Rochester, Minn. – The Gustavus softball team split with a pair of Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) opponents to begin its season 1-1 on Saturday night at the Rochester Community and Technical College Dome. The Gusties defeated Loras 9-6 in their first game before falling to the University of Dubuque in eight innings in the second.
Game 1 – Gustavus 9, Loras 6
Gustavus wasted no time getting on the scoreboard early in its first game of the season. The Gusties put up five runs in the bottom of the first inning to take a 5-0 lead. Gustavus loaded the bases twice in the inning, getting key singles from Kat Dahl (Sr., Luverne, Minn.) and Kailey Morgan (Jr., Mound, Minn.). Dahl recorded a run batted in (RBI), while Morgan’s single produced two runs. Rachel Malo (Fy., Owatonna, Minn.) also doubled in a pair of runs to give her team the early five-run lead.
Loras answered with a pair of runs in the top of the second inning thanks to back-to-back home runs from Alaina Rigden and Mikaila Haase, but the Gusties matched the two runs in the bottom of the second. After Kaitlyn Bicek (So., Northfield, Minn.) walked, Kat Dahl brought her around with a two-run home run to extend the Gustavus lead to 7-2.
From there, Gustavus would answer nearly every comeback push that Loras made and held on for the three-run victory. The Gusties outhit the Duhawks 12-7 in the game. Kat Dahl and Kailey Morgan each recorded three RBI in the game. Dahl went 2 for 3 with a home run, while Morgan was 2 for 4 with a double. Mikaila Haase led the way for the Duhawks, going 2 for 2 with three RBI. Haase homered and doubled to go along with two walks.
On the rubber, Sarah Rozell (Jr., Lakeville, Minn.) went all seven innings, allowing six runs on seven hits and striking out six in the win. Holley Klein suffered the loss after allowing seven runs on six hits in just one and a third inning of work.
Game 2 – Gustavus 4, Dubuque 5 (8 inn.)
In its second game on Saturday, Gustavus scored a run in three of the first four innings to take a 3-0 lead into the fifth, but could not fend off a determined Dubuque team that came from behind to win in extra innings.
The Gusties got on the scoreboard in the top of the first inning thanks to an RBI double from Carly Klass (Jr., Richfield, Minn.) that scored Breanne Rentschler (Jr., Lakefield, Minn.) from second. Kaitlyn Bicek followed with a solo home run in the top of the third and Rachel Malo scored on a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded in the fourth to give Gustavus a 3-0 lead.
Dubuque came roaring back with two runs in the bottom of the fifth thanks to a two-run double by Caitlin Aulwes that cut its deficit to 3-2. After Gustavus scored a run in the top of the sixth, the Spartans scored two more in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game at four apiece.
Neither team scored in the seventh inning, and the two teams went to extras. Following a scoreless top of the eighth for the Gusties, Tori Woltz singled in Hannah Koerperich for the game-winning run.
Kaitlyn Bicek led the Gusties at the plate, going 2 for 4 with an RBI and a home run, while Tori Woltz went 3 for 4 with a double and two RBI for the Spartans, including the game-winning hit.
Jessica Williams (So., Plymouth, Minn.) suffered the loss in the circle for the Gusties, allowing four runs on seven hits and striking out four. Hannah Koerperich was awarded the win after recording the final eight outs without giving up a run.