By: Aaron Morse 5/3/2022
UW-La Crosse softball has captured its first regular season WIAC title since 2010 with a 13-1 conference record. It is only the second time UWL has won the WIAC and when they did it in 2010 they went undefeated at 16-0. Now, they once again earn the right to host the WIAC tournament this weekend and get the first round bye.
The Eagles started the season strong at 12-5 in the non-conference with 13 of the games coming in a one week span down in Florida over spring break. Then, two weeks off because of the poor weather was not ideal for the Eagles who were trying to keep up momentum. When they finally got back on the field it was at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, who was ranked 17th at the time, in rainy and cold conditions. They played them close, but lost both games by scores of 2-0 and 8-5.
Then came the grueling WIAC schedule in which they played 14 games in less than a month. The Eagles started the conference schedule with a loss at home to UW-Eau Claire. It was their third straight loss right in the middle of the season that dropped their overall record to 12-8. Things were not looking all that great. Well, that is until they rolled off 13 straight wins to end the regular season. And it fittingly started with a walk-off homer by Jordyn McCormack to beat those Blugolds.
McCormack led the team all season at the plate hitting .430 with 12 doubles, five home runs, and 29 RBI. She had plenty of help around her from Kyra Lard (.393), Kendra Leis (.367) and Hailey Jibben (.333).
The pitching was just as good.
Elise Weinzierl, the reigning WIAC pitcher of the week, racked up eleven wins this season on a minuscule 1.41 ERA and she also collected three saves.
Remington Stark did similar things out of the bullpen with a 1.53 ERA and a 9-2 record in 23 appearances (no starts).
The Eagles only needed four pitchers all season because of the success they had. The other two hurlers, Ally Eden and Madi Lee, had ERA’s of 2.80 and 3.06, respectively.
UWL will look to continue that dominance this weekend at the North Campus Field where they will host the double-elimination tournament. With the first round bye, they do not know their opponent yet, but they do know they will play at 2pm on Friday afternoon.
They will need to win at least three games and no more than five to double up on WIAC titles.
If they can reach that goal, they will earn the automatic NCAA bid for just the fourth time in school history. They have a great chance to do it, but also a huge target on their back come Friday.