St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus softball team’s 4-0 win in game two of Saturday’s doubleheader not only earned the Gusties a split, but it snapped an 11-game losing-streak against the University of St. Thomas. The Tommies prevailed 7-5 in ten innings in game one, scoring two runs in the top of the 10th inning and shutting the Gusties down in the bottom half. Neither Gustavus nor St. Thomas gained any ground in the conference standings at the end of the day as both teams still remain atop the MIAC with 11-1 records. Gustavus is now 19-7 overall, while St. Thomas is 24-6.
After two scoreless innings to start game one, St. Thomas drew first blood with a run in the top of the third and another in the top of the fourth to take a 2-0 lead. Kimmy Hassel drove in a run with a double to center field in the third inning (1-0), and Annie Boyer scored on a passed ball in the bottom of the fourth (2-0).
Gustavus recorded two hits through the first four innings before breaking out with a three-hit, three-run inning in the bottom of the fifth. After MacKenzie Dalton led off the inning with a single to center, Carly Klass later brought her around to score on a one-run single up the middle. Carly Klass was Gustavus’ top hitter of game one, going 3-for-4 with a double, a run, and a RBI. Lisa Klass followed her sister’s RBI hit with one-run double that scored Shelby Nosan, who earlier reached on an error. Carly later scored on a wild pitch to put the Gusties on top 3-2 after five complete innings.
The two squads went back-and-forth in the sixth and seventh innings. After the Tommies tied the game at 3-3 with a run in the top of the sixth, Gustavus rebounded with a run in the bottom half of the inning to take back the lead at 4-3. Starting pitcher Kate Rentschler helped herself out with a one-run blast over the center field wall to give the Gusties the one-run edge.
St. Thomas would not be denied in the top of the seventh, scoring two runs to grab a 5-4 lead. Hassel singled to center field with two outs, bringing in Alyssa Dunrud who collided with Gustavus catcher Kat Dahl in a play at the plate. Dunrud dislodged the ball on the play to tie the game at 4-4. Hassel later scored on a wild pitch for the go-ahead run at 5-4.
Also not to be denied, Gustavus bounced back with a run in the bottom of the seventh. After Shelby Nosan doubled off the left field wall to start the inning, Lisa Klass singled to right to bring Nosan across home plate for the game-tying score (5-5).
After two scoreless extra innings where neither team could get bring a run across, a player was placed on second base to start the 10th inning due to the international extra inning rules. Maggie Briesmeister and Jenna Hoffman both recorded one-run singles to give the Tommies a 7-5 lead in the inning.
Gustavus threatened in the bottom half yet couldn’t muster up any more magic. Rentschler suffered the loss in a nine and one third innings performance, falling to 10-3 on the year. The junior allowed seven runs (three earned runs) on 11 hits in the game.
St. Thomas’ Kendra Bowe improved to 14-0 on the season with the victory, allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits in five and two-thirds innings.
Lisa Klass extended her hitting streak to 13 games with a 2-for-4, two-RBI performance in game one. She also recorded five assists and six put-outs with no errors defensively.
Gustavus was the first to strike first in game two, scoring two runs in the bottom of the third to go up 2-0. Carly Klass plated Shelby Nosan with a single to right center, then later scored on an error by the Tommie pitcher.
Gustavus starter Sarah Rozell found a way to work out jams from start to finish. St. Thomas registered a hit in second, third, fourth and fifth innings yet couldn’t bring a runner home to score. Rozell pitched the first seven-inning shutout of her career, allowing four hits and striking out four in the victory. The rookie picked up her 10th win of the season and is now 10-2 with a 2.12 ERA.
Gustavus added a run in the fourth and another in the fifth to bring the score to a final at 4-0. Nosan doubled down the left field line to score Sam Breneman in the fourth, and Jen Ulmen knocked out her fifth home run of the season with a shot to left-center in the fifth.
Nosan finished 2-for-3 with a run and a RBI, while Gustavus as a team outhit the Tommies 6-to-4.
Kirstin Bigelbach (4-2) suffered the loss after going five innings and allowing four runs (two earned) on six hits. St. Thomas left seven runners on base in the contest.
The Gustavus softball team will begin another six-game week on Tuesday, April 17 against St. Catherine in St. Paul. The doubleheader is set to begin at 3:30 p.m.