The Gustavus softball team opened up MIAC Tournament play with a 2-1, eight-inning win over St. Mary’s to advance in the winner’s bracket, but then lost to St. Thomas 6-2 to fall into the loser’s bracket on Friday afternoon. The Gusties will play St. Mary’s again in an elimination game on Saturday morning at 11 am. The winner of the Gustavus-St. Mary’s game will play St. Thomas at 1:30 pm. The tournament is being played in Northfield, Minn. All of Saturday’s games will be played at the St. Olaf softball field.
In the opening game victory against St. Mary’s, sophomore Julie Mahre drove in Erin Ge in with the game-winning run with a double in the bottom of the eighth. Ge had opened the inning with a single. Mahre was 2-for-3 with two rbi in the game. Joyce DeWitz pitched all eight innings and picked up the win for Gustavus. DeWitz allowed three hits and one run, while walking four and striking out eight. The Gusties improved their record to 30-7 and became the first team in the history of the program to win 30 games in a season.
In game two, the Tommies scored twice in the first, three times in the second and once in the third to build a 6-0 lead and then held on for the 6-2 victory. The big blow for St. Thomas was a three-run home run by Nikki Conway in the second inning. Gustie hurler Joyce DeWitz got roughed up by St. Thomas as she allowed six hits and five runs in two innings of work. Gustavus, which collected four hits in the game, scored once in the fifth on a rbi single by Julie Mahre and once in the seventh. With the win, St. Thomas moves into the championship game on Saturday at 1 pm. The Gusties will now play St. Mary’s in an elimination game at 11 am at St. Olaf.
The winner of the Gustavus/St. Mary’s game will play St. Thomas at 1:30 pm. Should the Gustavus/St. Mary’s winner beat St. Thomas in the 1:30 game, the two teams would play again at 4 pm for the playoff championship. The winner of the tournament receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.