The Gustavus softball team stayed alive at the Division III World Series with a 10-4 win over Salisbury State University of Maryland on Sunday afternoon in Montclair, New Jersey. The Gusties will now play Tufts University on Sunday evening at 7:30 pm (EST). The tournament field, which started with eight teams, has now been paired down to four. The winner of the Gustavus/Tufts game will play Coe College on Monday at noon (EST) for the chance to play Messiah for the Division III Championship.
Salisbury got off to a quick start scoring three times in the top of the first inning, but the Gusties answered with five runs of their own in the bottom of the first. Emily Klein reached on an error to open the game and then Jenny Ewert reached on an infield single as Klein aggressively took third on the throw to first. Rachael Click stepped up and singled up the middle driving in Klein. Emily Wendorff followed with a single driving in Ewert. With two outs and runners on second and third, sophomore Kirsten Prunty stroked a three-run home run over the left centerfield fence to give the Gusties a 5-3 lead. It was Prunty’s second home run of the World Series as she hit a two-run blast to the exact same spot against Texas-Tyler.
Betsie Collins entered the game on the mound in the second inning in relief of Callie Nelsen, who pitched the first inning. Collins quickly put the Sea Gulls down in order. In the bottom of the second, Jenny Ewert reached on an error and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Rachael Click then ripped a double to straight away centerfield, which scored Ewert giving the Gusties a 6-3 lead. Salisbury scored a run in the top of the third to cut the lead to 6-4.
The score remained 6-4 in favor of Gustavus until the bottom of the sixth inning, when the Gusties added four more runs to make the score 10-4. The big blow in the inning was a three-run home run by Andrea Brown.
Gustavus registered nine nits in the game and scored double-digit runs for the fourth time in their seven NCAA Tournament games.
Betsie Collins was the winning pitcher for Gustavus. She allowed five hits and one earned run, while striking out three and walking one in six innings of work. Collins is now 14-3 on the season.
Gustavus improved to 41-8 on the season, while Salisbury State wrapped up a very successful 2009 campaign with a mark of 40-7.