St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus softball team split a Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) doubleheader against Bethel on Friday afternoon at the Gustie Softball Field. A snow-covered field forced a schedule change that saw the series, originally scheduled for Thursday in Arden Hills, Minn., moved to the Gustie Softball Field, where Gustavus captured an 8-6 win in game one before Bethel came back to score a 4-1 win in the second game. With today’s results, the Gusties move to 14-12 overall and 8-4 in the MIAC, while the Royals are now 15-12 overall and 6-4 in league play.
Game 1 – Gustavus 8 def. Bethel 6
Gustavus wasted little time getting on the scoreboard in game one. The Gusties jumped on Bethel pitcher Courtney Saurer from the start, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning.
After recording two quick outs to open the game, Kaitlyn Bicek (So., Northfield, Minn.) singled to get things started. Nathalee Boissiere (So., Plymouth, Minn.) doubled off the base of the wall in left field to bring in Bicek and Kat Dahl (Sr., Luverne, Minn.) followed with a single through the left side to score Boissiere from second and give the Gusties the early 2-0 lead.
The Royals responded with a run in the bottom half of the inning, but Gustavus came right back to score another in the top of the second when a sacrifice fly by Jessica Williams (So., Plymouth, Minn.) scored Hannah Heacox (Fy., Stillwater, Minn.) from third.
Trailing 3-1, Bethel stepped up to score two runs in the bottom of the third to tie the game with a pair of manufactured runs. The Royals added to their lead when a Caroline Kivisto three-run home run cleared the fence in left field to take a 6-3 lead.
But the Gusties would not go away. Gustavus responded to the Bethel three-run fifth with four runs in the top of the sixth to take a 7-6 lead. A two-run double to left center by Kailey Morgan (Jr., Mound, Minn.) sparked the big inning. Jaden Fischer (Jr., Brooklyn Park, Minn.) followed with an RBI double off the wall in left and Brittany Brenke (Sr., Le Sueur, Minn.) contributed an RBI single up the middle two batters later to regain the lead.
Gustavus went on to tack on an insurance run in the top of the seventh thanks to a squeeze bunt laid down by Heacox that scored Boissiere from third as the Gusties took game one by the final score of 8-6.
For the game, Gustavus racked up 12 hits and committed just one error compared to six hits and two errors for Bethel.
Nathalee Boissiere and Carly Klass (Jr., Richfield, Minn.) each went 2 for 4 at the plate in the contest, while Kat Dahl was 2 for 3. Boissiere also scored a pair of runs. Caroline Kivisto led the way at the dish for the Royals, going 1 for 3 with three RBI. Angie Jackson was 2 for 3 with a walk and two runs scored.
First-year pitcher Hannah Heacox went all seven innings to capture the complete game win and improve to 5-2 on the year. Heacox allowed six runs on just six hits and struck out five, while Karli Persson was tagged with the loss for the Royals. Persson came in relief to pitch the final inning and two-thirds, giving up two runs on three hits.
Game 2 – Bethel 4 def. Gustavus 1
The tides turned in game two, as it was Bethel who came out to grab the early lead. After the Gusties went down quietly in the top of the first, the Royals were able to take advantage of a Gustavus miscue to get on the scoreboard first in the bottom half of the inning.
Leadoff batter Angie Jackson was hit by a pitch and advanced to second via a passed ball to open the game with a runner in scoring position. Two batters later, Caroline Kivisto came up big with a single up the middle to score Jackson and give Bethel the early 1-0 lead, but the RBI single was the least of the damage Kivisto would do on the afternoon.
In the bottom of third, it was Kivisto one more time clearing the fence down the left field line with a two-run homer to put her team on top 3-0. A Paige Weiske single to right center later in the inning pushed the lead to 4-0, which would prove to be more than enough to capture the win.
Gustavus eventually broke up the shut out in the top of the fourth when a leadoff walk to Shelby Nosan (Sr., Baudette, Minn.) would turn into a run on an RBI single from Brittany Brenke.
The Gusties threatened again in both the top of the fifth and sixth. A Klass single and Morgan double put runners on second and third with only one out in the fifth, but a pop up and strikeout would not get the job done, leaving both runners stranded.
Again in the sixth, a pair of singles put runners at the corners for Gustavus, but the big hit avoided the Gustie women once more, as the Royals hung on for the three-run victory.
Gustavus was held to just five hits in the game, while Bethel recorded 11 hits and did not commit an error.
Brittany Brenke finished 1 for 3 with the lone RBI for the Gusties, while Kivisto continued her hot day with a 2 for 3, three RBI performance.
Starting pitcher Sarah Rozell (Jr., Lakeville, Minn.) suffered the loss, giving up all four runs in two and a third innings. Jessica Williams relieved Rozell in the third, finishing the final three and two-thirds with no runs allowed on six hits. Lindsay Edeen was awarded the win after going all seven innings and giving up one run on just five hits and striking out six.
Gustavus will be back in action tomorrow afternoon when it hosts Macalester College for a doubleheader at the Gustie Softball Field. Tomorrow’s first game is scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m., with the second game to follow shortly thereafter.