The softball team ended a busy conference week on a sour note, losing both games of a double-header against UW-Eau Claire on Sunday to finish second in the WIAC.
The ’Hawks will take the field at noon on Friday in Eau Claire to start the WIAC Tournament.
Both games against the Blugolds saw the Warhawks fall by one run as they lost 2-1 and 5-4.
Sophomore shortstop Laura Eichenold said luck was partially to blame in the pair of losses.
“They pitched well, but we really felt like we were hitting the ball solid,” Eichenold said. “Our hits were just at people and theirs went to the gaps.”
The first game was a pitchers’ duel, with Blugold pitcher Emma Wishau giving up only one run in six innings.
Warhawk junior pitcher Katie Boyle pitched a complete game, surrendering only two runs, both in the third inning.
Sophomore first baseman Morgan Krisch drove in a run in the fourth inning to make the score 2-1, but the ’Hawks didn’t get any closer.
In the second game, the ’Hawks took a 3-1 lead after four innings. In the fifth, however, the Blugolds scored four runs to take a 5-3 lead.
The ’Hawks tacked on one more run in the sixth inning to make the score 5-4, but were unable to tie the game.
Had the ’Hawks beaten the Blugolds, they would have been WIAC Champions. However, they must settle for second place as they prepare for the conference tournament this weekend.
“Whoever we play better be ready,” Eichenold said. “We are going to show up really motivated for the conference tournament and ready to win. We have something to prove now.”
Before the UW-Eau Claire series this past Sunday, the ’Hawks swept UW-Superior on Saturday and split with UW-La Crosse on Thursday.
Despite the tough losses to UW-Eau Claire, Coach Brenda Volk believes the team will still be confident heading into the conference tournament.
“I thought we played some good ball this weekend. We knew it was going to be a battle and it was,” Volk said. “We were in both games and had a chance to win, so we are looking forward to next week.”