Although its last two games of the Tucson Invitational were rained out, the Gustavus softball team still got four games in over its trip to Tucson, Arizona, going 3-1 to improve to 5-2 overall on the season. The Gusties picked up three-straight wins over North Central College (9-1), Denison University (8-4), and Calvin College (3-2) before falling to Central College (4-10) in their final contest of the tournament.
Against North Central to open up the tournament on Thursday, March 15, the Gusties were trailing 1-0 following the second inning. From there, Gustavus exploded for four runs in the third inning and four more in the fourth to take an 8-1 lead. The Gusties recorded six hits and took advantage of three North Central errors in the two innings.
After Kailey Morgan started the fifth inning with a double, her pinch runner Caitlin Whitney later scored the game-winning run on an error by North Central. Morgan led the Gusties at the plate, going 2-for-3 with two doubles and an RBI.
Sarah Rozell picked up her second win of the season, going all five innings, giving up just one run on two hits.
Gustavus 9 def. North Central 1 – Box Score
The Gustie softball team picked up its second-straight win of the trip by running away from Denison during the middle innings on Friday, March 16. With the score tied 3-3 after the second inning, Gustavus lit up the scoreboard with seven runs in the top of the third inning. Denison added two runs in the bottom of the inning, yet the Gusties would hold on for a 10-5 win.
After Brittany Brenke plated Lisa Klass with a double in the first inning, Kat Dahl hit a double of her own to score Kailey Morgan and Caitlin Whitney and the Gusties were up 3-0 after one inning. Denison answered back with a three-run inning in the bottom second to tie the game at 3-3.
After Gustavus’ lead-off hitter flew out to start the third inning, the Gusties strung together three-consecutive doubles by Dahl, Mackenzie Dalton, and Shelby Nosan, respectively, to set the table for a seven-run third inning. Jen Ulmen broke the game wide-open with a grand slam home run to put the Gusties on top 10-3.
Denison added two runs in the bottom of the inning to bring the score to a final at 10-5. Kate Rentschler started the game, allowing five runs on six hits in three innings. Sarah Rozell picked up the win after going four innings, allowing no runs on just two hits. Rozell struck out seven of the 15 batters she faced.
Gustavus 10 def. Denison 5 – Box Score
Gustavus’ third contest of the weekend turned out to be its closest battle as the Gusties edged Calvin College by the score of 3-2 on the afternoon of Saturday, March 17.
The Gusties were down 2-0 early after Calvin’s Lina Avila homered in the top of the first inning.
After Avila’s home run, Gustavus pitcher Kate Rentschler buckled down, allowing just three hits in the remaining six innings. Rentschler allowed a total of four hits while striking out eight in the victory.
Gustavus’ three runs came in the bottom of the third (1) and fifth (2) innings. The Gusties third inning run came when Shelby Nosen got on base after being walked. She later scored on a passed ball. In the fifth inning, Gustavus added two more runs, which included the eventual game-winner, on a double by Lisa Klass.
Klass finished the game 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI at the dish. Morgan also had a multiple-hit game, going 2-for-3 with a double.
Gustavus 3 def. Calvin 2 – Box Score
Gustavus’ three-day trip came to an end with a 10-4 loss to ninth-ranked Central College on Saturday night.
After matching runs in the first inning, Gustavus grabbed a 4-1 lead after scoring twice in the top of the third and once more in the fourth. In the first inning, Kat Dahl drove in the opening run of the game to score Lisa Klass. After a Sarah Rozell double and a Mackenzie Dalton single in the third inning, Gustavus was on top 3-1. Later in the fourth, Jen Ulmen singled to left to plate Brittany Brenke and bring Gustavus to its final run total.
Although Rozell was able to keep Central at bay for three innings, the first-year pitcher was not so fortunate in the fourth inning. Central went on to rattle off six runs off six hits in the inning, taking a 7-4 advantage on the Gusties through four complete innings. Rozell pitched all six innings, allowing 13 hits and 10 runs.
The Dutch would go on to add three more runs on three his in the sixth inning to bring the score to a final at 10-4.
Brenke was Gustavus’ leading hitter in the game, going 3-fro-4 with a double and two runs.
Central 10 def. Gustavus 4 – Box Score
The Gustavus softball team will kick off its MIAC schedule on Wednesday, March 28 against Bethel. The Gusties will travel to Arden Hills, Minn. to take on the Royals at 3:30 p.m.