St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus softball team used a pair of big innings and clutch hitting to capture a sweep over Macalester College in a Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at the Gustie Softball Field. The Gusties scored eight runs in the bottom of the first on their way to an 11-4 win in game one before a three-run bottom of the sixth enabled them to come from behind in a 6-4 win in game two. With this afternoon’s results, Gustavus improves to 16-12 overall and 10-4 in the MIAC, while Macalester drops to 15-13 overall and 5-7 in league play.
Game 1 – Gustavus 11 def. Macalester 4
The story of the first game came in the first inning when the Gusties scored eight runs to take a commanding early lead. After holding the Scots scoreless in the top half of the inning, Gustavus loaded the bases with only one out when Shelby Nosan (Jr., Baudette, Minn.) scored on a passed ball. Kat Dahl (Sr., Luverne, Minn.) singled in a run and Kailey Morgan (Jr., Mound, Minn.) was hit by a pitch to bring in another. Lydia Wagner (Fy., Zumbrota, Minn.) then cleared the bases with a three-run triple to right center before Nosan capped the offensive explosion with a two-run home run to left. All told, the Gusties scored eight runs on five hits and one Macalester error, while still leaving one runner on base in the inning to take the early 8-0 lead.
Macalester came back to score three runs in the top of the third inning and it looked as though the Scots were going to crawl back into the game. However, the Gusties answered in the bottom of the fourth with a three-run bomb by Carly Klass (Jr., Richfield, Minn.) to erase all doubt. The homer gave Gustavus an 11-3 lead, which would be more than enough for the win.
The Scots were able to score one more run in the top of the fifth thanks to a solo jack by Abby Cox, but it was all they could manage in the seven-run loss.
Seven different players recorded a hit for the Gusties, who ended the game with 10 total. Shelby Nosan led the way with a 3 for 4 day. She also scored twice and notched two runs batted in (RBI). Carly Klass recorded three RBI thanks to her three-run homer in the fourth and Nathalee Boissiere (So., Plymouth, Minn.) went 2 for 3 with a run scored. Saraswati Wilson and Abby Cox each went 2 for 4 with two RBI for Macalester.
First-year pitcher Hannah Heacox (Stillwater, Minn.) continued her strong command with a lights out performance in her sixth win of the season. Heacox allowed four runs on just four hits and struck out 10 in a complete game effort. Brittany Ehmann was given the loss for the Scots after giving up all eight runs in the first inning.
Game 2 – Gustavus 6 def. Macalester 4
Gustavus jumped out to an early lead again in game two. This time, the Gusties scored two runs in the bottom of the first and one more in the second to take an early 3-0 lead.
Consecutive infield singles led off the game for the Gusties. The early base runners were put to good use when Carly Klass tripled to right center, bringing in both runners and giving Gustavus the early 2-0 lead.
The Gustie women manufactured another run in the bottom half of the second. Paige Breneman (Jr., Sherburn, Minn.) drew a walk to lead off the inning. She advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jessica Williams (So., Plymouth, Minn.) and later came around to score on a double to the gap in left center by Shelby Nosan.
Trailing 3-0, the Scots responded with a run in the top of the third. A pair of two-out singles and some crafty base running forced the Gustie defense into making a mistake, allowing Saraswati Wilson to score and cut the lead to 3-1.
A scoreless fourth inning gave way to a big three-run top of the fifth for Macalester. An RBI single and back-to-back sacrifice flies gave the Scots the three runs they needed to recapture the lead with the score 4-3.
Gustavus went down quietly in the bottom of the fifth, but made its noise in the bottom of the sixth with three runs to take a 6-4 lead. Carly Klass got the rally started with one away when she lined a shot that skipped off the second baseman’s glove. Kailey Morgan then delivered a clutch RBI double off the wall in right center to bring Klass in to score all the way from first to tie the game.
Paige Breneman followed suit with an RBI double down the left field line to score the go-ahead run. She later scored on another error by the Macalester defense to give the Gusties a 6-4 lead, which is where it would stay thanks to a one-two-three top of the seventh.
Nosan paced the Gusties at the plate again in game two. The junior was a perfect 3 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored. Paige Breneman also went 2 for 2 with an RBI and scored two runs. Saraswati Wilson was 2 for 4 with an RBI and a pair of runs for the Scots.
On the rubber, starter Jessica Williams gave a solid effort, allowing four runs on six hits in five innings of work. However, it was Hannah Heacox who recorded the win after pitching the final two innings in relief. Heacox held the Scots scoreless and allowed just one hit while striking out two. Miranda Stokes suffered the loss for Macalester. Stokes gave up all six runs in five and two-thirds innings of work.
The Gusties will be back on the diamond on Tuesday, April 22nd, when they travel to St. Paul, Minn., to take on St. Catherine University in another MIAC doubleheader. That twin bill is set to begin at 3:30 p.m.
Strikeout Cancer Day
Today was also StriKeout Cancer Day at the Gustie Softball Field. The StriKeout Cancer initiative unites the American Cancer Society and the National Fastpitch Coaches Association to help raise funds and awareness to fight cancer. The program leverages the personal experiences, community leadership, and professional excellence of fastpitch softball coaches nationwide to help increase cancer education and promote healthy living through awareness efforts and fund-raising activities. The Gustavus softball team would like to extend a sincere thank you to all those involved in this special day.