St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus softball team split a non-conference doubleheader with UW-La Crosse on Tuesday afternoon at Hollingsworth Field. The Gusties and Eagles battled in a pair of low-scoring, defensive games as UW-La Crosse took game one by the score of 3-2 and Gustavus captured game two with a 1-0 final. With Tuesday’s results, Gustavus moves to 11-9 overall, while UW-La Crosse is now 16-4 on the season.
Gustavus 2, UW-La Crosse 3
The Gusties opened the afternoon with a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to the Eagles. After taking a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning, Gustavus could not hold on as UW-La Crosse went on to score two runs in the top of the seventh inning to capture the dramatic win.
UW-La Crosse was the first to strike in the top of the third. Katrina O’Keefe led off the inning with an infield single. She was moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt by Emily Holldorf and came around to score on an Alecia Faber single.
Gustavus answered with a run of its own in the bottom half of the third. Pitcher Sarah Rozell (Jr., Lakeville, Minn.) opened the inning with a leadoff infield single. Lydia Wagner (Fy., Zumbrota, Minn.) followed with a single up the middle and Shelby Nosan (Jr., Baudette, Minn.) was hit by a pitch to load the bases with nobody out.
However, the Gusties could only manage to score one run as they left two stranded. The lone run came when Rozell scored on an error by Eagle pitcher Jessie Carignan to tie the score.
The Eagles threatened in both the fourth and fifth innings, but pitcher Sarah Rozell was able to pitch out of jams each time, leaving three UW-La Crosse runners on base in the fourth and two more in the fifth.
The score remained 2-1 in favor of the Gusties headed to the seventh and final inning. An Alecia Faber single followed a leadoff walk to put runners on first and second with no outs. A throwing error by Gustavus brought around both runners to score, which proved to be all the Eagles would need in the one-run win.
Lydia Wagner was the only Gustie to record multiple hits in the game. The first-year went 2 for 3 with a pair of singles, while Kaitlyn Bicek (So., Northfield, Minn.) and Kailey Morgan (Jr., Mound, Minn.) each recorded an RBI. For UW-La Crosse, Alecia Faber, Megan Nelson, and Katrina O’Keefe all went 2 for 3 to lead the way at the plate.
Jessie Carignan was awarded the win after allowing just two runs in seven innings of work. Sarah Rozell suffered the loss, allowing three runs on seven hits in a seven-inning effort. Rozell also walked five and struck out four.
Gustavus 1, UW-La Crosse 0
Gustavus got the revenge it was looking for in game two with a 1-0 win in what proved to be a defensive battle. Although the Eagles averaged 7.2 runs per game coming into the afternoon, the Gusties held them scoreless in the victory.
After a scoreless two and a half innings, Gustavus got the run it needed in the bottom of the third. Paige Breneman (Jr., Sherburn, Minn.) started things off with a single through the left side. Shelby Nosan followed with an infield single and Carly Klass (Jr., Richfield, Minn.) reached on an error in right field.
With the bases loaded and one out, Kaitlyn Bicek smoked a groundball through the right side to score Breneman and the Gusties were on the board. It was all Gustavus would need, which was fortunate for the Gustie women because the run was all they could manage in the inning, leaving the bases loaded.
The Eagles threatened in the top of the following inning, putting two runners on base, but first-year pitcher Hannah Heacox was lights out on the rubber and the pair of base runners were left stranded.
Both teams would pitch a shutout for the remainder of the contest as the Gusties captured the narrow victory.
Gustavus recorded just four hits in the game, but it was Kaitlyn Bicek with what proved to be the game-winning RBI. Similarly, UW-La Crosse was held to just three hits in the ball game. Alecia Faber led the way with a double, the Eagles’ only extra-base hit.
Both pitchers were stellar throughout the contest. Gustavus starter Hannah Heacox (Fy., Stillwater, Minn.) went all seven innings, allowing no runs on just three hits and striking out four in her third win of the season. Megan Nelson allowed only one run and four hits, and also struck out four in the loss.
Gustavus will be back in action tomorrow afternoon when it travels to Northfield, Minn., to take on Carleton College in a doubleheader that is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m.