The Gustavus softball team took one step closer to claiming the 2009 MIAC title by sweeping Concordia by the scores of 4-3 and 9-0 in Moorhead on Wednesday. The Gusties, who improved to 30-4 overall and 19-1 in the MIAC, can clinch the conference title with two wins against St. Kate’s on Saturday in St. Peter.
The Gusties got off to a slow start in game one as Cobber pitcher Kesley Jones limited Gustavus to three hits and no runs in the first four innings of the game. Fortunately for the Gusties, Betsie Collins was just as effective limiting the Cobbers to three hits and no runs, while striking out eight in four innings. Gustavus scored three runs on three hits in the top of the fifth inning and then extended its lead to 4-0 when Jenny Ewert doubled to drive in Emily Klein in the sixth inning. The Cobbers countered with three runs in the bottom of the sixth to pull within one run of the Gusties at 4-3. In the bottom of the seventh, Concordia’s Kayla Trobec reached on a bunt single and advanced to second on a passed ball, but Betsie Collins shut the door for Gustavus as she struck out two straight batters and then induced Amanda Michaelson to pop out to shortstop Rachael Click to end the game. Collins was credited with the complete game victory improving her season record to 10-2.
In the second game, the Gusties set the tone early scoring five times in the first inning. The long ball was the key for Gustavus as Rachael Click hit a two-run home run and Jenna Johnson hit a three-run home run. Rachael Click added another two-run home run in the second to make the score 7-0, and Emily Klein closed out the scoring with a two-run home run in the fourth inning. The four home runs tied a school record for home runs in a game set against St. Scholastica in 2006. The game was stopped after five innings due to the 8-run rule. Callie Nelsen picked up the complete game win on the mound for Gustavus. She scattered four hits, while striking out five with no walks. Nelsen is now 10-0 on the season. The shutout was the 14th of the season for the Gusties, which is one off the school record of 15, which was set last year.
With the two victories, the Gusties reached 30 wins for the season. This is the fourth consecutive season that the team has reached the 30-win plateau. The Gusties could tie the school record for wins in a season at 32, with two wins against St. Kate’s on Saturday.