The Gustavus softball team had a busy weekend at the Sun West Invitational in Orange, California posting a record of 4-2 and improving to 6-2 on the season. Emily Klein (So., Red Wing, Minn.) led the team in hitting with a .417 average, while Julie Mahre (Jr., White Bear Lake, Minn.) hit .368 with four home runs. Joyce DeWitz (Sr., Good Thunder, Minn.) led the team on the mound with a record of 2-1 and a 3.32 earned run average.
The Gusties opened play on Friday evening and posted wins over Univ. of Pittsburgh-Bradford (8-2) and Thomas More (4-0). Against Pitt-Bradford, Julie Mahre went 2-for-4 with a home run, while Emily Klein went 2-for-4 with three rbi, and Tina Strauss (Sr., Red Wing, Minn.) went 2-for-3 with two rbi and a double. Callie Nelsen (Fy., Willmar, Minn.) picked up the win on the mound pitching six innings, allowing six hits and no earned runs. Against Thomas More, Julie Mahre continued her hot hitting as she went 2-for-4 with two home runs and three rbi. Erin Ge (Jr., Shorewood, Minn.) drove in the other Gustavus run. Joyce DeWitz turned in a very strong performance on the mound as she allowed only one hit while striking out seven in seven innings of work.
On Saturday, Gustavus suffered its first two losses of the season, falling to Northwestern of Iowa (7-6) and Point Loma Nazarene of California (10-1). Against Northwestern, the Gusties got down 7-0 through three-and-a-half innings but then rallied to score one in the fourth, one in the fifth, one in the sixth, and three in the seventh to make the score 7-6. Rachael Click (So., Rochester, Minn.) hit a two-out three run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to get Gustavus within reach of Northwestern, however they could not get another run to tie the score. Brianne Ruedy (FY, Waseca, Minn.) went 2-for-3 in the game including a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Bri Lindenberg (So., Faribault, Minn.) suffered the loss on the mound as she allowed six hits and seven runs (only two were earned) in four innings of work. Sarah Manke (So., Roseville, Minn.) shut Northwestern down the rest of the way as she scattered four hits and did not allow a run in the final three innings. Against Point Loma, the Gusties were tied at 1-1 through two innings, however the Sea Lions scored three in the third and four in the fourth to extend their lead to 8-1. Point Loma, which is ranked #4 in the latest NAIA poll, collected 15 hits against starter Joyce DeWitz, who allowed 10 runs (nine earned) in the five inning contest. Emily Klein picked up two hits in two plate appearances, while Brianne Ruedy recorded her second home run of the day for the Gusties only run in the second inning.
On Sunday, the Gusties bounced back with wins over UW-Platteville (12-4) and Concordia (Neb.) (3-0). Against UW-Platteville, Gustavus led 6-3 after three innings and then broke the game open with five runs in the bottom of the fourth and posted the 12-4 win in five innings. The Gusties pounded out 10 hits including two each from Mahre, Click, and Abby Bernstein (Sr., St. Paul, Minn.). Click hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning and Mahre added a solo shot in the second inning. Betsie Collins (Fy., Waseca, Minn.) picked up the win on the mound as she scattered five hits and allowed three runs (two earned) in four innings. Gustavus closed out the tournament with a solid 3-0 win over Concordia University of Seward, Nebraska. The Gusties scored twice in the second and once in the fourth and that is all they would need as Joyce DeWitz shut Concordia out allowing only four hits and striking out six batters in seven innings. Allison Haase (Jr., Blue Earth, Minn.) was the hitting star for Gustavus as she picked up two hits in three at-bats and scored what turned out to be the winning run in the second inning and drove in Emily Klein with a single in the bottom of the fourth inning to make the score 3-0. Erin Ge also had a good day with with one hit in two at-bats, while driving in two runs.
The Gusties will now take a two-week break from competition before returning to action at the Coe College Tournament in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Saturday and Sunday, March 24-25.