Gustavus used a three-run fifth-inning rally, capped by Julie Mahre’s two-run double, and posted a 3-2 win over St. Thomas for a split of their MIAC softball twinbill Wednesday on the UST diamond.
The comeback win ended St. Thomas’ 44-game conference winning streak. The last Tommie conference softball loss also came at home to Gustavus in April 2003.
Sixth-ranked St. Thomas (25-5 overall, 13-1 MIAC) won 2-0 in the opener as Janet Nagle struck out 12 and tossed a one-hit shutout with no walks. Maria Bye drove in the first run with a two-out first-inning single and Carrie Enbree made it 2-0 with an RBI squeeze bunt in the sixth inning. Nagle set down the first 16 batters before Kristin Kunz singled in the sixth inning. Michelle Wong went 1-for-2 and broke the MIAC career hits record. She now has 217.
The Toms still have a one-game lead over second-place St. Mary’s and a two-game lead on Gustavus (17-13, 11-3) with eight games remaining in the MIAC regular-season race.
The Toms took a 2-0 lead in game two in the fourth on a single by Katie Wiberg, a hit by pitch, Embree’s RBI single and a passed ball. Gustavus scored three in the top of the fifth. Audrey Lenoch singled, Dawn Lewis singled and Abby Bernstein had a squeeze bunt that made it 2-1 and she reached on a fielder’s choice. Kunz singled and Mahre had a two-out double to make it 3-2.
Gustavus put runners at second and third with none out in the top of the seventh but Nagle got three outs to keep the score 3-2.
Joyce DeWitz earned the game-two save as she retired three of the four batters she faced. She retired the first batter on a hard liner to first. UST’s Nikki Conway was hit by a pitch and stole second. Wong worked the count to 3-2 and grounded out to the pitcher with Conway taking third. Kristi Huegel popped out to end the game.
Gustavus—–000 000 0 — 0 1 1
St. Thomas–100 001 x — 2 3 0
DeWitz and Ge; Nagle and Conway. WP-Janet Nagle. LP-Joyce DeWitz. Highlights: Janet Nagle retired 21 of 22 batters with 12 Ks, one-hit shutout… Maria Bye 1-for-2, RBI single in first… Carrie Embree RBI squeeze bunt in sixth.
Gustavus——000 030 0 — 3 4 3
St. Thomas—000 200 0 — 2 2 1
DeWitz, Hanson (4) and Ge, Bernstein (7); Bye, Nagle (7) and Conway. WP-Janie Hanson. LP-Maria Bye. Highlights: Julie Mahre’s two-out, two-run double in fifth erased 2-1 UST lead.
(Information courtesy St. Thomas sports information office)