Mankato, Minn. – On what was another cold and windy day at Caswell Park, the Gustavus Adolphus softball team did what it had to to stay alive and earn a place as one of the three teams still standing in the MIAC Playoffs. The Gusties fell to No. 1 seed St. Thomas 8-0 in six innings in their opening game of the day, yet rebounded with an 11-2 victory over No. 3 seed St. Olaf in the elimination game later in the night.
With the victory over St. Olaf, Gustavus earns a trip to another elimination game against No. 2 seed Bethel on Sunday at 9:00 a.m. Bethel defeated Olaf 10-2 in six innings before falling to St. Thomas 3-2 in eight innings.
The Golden Gusties will enter the final day of the MIAC Playoffs with an overall record of 15-18. St. Thomas is set to take on the winner of the Gustavus versus Bethel matchup at 11:30 a.m. If necessary, the winner of game six will face the loser of game six at 2:00 p.m. to close out the tournament
Gustavus vs. St. Thomas Recap
St. Thomas was on the scoreboard early and often to start the day. After scoring one run in the first inning, the Tommies added five more in the second, and another in the third to jump out to a 7-0 lead. Inside the fifth inning, Bianca Petersen hit a two-run home run, and Jenna Hoffman homered on the next at-bat. Peterson finished the game 2-for-3 with a run and two RBI, while Hoffman went 3-for-4 with a run and a RBI.
Kimmy Hassel and Alyssa Dunrud also had big games at the plate for the Tommies. Hassel went 2-for-4 with a double, two runs, and a RBI, and Dunrud went 2-for-3 with a run.
Gustavus starter Sarah Rozell (So., Lakeville, Minn.) lasted two innings and allowed six runs (five earned) on six hits. Kate Rentschler (Sr., Lakefield, Minn.) took her spot and allowed two runs on six hits in three and two-thirds innings.
Gustavus mustered just three hits throughout the game, as Tommie starter Kendra Bowe earned the victory after giving up two hits in four innings. Brianna Bannon took over for her and went two innings and allowed one hit.
Gustavus vs. St. Olaf Recap
Against St. Olaf in a win or go home scenario later in the evening, the difference was the third inning when Gustavus scored eight runs on seven hits. After Paige Breneman (So., Sherburn, Minn.) drew a bases loaded walk that tied the game at 2-2, the flood gates opened. Jessica Williams (Fy., Plymouth, Minn.) drove in two runs with a single up the middle before Christina Riester (Sr., Wabasha, Minn.) drove in another run with a single of her own. Now with a 5-2 lead, Kailey Morgan (So., Mound, Minn.) doubled to right-center to plate Brittany Brenke (Jr., Le Sueur, Minn.) and Riester, and Kate Rentschler followed with a two-run single through the right side of the infield. Rentschler’s single brought the score to 9-2 when the dust settled in Gustavus’s big inning.
St. Olaf’s only two runs of the game came in the second inning. From that inning on, Gustie starter Jessica Williams shut the Oles down the remaining four innings. Williams allowed two runs on six hits, improving to 2-1 overall with the win.
The Gusties added two runs in the top of the sixth inning to bring the game to a final at 11-2. Kat Dahl (Jr., Luverne, Minn.) singled down the left field line to score Carly Klass, and Williams brought Sam Breneman (Sr., Sherburn, Minn.) in with a sacrifice fly to left.
Gustavus tallied 14 total hits in the game. St. Olaf starter Danielle Collins took the loss after allowing nine runs (eight earned) on 10 hits in two and one-thirds innings.
Nine different Gusties recorded a hit, while five had a multiple-hit game. Kate Rentschler went 2-for-3 with a walk, run and three RBI, Paige Breneman went 2-for-3 with walk, double, run and a RBI, and Breanne Rentschler (So., Lakefield, Minn.) went 2-for-3 with a run. Klass finished 2-for-4 with two runs, and Dahl went 2-for-4 with a run and a RBI.