The Gustavus softball team got back on track with a sweep over third place Bethel on a cold and windy Saturday afternoon in St. Peter, Minn. The Gusties eight-run ruled the Royals 9-1 in game one before taking game two by the score of 8-5. Gustavus improves to 18-11-1 overall and 11-2-1 in the MIAC with the victories, while Bethel drops to 18-12 overall and 9-5 in the MIAC.
Getting on the scoreboard was the theme of the day for Head Coach Jeff Annis’ squad, as the Gusties went ahead by four runs following the first inning of each contest, and holding on late for the win. The Gusties recorded eight hits in each contest and did not commit one error in the doubleheader.
In the first inning of game one, the first three batters in the Gustavus lineup walked to load the bases. Following a Dani Cattrysse strikeout, Jen Ulmen walked to bring in Lisa Klass to tie the game at 1-1. Another free pass to Kirsten Prunty one batter later brought Jenny Ewert across the plate for the go-ahead run (2-1). Bethel’s Rebecca Akerson would take the hill for Genna Bock after Bock was pulled after facing six batters. Kelly Myers singled up the middle in the following at bat to plate Emily Wendorff (3-1), and Mackenzie Dalton singled up the middle to bring around both Prunty and Jen Ulmen (5-1). Dalton would finish the game 2-for-3 with two RBI at the plate.
After giving up one run on two hits in the first inning, Rentschler was able to settle down and get into a groove, giving up just one hit in the remaining five innings of the contest. She improved to 12-7 on the year with the win, giving up one run on three hits and striking out five batters.
The Gusties would earn the eight-run rule (9-1) in the bottom of the sixth inning, scoring four runs on three hits. Pinch-hitter Sam Breneman had a two-RBI single up the middle in the inning, later scoring the final run of the game on an error by the Bethel shortstop.
The Gusties were on the board quickly in the day’s second matchup as well, scoring four runs on three hits to take a 4-0 lead after the first inning. Ewert scored on a passed ball, and Prunty drove in Wendorff with a sacrifice fly to right field to give Gustavus a 2-0 lead. Myers extended Gustavus’ lead to 4-0 after ripping a liner to right to plate Ulmen and Caitlin Whitney.
The Royals battled back to tie the game at 4-4 in the third inning after starting the inning with back-to-back doubles by Kelly Berg and Rebecca Akerson. Later in the inning, Jessica Newstrom laced another double with two outs to bring in Rachel Gilbert and Akerson and tie the game.
Gustavus took back the lead in the bottom half of the third inning when Dalton singled up the middle to score Ulmen, and Christina Riester burnt the Bethel center fielder with a double to score Dalton, giving Gustavus a 6-4 edge. Riester’s double was her first extra base hit of the season as she went 2-for-3 in the game.
Bethel added a run in the fifth inning to make it a one-run game at 6-5, but the Gusties responded with two runs in the bottom of the fifth to bring the score to a final at 8-5. Kirsten Prunty drove the ball over the right field fence for her first home run of the season in the inning.
Starting pitcher Erin Truebenbach gave up five runs on nine hits in five innings of work for the victory. She is now 6-3 on the season. Rentschler was credited with the save, Gustavus’ first of the season, going two innings and giving up one hit. Bock suffered the loss for Bethel, giving up two runs on two hits in 2 1/3 innings.
The Gustavus softball will continue its relentless end of the season schedule with a doubleheader against Augsburg on Monday, April 25 at 4:00 p.m. in St. Peter. The Gusties will close the regular season with ten games in nine days.