St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus softball team suffered its first loss in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) play on Sunday afternoon when it split with the College of Saint Benedict at Hollingsworth Field.
The Blazers took the first game by the score of 9-5 thanks to a four-run seventh inning. The Gusties then used a pair of four-run innings to come back and capture an 8-4 win in game two. With the split, Gustavus moves to 8-8 overall and 3-1 in the MIAC, while Saint Benedict is now 14-5 overall and 1-3 in league play.
Game 1 – Gustavus 5, Saint Benedict 9
The Gusties could not hang on to a 4-1 lead in Sunday’s first game. Gustavus got on the scoreboard early with a run in the bottom of the first inning. Shelby Nosan (Jr., Baudette, Minn.) led off the inning with a single to center field. Three batters later, Nathalee Boissiere (So., Plymouth, Minn.) brought her around to score with a single up the middle.
The Blazers had the equalizer in the top of the third inning when Staci Svihel nailed a two-out double to left center to bring in Kim Lidstone from second base. However, the score would not remain tied for long, as the Gusties came back to score three runs in the bottom half of the inning.
Nosan sparked the rally with a walk and Brittany Brenke (Sr., Le Sueur, Minn.) singled to left, advancing to second on a throw that was intended to catch Nosan advancing to third. Kaitlyn Bicek (So., Northfield, Minn.) followed with a double to right center to score both of her teammates. Boissiere delivered again with a single up the middle for Gustavus’s third consecutive hit. The single scored Bicek and gave the Gusties a 4-1 lead heading to the fourth, but the Blazers would not go quietly.
Saint Benedict responded with a run in the top of the fourth and three more in the top of the fifth to take a 5-4 lead thanks to a two-run home run from Lexi Alm and a Gustavus error that allowed Kelsey McQuillan to score.
Gustavus had the answer in the bottom half of the inning. Nathalee Boissiere again came through in the clutch, knocking in Shelby Nosan from third with a single to left field. The RBI-single tied the game at five runs apiece, which is where it would stay headed to the seventh and final inning.
The Blazers broke the game open in the top of the seventh. Saint Benedict hit back-to-back home runs to score four runs after the Gusties should have been out of the inning, had it not been for a Gustavus error that gave the Blazers new life. A three-run homer by Mackenzie Wenner followed by a solo shot by Lonnica Johnson gave Saint Ben’s the 9-5 win.
Nathalee Boissiere led the way for the Gusties at the plate with a 3 for 4 with three runs batted in (RBI). Shelby Nosan also went 2 for 3 with a walk and three runs scored. Maddie Lenker paced Saint Benedict going 2 for 4 with four RBI.
Game 2 – Gustavus 8, Saint Benedict 4
Gustavus used a pair of big innings in the second game of the afternoon on the way to an 8-4 win. After the Blazers went down quietly in the top of the first inning, the Gusties put up four runs in the bottom half of the inning.
Three Saint Benedict errors aided the Gustie offense. A Kaitlyn Bicek double to center field was the only hit to produce a run in the inning. Of the four runs scored in the inning, three were unearned, as Gustavus took the early 4-0 lead.
The Blazers went on to score one run in the top of the third and two more in the top of the sixth to cut the lead to 4-3, but the Gusties came right back with another four-run inning in the bottom of the sixth to seal the win. A Kailey Morgan (Jr., Mound, Minn.) two-run double to left center and a Carly Klass (Jr., Richfield, Minn.) two-run bomb gave the Gusties all the breathing room they would need to capture the win.
Klass led the way at the dish, going 2 for 3 with two RBI and two runs scored. Bicek also went 2 for 3 in the game. Lexi Alm led the Blazers with a 3 for 4 performance at the plate with an RBI and run scored.
Sarah Rozell (Jr., Lakeville, Minn.) picked up the win, spreading out nine hits and giving up four runs over seven innings of work.
Gustavus will be back in action on Tuesday, when it is set to host St. Olaf for a doubleheader beginning at 3:30 p.m.