St. Joseph, Minn. – The Gustavus softball team was unfazed by the short turnaround and long bus trip to St. Joseph on Monday afternoon, defeating the Blazers by scores of 3-1 and 5-0 at the Blazer Softball Field. With a pair of strong pitching performances that yielded just one run in 14 innings by Kate Rentschler and Sarah Rozell, Gustauvs improves to 25-7 overall and 17-1 in the MIAC. Saint Benedict drops to 18-12 overall and 10-8 in the MIAC after suffering sweep.
A total of eight different Gustavus players got on the stat sheet with a hit in game one. Center fielder Brittany Brenke had two of Gustavus’ nine hits, going 2-for-4 at the dish.
Second baseman Lisa Klass continued her double-hitting tear in the top of the third inning, leading off the frame with a two-bagger to left. After first baseman Kailey Morgan followed with a single two batters later, left fielder Jen Ulmen brought Klass in to score with a grounder to short, putting Gustavus up 1-0. Designated player Sarah Rozell then singled to center to bring Morgan in and Gustavus was on top 2-0.
After Saint Ben’s cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth, catcher Sam Breneman drove in an insurance run in the top of the sixth, bringing the score to a final at 3-1.
Starter Kate Rentschler picked up the win and improved to 13-3 with a complete-game performance. Rentschler allowed one run (zero earned) on six hits while striking out eight.
Starting pitcher Sarah Rozell followed suit with a strong outing of her own in game two of Monday’s twin bill. Rozell allowed seven hits in a seven-inning shutout victory. She struck out four batters and walked two on the way to her 13th win of the season. The rookie is now 13-2 with two seven-inning shutouts.
For the second-straight game, the Gusties took a 2-0 lead after scoring twice in the top of the third inning. A Lisa Klass single set the table for a two run home run by Kailey Morgan in the inning.
Gustavus would later add two more runs in the top of the sixth and another in the top of the seventh. The sixth inning’s second batter Kate Rentschler knocked out a one-run homer to give Gustavus a 3-0 advantage, and third baseman Carly Klass made it a 4-0 game after plating right fielder MacKenzie Dalton with a double. Morgan knocked her second home run of the game, and fourth of the season, in the seventh to put Gustavus on top 5-0.
Morgan finished 2-for-3 with two runs, three RBI, and a walk. She is the first Gustavus hitter to hit two home runs in a game since Jen Ulmen did so on May 7, 2011 against Saint Mary’s in the MIAC Playoffs. Lisa Klass also had a multiple-hit game, going 2-for-4 with a run and a stolen base.
The Gustavus softball team will be at home for the final time this season on Wednesday, April 25 against Augsburg. Gustavus’ doubleheader against the Auggies is designated as Senior Day and a special tribute will be made to Gustavus seniors Lisa Klass and Dee Dee Arnold. Wednesday’s doubleheader begins at 3:30 p.m.