St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus softball team has made a habit out of winning close games as of late, and Sunday’s doubleheader against Carleton was no different. Trailing 5-0 after the top of the first inning of game one, Gustavus responded with seven unanswered runs to take the series-opener 7-5. In what was a pitching duel in the nightcap, the Gusties scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning to win the game 2-1 and pick up the series sweep. After the scare, Gustavus remains atop the league standings alongside St. Thomas at 15-1 in the MIAC and 23-7 overall. Carleton falls to 5-11 in the MIAC and 6-25 overall.
After two hits and two Gustie errors in the top of the first inning, Gustavus found itself down 5-0 to open the afternoon. Five of Carleton’s first six batters reached base and the Knights took advantage, recording five RBI in the inning.
Gustavus leadoff hitter Lisa Klass cut into the Carleton momentum with a double to the left-center field gap to start the bottom of the first inning. Klass would later come around to score on a pair of passed balls, cutting the Carleton lead to 5-1.
The Gusties would keep the pressure on in the bottom of the second and third innings, scoring two runs on three hits in the second and two runs on two hits in the third to tie the game at 5-5. With Shelby Nosan on second base with two outs in the second inning, Lisa Klass sent a 3-1 pitch over the right-center field wall to cut the lead to 5-3. The blast was Klass’s third of the season.
In the bottom of the third, it was starting pitcher Kate Rentschler helping herself out with a towering home run down the right field line. Rentschler’s homer, her fourth of the season, plated Sarah Rozell and tied the game at 5-5.
The Gusties added the game-winning run in the fifth when MacKenzie Dalton singled to center field to score Christina Riester, who was pinch-running for Rozell who reached on a one-out single.
After Klass doubled to right-center in the sixth, Brittany Brenke scored her with a single to right to bring the score to a final at 7-5.
In what was one of her most productive outings at the plate this season, senior Lisa Klass also solidified her place in the Gustavus record books. With a pair of doubles this afternoon, the Richfield, Minn. native is now the Gustavus softball doubles queen with a career total of 45 two-baggers in her four years wearing a Gustie uniform. Klass tied, then broke, Audrey Lenoch’s (2003-06) career mark of 44 doubles. Head Coach Jeff Annis’ second baseman finished 3-for-4 with three runs and two RBI in game one.
Rozell and Brenke also recorded multiple-hit games, as Rozell went 3-for-3 with a run, and Brenke finished 2-for-4 with a RBI.
Kate Rentschler allowed just two hits in the remaining six innings after Carleton’s five-run first frame. Rentschler gave up five runs (one earned run) in a complete-game performance, striking out six and giving up a total of four hits. The junior improved to 12-3 with the win.
Carleton’s Jenny Forster suffered the loss (2-4), allowing two runs on hour hits in four innings.
The afternoon’s night cap turned out to be a pitching battle between Carleton’s Claire Willeck and Gustavus’ Sarah Rozell. There were a total of just seven hits recorded between the two teams in the game, as Willeck allowed two runs (one earned run) on five hits, and Rozell let in one run on two hits. Rozell improves to 12-2 with the win, while Willeck drops to 2-8 with the loss. Gustavus’ rookie starter registered her second-best strike out total of the season with eight.
Following a scoreless first inning, Gustavus grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second. After Jen Ulmen walked to start the inning, Sam Breneman singled to right field to bring her across home plate for the opening run of the game. Breneman finished 2-for-3 with a RBI in the game.
After being blanked through five innings, the Knights picked up a run in the top of the sixth. Jenny Ramey did it herself in the inning, leading off with a triple to the right field corner, then scoring on a wild pitch to knot the game at 1-1.
With runners on the corners and two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Brittany Brenke slapped a ground ball to the left side of the infield. Shortstop Ramey mishandled the grounder, allowing Shelby Nosan to come across for the game-winning score.
Brenke, Nosan, and Carly Klass tallied the other three hits, as Gustavus left seven runners on base in the contest.
The Gustavus softball team has a short turnaround and will be back to work on Monday, April 23 when it travels to St. Joseph to take on Saint Benedict in a doubleheader beginning at 3:30 p.m.