Fargo, N.D. – The Gustavus softball team exploded to score a 31 runs in a pair of Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) games against Concordia College on Friday afternoon at Shanley High School in Fargo, N.D.
The Gusties scored a 10-1 win in five innings in game one before capturing an impressive 21-2 win in which they broke one school record and tied another in game two. Gustavus racked up 36 total bases in the game two win, the most in a game in program history. The mark breaks the record of 31 set on May 7th, 2011 against Saint Mary’s University. The Gusties also recorded 22 hits, which ties the school record set on March 14th, 2009 against Buena Vista University.
With the pair of wins, Gustavus improves to 21-13 overall and 15-5 in the MIAC, while Concordia falls to 6-25 overall and 1-13 in league play.
Game 1 – Gustavus 10 def. Concordia 1
Gustavus put each of its first three batters on base the start the game and set the tone early in game one.
Shelby Nosan (Jr., Baudette, Minn.) led off the inning with a single up the middle. Brittany Brenke (Sr., Le Sueur, Minn.) then reached on an error and Kaitlyn Bicek (So., Northfield, Minn.) singled to bring in Nosan and give the Gusties the early 1-0 lead with nobody out in the top of the first. Brenke later scored on a Nathalee Boissiere (So., Plymouth, Minn.) sacrifice fly and Gustavus had a 2-0 lead.
From there, the Gustie women would never look back, scoring another run in the top of the second, four more in the third, and three in the top of the fifth. Kat Dahl (Sr., Luverne, Minn.) scored on a wild pitch in the second before Kaitlyn Bicek hit a solo home run and Kailey Morgan (Jr., Mound, Minn.) launched a three-run shot to right field in the third to give their team a 7-0 lead.
Concordia was able to score its first run of the game in the bottom of the fourth, but Gustavus answered with a three-run top of the fifth to end the game early. A two-run single from Nosan and an RBI single by Brooke Falk (Jr., Glenwood, Minn.) did the damage, pushing the Gusties on to the 10-1 win.
Nosan (2-4), Bicek (2-3), and Morgan (2-2) each had a pair of hits to lead the way for the Gusties, who tallied 12 total hits on the afternoon. Nosan had two RBI and two runs scored, while Bicek had two RBI and Morgan had three.
Hannah Heacox (Fy., Stillwater, Minn.) and Jessica Williams (So., Plymouth, Minn.) split time in the circle for the Gusties. Heacox went the first three innings, allowing no runs and no hits with four
strikeouts to record the win. Williams came in the final two innings in relief, giving up the only run on just two hits and four strikeouts of her own. Hillary Rotunda was tagged with the loss for the Cobbers.
Game 2 – Gustavus 21 def. Concordia 2
Gustavus came out firing on all cylinders again in game two, breaking the school record for total bases (36) and tying the record for hits in a game (22). The Gusties again used a large early lead to remove all doubt from the game. Gustavus scored three runs in the first, six in the second and four more in the third to take a commanding 13-0 lead.
The Gusties scored all three runs in the top of the first with two outs. After a double play put the pressure on, Carly Klass (Jr., Richfield, Minn.) delivered with an RBI single. Kailey Morgan followed with another home run, this time a two-run bomb to left that gave the Gusties the early 3-0 lead.
They were back at it again in the second, scoring six more runs to extend the lead to 9-0. RBI singles by Addy Nelsen (So., Willmar, Minn.), Shelby Nosan, and Kaitlyn Bicek helped in the big inning, while Morgan came through again, hitting her third homer of the day and second of the day to bring in two more runs.
Gustavus showed no signs of slowing down in the third, scoring four more runs to open up a 13-0 lead. After Caitlin Whitney (Sr., Waseca, Minn.) scored on an error, a three-run triple from Klass finished off the inning.
The Cobbers got on the board in the bottom of the third, but the Gusties answered with their biggest inning yet, scoring seven runs in the top of the fourth. RBI singles from Addy Nelsen, Jaden Fischer (Jr., Brooklyn Park, Minn.), and Jessica Williams aided in the landslide inning, but it was Rachel Malo (Fy., Owatonna, Minn.) who stole the show with a grand slam over the right field fence to extend the Gustavus lead to 20-1.
Malo went deep again in the top of the fifth, this time a solo shot. Concordia also scored a run in the bottom half of the inning, but the damage had already been done, as the Gusties cruised to the 19-run victory.
Malo and Morgan led the way with a pair of home runs each for the Gusties at the plate. Malo racked up five RBI on her two jacks, while Morgan posted four RBI. Carly Klass also batted in three four runs after going 2 for 4. Jessica Williams and Addy Nelsen each went 3 for 4. Williams scored twice and Nelsen scored three times, while senior Caitlin Whitney was a perfect 3 for 3 with three runs scored in the game.
Williams went all five innings on the rubber, giving up two runs on six hits and striking out six compared to just one walk. It was her fifth win of the season and brought her winning percentage back to .500 on the year, as she is now 5-5. JoAnna Carlson was tagged with the loss for Concordia.
The Gusties will be back in action again on Saturday, as they travel to St. Paul to take on Hamline University in an MIAC doubleheader beginning at 1:00 p.m.