The Gustavus softball team will begin its journey toward winning a Division III National Championship on Friday morning in Montclair, New Jersey. The Gusties will play the University of Texas at Tyler at 11 am (10 am Central Time). Live video, live audio, and live
stats are available for the game which will be played at the Montclair State University Softball Stadium.
Gusties Will Face UT-Tyler To Kick Off Division III Softball World Series
Gustavus advanced to this year’s Championship Finals by winning the Indianola, Iowa Regional with a 4-0 record. The Gusties defeated Central 11-4 on Day Two, followed by a 5-3 win over Luther on Day Two. Gustavus closed out the tournament with 14-6 (on Day Three) and 11-1 (on Day Four) wins against Webster University. UT-Tyler won the Marshall, Texas Regional with a record of 4-0 as well. The Patriots defeated Redlands 2-1, top-ranked Linfield 3-2, East Texas Baptist 1-0, and clinched a berth in the championship finals with an eight-inning, 5-4 win over Linfield. Gustavus enters the weekend with an overall record of 39-7, while UT-Tyler is 38-8. The winner of the Gustavus/UT-Tyler contest will play the winner of Messiah/Ohio Northern on Saturday at 4 p.m. EST. The losers of each contest would meet on Saturday at 11 a.m. EST.
Scouting the Patriots
UT-Tyler, the fourth-ranked team in Division III in the poll released by NFCA on May 6, received an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament by virtue of winning a head-to-head result tiebreaker with Louisana College after the championship game was rained out. Since being swept by East Texas Baptist (1-2, 9-14) on April 14, the Patriots have gone 12-2 with both losses coming to Louisiana College by a combined score of 13-0. UT-Tyler is led by American Southwest Conference East Division Player of the Year left fielder Megan ‘Roo Richardson, who has compiled a .409 batting average with 59 runs scored, 12 home runs, and 37 walks. Richardson is joined in the outfield by fellow all-region right fielder Whitney Wyly and center fielder Julie Smith. Wyly leads the Patriots with 17 home runs and 74 RBI, while Smith is first on the team with a .413 batting average and 14 stolen bases. This is the second appearance in the NCAA Tournament for UT-Tyler, which lost to La Verne 3-1 in the first round last year before falling to Mary-Hardin Baylor 5-3 to finish third.
This will be the first ever meeting between the two squads.
Gustavus in the NCAA Tournament:
This is the Gusties’ third appearance in the NCAA Softball Tournament. Gustavus has compiled a record of 6-4 all-time in NCAA Tournament play. The game-by-game results are: 2003 — Waverly, Iowa Regional — Game 1: Gustavus 10, Clarke 2, Game 2: Lake Forest 2, Gustavus 1 (9 inn.), Game 3: Wartburg 1, Gustavus 0 (10 inn.); 2007 — Decorah, Iowa Regional — Game 1: Luther 2, Gustavus 1, Game 2: Gustavus 5, UW-Stevens Point 3, Game 3: Wartburg 8, Gustavus 1; 2009 — Indianola, Iowa Regional — Game 1: Gustavus 11, Central 1, Game 2: Gustavus 5, Luther 3, Game 3: Gustavus 14, Webster 6 (5 inn.), Game 4: Gustavus 11, Webster (5 inn.).
The 39 wins recorded this season are the most wins in a season in program history. The previous single-season mark was 32 in 2007.
Four Gusties were named to the Midwest Region All-Tournament Team including shortstop Rachael Click, centerfielder Emily Klein, first baseman Emily Wendorff, and second baseman Lisa Klass.
Gustavus is ranked in the top 15 in four offensive categories in Division III, including ninth in slugging percentage (0.559), 12th in home runs per game (0.88), 13th in doubles per game (1.9), and 14th in triples per game (0.5).
Rachael Click (48), Emily Klein (38), and Lisa Klass (39) have combined to drive in 125 runs this season, which accounts for 43.9 percent of the team’s total of 285.
The Gusties like to score early in contests as 248 of their 327 runs scored (75.8 percent) have come in the first four innings of their games.
Gustavus is the only team in collegiate softball, Division I, II, or III, to have three pitchers on the staff with ten or more victories. Erin Truebenbach leads the team with 15 wins, followed by Betsie Collins and Callie Nelsen with 12 wins each. The three pitchers have also combined to set a single-season team record of 300
The Gusties are 22-2 when scoring in the first inning this season and 1-4 when the opposing team scores in the opening frame.
Five players on the roster also compete in another varsity sport at Gustavus. Emily Klein and Jenny Ewert are members of the volleyball team, which made its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 1986. Kirsten Prunty, Ava Perry, and Carrie Johnson are also members of the women’s basketball team.
During Jeff Annis’s four-year tenure as head coach, the Gusties have compiled 30 wins in each season. These are the only 30-win campaigns in program history.
Gustavus is 35-0 when its opponents score three runs or less and 35-1 when leading after four innings.
The Gustie offense has set five new single-season statistical records, including runs (327), hits (421), home runs (44), and RBI (285). Three of the previous marks were established in 2007 as the team scored 268 runs, recorded 356 hits, and posted 37 home runs, while the prior record of 241 RBI was reached last year.
Gustavus has compiled a record of 619-404-3 (.604) in its 41-year history of softball.
Senior shortstop Rachael Click (Rochester, Minn.) ranks second in the nation in slugging percentage at 0.964 this season after finishing the 2008 season ranked at 1.055. Click was named the 2009 MIAC Player of the Year after winning the league batting title with a .529 average. She also finished first in slugging percentage (1.216), on-base percentage (.594), RBI (27), home runs (10), an total bases (62). Click set the school record for home runs in a season with 16 and became only the third player in MIAC history to hit 30 home runs (35) in a career.
Senior centerfielder Emily Klein (Red Wing, Minn.) is the all-time stolen base leader at Gustavus with 77 stolen bases on 82 attempts. She drove in the game-winning run with a two-out single in the bottom of the eighth inning to defeat Hamline 5-4 to help the Gusties advance to the MIAC Post-Season Championship game.
First year second baseman Lisa Klass (Richfield, Minn.) was the only rookie to be named to the
All-MIAC squad this season and was recognized as the MIAC Rookie of the Year. Klass was the individual hitting star for the Gusties during the Indianola, Iowa Regional as she went 7-for-11 (.636) at the plate in the four games with five runs scored and nine runs batted in.