St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus softball team kicked off its MIAC season with a sweep of St. Olaf College on Thursday afternoon at Hollingsworth Field. The Gusties came back down 3-2 in their final at-bat to win 4-3 in game one, then completed the sweep with a 7-0 victory in game two. Gustavus improves to 5-8 overall and 2-0 in the MIAC, while St. Olaf drops to 5-9 overall and 0-2 in the MIAC.
Game One Recap
The day’s opening game saw its fair share of clutch hitting and power at the dish. After a scoreless first inning, Gustavus jumped out to 2-0 lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second.
After the leadoff hitter of the frame Sarah Rozell (So., Lakeville, Minn.) drew a walk, Kat Dahl (Jr., Luverne, Minn.) moved her into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. Kate Rentschler (Sr., Lakefield, Minn.) then drove Rozell in with a standup double that one-hopped the left field fence. With two outs two batters later, Carly Klass (So., Richfield, Minn.) traded places with Rentschler with a double of her own to the right-center field gap.
Following two scoreless innings, St. Olaf battled back with a big three-run inning in the top of the fifth. With two outs and runners on first and second base, Becca Walz drove a pitch into the right field stands to put the Oles up 3-2.
Gustavus threatened in the bottom of the sixth inning yet couldn’t come up with the big hit. With a runner on first, Rentschler once again drove a pitch into the left-center gap. The ball bounced once and hopped over the fence for a ground-rule double, keeping Dahl at third base. St. Olaf pitcher Amy Prok buckled down and got Kailey Morgan (So., Mound, Minn.) to pop out to end the inning.
Gustie starter Sarah Rozell mowed down St. Olaf’s final six batters in order, giving her squad a chance down a run heading into the bottom the seventh. Klass led the inning off by knocking the ball into the right-center field gap for a double. Pinch hitter Jaden Fischer (So., Brooklyn Park, Minn.) followed with a screaming single past the third baseman to put runners on first and third with no outs. Christina Riester (Sr., Wabasha, Minn.) took Fisher’s spot at first and advanced to second on catcher’s indifference. Sam Breneman (Sr., Sherburn, Minn.) then recorded a walk-off base hit through the right side, scoring both Klass and Riester to give Gustavus the one-run victory.
Rozell earned the complete-game victory and is now 3-3 on the year. She allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits while striking out seven. Her counterpart Amy Prok allowed four runs on eight hits in the loss.
Kate Rentschler finished 2-for-3 with two doubles, a RBI, and a run. Carly Klass also had a multiple-hit game, going 2-for-3 with two doubles and a RBI.
Game Two Recap
In the bottom of the second inning of game two, Klass singled up the middle to bring across Kat Dahl and give the Gusties a 1-0 lead. The score remained that way until Gustavus exploded for six combined runs in the fifth and sixth innings.
With two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning, Shelby Nosan (So., Baudette, Minn.) delivered a double down the left field line to score Brittany Brenke (Jr., Le Sueur, Minn.) and put Gustavus up 2-0. Dahl later roped a single to left field to score Nosan. Kate Rentschler hit a hard ground ball up the middle for a two-run base hit, and the inning ended with Gustavus leading 5-0.
The Gusties added two runs the following frame when Sam Breneman hit a ground ball single up the middle to bring across Breanne Rentschler (So., Lakefield, Minn.) and Klass. The two-run single brought the score to a final at 7-0.
Kate Rentschler earned Gustavus’s first complete-game shutout of the season with her outing in game two. The senior allowed just three hits, getting 13 ground outs while striking out two. She is now 2-5 on the year. St. Olaf’s Danielle Collins took the loss after allowing five runs on five hits in 4.2 innings.
Klass had another multiple-hit game, going 2-for-3 with a run and a RBI. Breneman also was 2-for-3 with two RBI.
The Gustavus softball team will be back in action on Saturday, April 6th when it hosts Hamline in a doubleheader beginning at 1:00 p.m. The games will be held at Hollingsworth Field.