.