Baldwin, UWL prep for WIAC tournament

It’s a clean slate for the five teams earning an invite to the WIAC softball tournament. Winner of the three day championship which begins Friday at UW-Whitewater earns an automatic bid to the NCAA tourney.

UW-La Crosse won the WIAC tournament just one time prior back in 2010. They are the number-two seed this year. Eagles enter Friday’s opening game against UW-Oshkosh having won eight of their last ten.

“We were able to sweep Eau Claire, sweep Oshkosh which are two of the top four teams in the region along with us and Whitewater. So we feel good about those results but again it’s a new season. We have to be zoned in and ready to go,” said UWL head coach Chris Helixon.

La Crosse Central graduate Brittany Baldwin has ignited the Eagles offense all season long with her speed. She has been successful on 33 of 36 stolen base attempts. Those kind of numbers puts all sorts of pressure on the opposing pitcher and defense.

As a junior her 59 career steals is already a UWL program record. Her 33 steals in 2017 is a single season record. But Baldwin didn’t step on campus thinking about making a raid on the record books.

“I never really thought about it. My freshman year I didn’t do a whole lot of stealing. Last year I got into it a little bit more tying the record. And this year I think we really went after it so I’ve been able to get a lot this season which has been nice.”

“She’s a real spark plug and has been since the day she showed up a few years ago,” said Helixon. “Anytime she gets on base we have a great chance to bring her in. She makes a huge impact for us.”