The Gustavus softball team saw its 21-game win streak come to an end as the Gusties were swept by #6 Central College (0-1, 1-4) in Pella, Iowa on Monday afternoon. Coach Jeff Annis saw his team’s bats go silent against the Dutch managing only three hits and no runs in game one and four hits and one run in game two.
The Gusties got off to a slow start in game one and did not register their first hit until the fourth inning when Rachael Click recorded a single. Click was thrown out trying to steal second base for the final out of the inning. Gustavus got new life in the fifth inning when Abby Bernstein led off with a double. Coach Jeff Annis then put Sarah Willis in to pinch run for Bernstein. Three pitches later, Willis was picked off second base on a set up play by the Central catcher. The Dutch would scratch out the only run of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning when Ryann Engolm singled, stole second base, was sacrificed to third and scored on a clutch two-out single by Dawn Nissen. The Gusties placed two more runners on base in the sixth inning when Julie Mahre singled and Rachael Click was intentionally walked, but Bernstein flew out to left field for the final out. Gustavus was unable to get anything going in the seventh and lost 1-0. Joyce DeWitz suffered the tough loss as she allowed only two hits, while striking out three and walking one.
In the second game, Central got off to a fast start scoring twice in the bottom of the first inning. The Dutch took advantage of two walks, followed by a double and an infield single to score the two runs. Gustavus cut the lead to 2-1 in the third inning when Andrea Brown singled up the middle which scored Julie Mahre from second base. Central scored single runs in the fourth and the fifth innings to claim the 4-1 victory. Joyce DeWitz suffered the loss as she pitched six innings allowing five hits and four earned runs while walking seven and striking out six.
The Gusties saw their 21-game winning streak come to an end, just one game short of equalling the school record of 22 games set in 1990.
Gustavus (now 24-4) entered the game ranked #4 in the most recent NCAA Central Region rankings, while Central (now 26-8) entered the game ranked #6 in the most recent NFCA Division III poll and #6 in the NCAA Central Region rankings.
The Gusties will now travel to St. Paul to face #1 St. Thomas on Wednesday afternoon at 4:00 pm. You will be able to listen to the first game of the doubleheader on KNUJ 860 AM and through the Gustavus website.