The Gustavus softball team stayed alive in the NCAA Tournament with a 5-3 win over UW-Stevens Point in nine innings on Friday afternoon, but then lost 8-1 to Wartburg on Friday evening and were eliminated from the Decorah Regional. The Gusties ended their season with an overall record of 32-10. The 32 wins are the most in a single season in the program’s history.
The Gusties scored single runs in the first and fourth innings, while Joyce DeWitz fired a shutout through five innings and Gustavus led 2-0 through five-and-one-half innings. The Pointers scored one run in the bottom of the sixth to cut the lead to 2-1. Gustavus added a run in the top of the seventh to take a 3-1 lead, but the Pointers rallied to score twice in the bottom of the seventh to tie the score at 3-3 and send the game to extra innings. Neither team was able to score in the eighth inning, but the Gusties managed to push two runs across in the top of the ninth when Alison Haase’s pop-up two the shortstop was mishandled in the win allowing Abby Bernstein to score from third and Kelsey Droogsma to score from second. Joyce DeWitz shut the Pointers down in the bottom of the ninth to give the Gusties the victory. DeWitz scattered nine hits in nine innings of work, allowing two earned runs while striking out five batters. Julie Mahre went 3-for-4 at the plate to lead the Gusties.
In the second game of the day, Wartburg jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a three-run home run by Ashley Rogers. Gustavus cut the lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the third inning when Alison Haase hit a solo home run just inside the foul pole down the left field line. Wartburg extended its lead to 8-1 by scoring five times in the top of the fourth inning. The key blow was a three-run home run by Ali Hartzler. The Gusties matched the Knights with nine hits, however the two three-run home runs were the difference for Wartburg. Callie Nelsen pitched three innings for the Gusties allowing six hits and five earned runs. Betsie Collins pitched two innings allowing two earned runs on two hits and Joyce DeWitz pitched the final two innings allowing just one hit, while striking out three batters.
The Gusties matched or bettered several school records on the day. The win against UW-Stevens Point was the 32nd win of the year breaking the previous school record of 31 wins set last year. Emily Klein stole three bases in the two games pushing her season total to 23 which ties the record set by Heather Thorson in 1990. Klein also tied the record for stolen base attempts in a season with 36. The Gusties also set single season school records for runs scored with 268 (old record was 262), home runs with 37 (old record was 19), hits with 356 (old record was 340), and runs batted in with 217 (old record was 211).