The Gustavus softball team came up short in its bid to win the MIAC Playoff title falling to regular season champion St. Thomas 4-0 in the playoff title game. The Tommies made an impressive run through the tournament outscoring their opponents 18-3 in three games. St. Thomas (37-6) earns the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, while the Gusties (30-13) will now have to wait until Monday morning to find out if they will receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
In Sunday’s final, the Tommies scored twice in the third, once in the fourth and once in the sixth on their way to the 4-0 win over the second-seeded Gusties. In the third, Marta Radcliffe singled to open the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Becky Eischens followed with a single to centerfield, but Radcliffe was thrown out on a very close play at the plate to keep the score tied at 0-0. The Tommies continued to put pressure on the Gusties and loaded the bases with walks to Erica Wilson and Alison Wright. With two outs, Rachel Tondryk then hit a bouncer up the middle that was fielded by Kirsten Prunty who fired to first, but Tondryk beat out the throw on a bang-bang play that allowed Eischens to score from third giving the Tommies a 1-0 lead. Kayla Boward then walked with the bases loaded to score Wilson giving St. Thomas a 2-0 lead.
The Tommies would add another run in the fourth when Radcliffe doubled in pinch-runner Alyssa Dunrud and the final run in the sixth when Erica Wilson singled to drive in pinch-runner Laura Pawlik.
St. Thomas pitcher Marta Radcliffe limited the Gusties to just one hit in the final and that was a single by Jenna Johnson in the fifth inning. Gustavus did not advance a runner to second base in the contest. Radcliffe struck out eight and walked one in seven innings of work.
Betsie Collins suffered the loss on the mound for Gustavus. She allowed 10 hits and four earned runs while striking out three and walking three.