The Gustavus softball team clinched a berth in the MIAC playoffs after defeating Saint Mary’s 7-0 and 6-2 on Sunday afternoon in Winona. Rachael Click and Julie Mahre provided a one-two punch for the Gusties, as Click delivered two home runs and five RBI in game one and Mahre provided three RBI in game two. Callie Nelsen tallied the win in the first game, while Betsie Collins earned the win in game two.
The Gusties got a quick 1-0 lead when Rachael Click hit a double to drive in Julie Mahre from second base in the first inning. This score held until the top of the third inning when a Paige Hays single started a rally in which five straight batters delivered base hits. After Hays scored on a single by Andrea Brown, Click delivered a three-run home run to break the game wide open with no outs for a 5-0 margin. Gustavus went on to score later in the inning when Kirsten Prunty singled in Emily Klein from second base.
Coach Annis’ squad added another run in the top of the seventh inning when Click hit her second home run of the game. Callie Nelsen picked up her 11th win of the season as she struck out eight and walked none on the way to a two-hitter. Saint Mary’s recorded its first hit in the fourth inning, while no Cardinal reached second base in the contest.
Game two started in a similar fashion as Mahre gave Gustavus an 1-0 advantage after the first inning. Saint Mary’s scored its first runs of the doubleheader in the bottom of the second inning when Jennifer Thesing hit a two-run home run off of Betsie Collins for a 2-1 lead. However, the Gusties responded with five runs in the fourth inning. Kelly Myers led off the inning with a single and would later score after a Mackenzie Weber single to tie the game. The Gusties loaded the bases when Julie Mahre hit a bases-clearing double as Gustavus regained a 5-2 lead. Mahre scored an insurance run after Click hit a RBI sacrifice fly.
The Cardinals had scoring opportunities in the sixth and seventh innings, but were unable to get the key hit as they stranded two base runners in each inning. Betsie Collins earned the win as she compiled eight strikeouts and two runs on six hits in six innings. Erin Truebenbach pitched one inning of relief for Gustavus, recording zero hits, one walk, and one strikeout.
The Gusties, who improved to 26-6 overall and 16-4 in the MIAC, will play their last home games of the season on Tuesday at 4 p.m. against Martin Luther College.