St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus softball was able to come away with its second-consecutive conference sweep on Friday afternoon at the Gustie Softball Field, defeating Concordia by scores of 5-2 and 6-5 in its home-opening series. The Gusties used late-game scoring in both victories, scoring two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning in game one, and later scoring the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh of game two. Gustavus improves to 14-6 overall and 6-0 in the MIAC with the sweep, while Concordia drops to 5-16 overall and 3-5 in the MIAC.
The Cobbers got on the scoreboard first in game one when Kaia Sele knocked out her fourth home run of the season to put them up 1-0.
Gustavus answered back with a run in the bottom of the first. After Lisa Klass led the inning off with a double to left-center field, Jen Ulmen scored her on an RBI single through the left side of the infield.
The Gusties would take the lead in the bottom of the third inning when Kailey Morgan singled through the left side to bring across Lisa Klass. Klass finished with two runs in the game, going 1-for-1 with a RBI at the plate.
After Concordia tied the game at 2-2 on an RBI double to center by Paige Beseman, Gustavus once again answered with the eventual game-winning run (3-2) in the bottom half of the frame. Lisa Klass drove home Shelby Nosan, who doubled down the left field line to start the inning.
Pitcher Sarah Rozell helped herself out with a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, hitting her first collegiate home run to left-center to give Gustavus a 5-2 lead.
Rozell sat down the Cobbers in order in the final inning, earning the complete-game victory and improving to 7-2 on the year. Rozell allowed two runs on six hits while striking out five. MacKenzie Weatherly suffered the loss (2-6) for the Cobbers, allowing five runs on seven hits.
Kailey Morgan recorded Gustavus’ only multiple-hit game, going 2-for-3 with a run.
After Concordia scored two runs in the first inning of game two, the Gusties were forced to play catch-up once again. The Cobbers recorded two hits and took advantage of one Gustavus error in the inning. With one out and runners on second and third, starting pitcher Kate Rentschler was able to bear down and get a pair of strike-outs to end the inning with minimal damage done.
The Gusties rebounded with two runs in the bottom half of the inning to tie the score at 2-2. Lisa Klass led things off with a double to right-center and later scored on an error by the Cobber first baseman. Kailey Morgan, who reached on Concordia’s error, was later plated by Jen Ulmen who doubled to center field.
Concordia took back the lead at 3-2 in the top of the third inning when Paige Beseman flew out to right field to bring in Kelly Tasky.
Gustavus picked up a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth and one more in the sixth to take a 5-3 lead. RBI singles by Brittany Brenke and Morgan in the fourth inning scored Sam Breneman and Carly Klass, respectively, to put Gustavus on top 4-3. Carly Klass then gave Gustavus a two-run edge in the sixth with a single to left, bringing in Breneman.
Concordia would not be denied in the seventh inning, taking advantage of a Gustavus error to score two runs and tie the game at 5-5.
The Gusties answered right back in the bottom of the seventh. Jen Ulmen drew a one-out walk and Kate Rentschler singled through the right side to put runners on first and second. MacKenzie Dalton ended the game with a walk-off ground-ball base hit up the middle to score Ulmen and give Gustavus the 6-5 victory.
Ulmen and Breneman led the way at the dish. Ulmen went 2-for-3 with a run, a RBI, and a double, and Brenemen finished 2-for-2 with two runs and a double. With a 1-for-2 outing in game two, Lisa Klass extended her hitting-streak to eight games, a season-best and team-high for the senior.
Kate Rentschler earned the victory and improved to 8-2 after allowing five runs (two earned) on eight hits. Rentschler also tallied her second-highest strike out total of the season with seven ks.
The Gustavus softball team will be back on the diamond Monday, April 9 when it travels to Northfield, Minn. to take on St. Olaf. First pitch for game one is set for 2:00 p.m.