The Gustavus softball team opened its MIAC season with a pair of hard-fought bouts St. Catherine on Tuesday afternoon in St. Paul. The Gusties came away with a 5-3 victory in game one, scoring two runs in the top of the seventh inning for their first conference win of the season. Game two was suspended with the score knotted at 6-6 due to darkness following the sixth inning. Gustavus improves to 8-9 overall and 1-0 in the MIAC with the victory, as game two will be completed at a later date yet to be determined.
In game one, Gustavus fell behind 1-0 in the first inning when Alyssa McKee singled to bring home Alyssa Luedtke.
Gustavus answered with a big three-run inning in the third to take a 3-1 lead. After MacKenzie Dalton popped out to start the inning, Lisa Klass got aboard on a walk, and Jenny Ewert advanced her to third with a double. Emily Wendorff brought Klass in to score with a double, and Kate Rentschler knocked in both Ewert and Wendorff with a double of her own.
St. Kate’s answered in the bottom of the third inning with a two-out two-RBI double by Ashley Matthys to even the score at 3-3.
The Gusties would go down 1-2-3 in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings before breaking the ice with two runs in the seventh. Jen Ulmen led the inning off with a walk and Kelly Myers advanced pinch runner Amy Lynch to second on a sacrifice bunt. Dalton lined out to the second baseman for the second out, but Klass doubled to left center to bring in the go-ahead run. Klass would score on an error by Cassie Vennemann to add an insurance run and extend the lead to 5-3. Lisa Klass would go 1-for-2 with two runs and a RBI in the contest.
Kate Rentschler capped the game by sitting the Wildcats down in order in the bottom the seventh. Rentschler went all seven innings, giving up three runs (2 earned) on 11 hits and improving to 7-6 on the year. Kayla Bergerson suffered the loss for the Wildcats, allowing five runs on just five hits.
The first three Gusties of the batting order got on base to set the table for Kate Rentschler in the top of the first inning of game two. Rentschler would make Wildcat pitcher Courtney Stender pay, knocking out a grand slam home run to give Gustavus a 4-0 lead. St. Catherine cut the lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the first.
The Gusties extended the lead to 5-2 in the top of the fourth when Lynch singled to right field to bring home Ulmen. St. Catherine continued to chip away at the lead in the bottom of the fourth, scoring two runs on a single by Vennemann.
St. Kate’s would take its first lead of the game in the bottom of the fifth, scoring two runs on four hits off of then relief pitcher Rentschler. Starter Erin Truebenbach went four innings, giving up four runs on nine hits in her first outing since February 5.
The Gusties responded with a home run by Ulmen, her fourth of the season, in the top of the sixth to tie the game at 6-6. Ulmen was 1-for-1 with two runs, one RBI and two walks in the contest. The Wildcats stranded a runner on third in the bottom of the sixth before the game was suspended due to darkness.
Rentschler finished the game 1-for-3 with one run and four RBI at the dish. Both Klass and Ewert were 1-for-2 with a run. Rentschler gave up two runs on four hits in two innings, and St. Catherine’s Stender gave up six runs on six hits in six innings.
The Gustavus softball team will be back on the diamond Thursday, April 7 against Hamline in St. Peter. First pitch for game one is set for 4:00 p.m.
Game Two Box Score