The Gustavus softball team extended its winning streak to eight games with two wins at Concordia on Saturday. The Gusties won game one 6-1 in 11 innings as Joyce DeWitz tied an NCAA record by striking out 20 Cobbers. Gustavus also won game two 6-1. Coach Shanda Ness’ squad improves to 10-8 overall and 6-0 in the MIAC.
Game one was a pitcher’s duel between Gustavus’ Joyce DeWitz and Concordia’s Lindy Sparby. Neither pitcher allowed a run through nine innings. In the tenth inning, Gustavus scored its first run when Whitney Bartolo singled to drive in Kristen Kunz. The Cobbers managed to extend the game by tying the game with a run in the bottom of the tenth. The Gusties broke the game open in the top of the eleventh scoring five runs with the help of five Cobber errors. DeWitz closed out the win by holding Concordia scoreless in the bottom of the eleventh. DeWitz’s remarkable strikeout spree began with two strikeouts in each of the first two innings. In the fourth inning, she began a string of 11 strikeouts in 12 batters (she walked one batter). She then struck out two in the seventh, two in the eighth, two in the 10th and one in the 11th to give her 20 for the game which ties the Division III record held by four other players. The last time it was accomplished was April 13, 2002 by Hayley Hallstrom of Augustana College (IL). It has never been accomplished in a MIAC game before or by a Gustavus pitcher. The previous school record was 13 set by Molly Biehn against Concordia on April 3 of last season.
The Gusties 6-1 win in game two was by more conventional methods and this one lasted the regulation seven innings. Gustavus scored single runs in the second and third innings. Abby Bernstein drove in Meghan Powers with a fielders choice in the second and Erin Ge singled to drive in Julie Mahre in the third inning. The Gusties extended their lead to 4-0 with two runs in the top of the fifth and then extended their lead to 6-0 with two more runs in the top of the sixth. In the fifth, Erin Ge drove in Julie Mahre once again and then Whitney Bartolo scored on a passed ball. In the sixth, Erin Ge once again came up with the big hit as she drove in her third and fourth runs of the game with a key, two-out single. Concordia scored its lone run of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning. Joyce DeWitz pitched the first five innings of the second game scattering four hits and allowing one unearned run. She struck out three and did not walk a batter. Jenna Ruhl came in to pitch the sixth and seventh innings for Gustavus. She did not allow a hit or a run, while walking one and striking out one.
Gustavus, which posted a record of 1-7 on its spring break trip to Southern California, has been on fire since returning to Minnesota. Coach Shanda Ness’ squad has compiled a record of 8-0 in the past two weeks including a 6-0 mark against MIAC competition. The Gusties will host Saint Mary’s in a key league doubleheader on Tuesday, April 12 beginning at 4:00 pm.