St. Paul, Minn. – The Gustavus softball team saw its 2014 season come to an end with a 7-5 loss to Bethel in the MIAC Playoffs on Saturday afternoon at Macalester College. After falling to top-seeded St. Thomas last night, the Gusties needed to beat the Royals this afternoon to keep their season alive, but Bethel had another idea in mind, as they captured the two-run victory. With the win, the Royals improve to 25-17 overall and advance to the MIAC Playoff Championship, while Gustavus finishes the year second in the regular season standings and third in the Playoffs with a record of 24-15.
Neither team wasted any time getting on the scoreboard on Saturday, as each scored in the first inning. Bethel took advantage of a leadoff walk issued to Angie Jackson in the top of the first. She later came around to score on a single by Kelsey Anderson to give the Royals the early 1-0 lead.
Gustavus answered in the bottom of the first with a run of its own. Shelby Nosan (Jr., Baudette, Minn.) singled to lead off the inning. Four batters later, Nosan came around to score on a single by Carly Klass (Jr., Richfield, Minn.) to tie the game headed to the second.
The two teams followed a similar sequence in the second inning, each scoring another run. A solo home run by Tara Schinke did the trick for the Royals before Nosan knocked in Kailey Morgan (Jr., Mound, Minn.) on a single to center field.
Bethel broke the game open in the top of the third with a pair of home runs to score three runs and take a 5-2 lead. Caroline Kivisto led things off with a solo shot to left. Micayla Moore followed with a two-run bomb four batters later.
The Royals extended that lead to 6-2 in the top of the fourth when Kivisto went yard for the second time in as many innings, but Gustavus responded with three runs in the bottom half of the inning to narrow the game to 6-5. It was Nosan who delivered again, launching a three-run homer down the line in left.
After a scoreless fifth and sixth innings, Bethel was able to add an insurance run in the top of the seventh when Shelbi Swenson slapped an RBI single to center to score Jessica Brown from second and give the Royals the 7-5 lead.
The Gusties were unable to get anything going in the bottom half of the inning, as they went down in order in the two-run loss.
Nosan was one of three players to record multiple hits in the contest. The junior went 3 for 4 with four RBI and a pair of runs scored. Carly Klass and Kailey Morgan also went 2 for 3 in the game. Caroline Kivisto led the way for the Royals, going 2 for 2 with two home runs.
Hannah Heacox (Fy., Stillwater, Minn.) suffered the loss for the Gusties. Heacox went all seven innings and gave up seven runs on nine hits with eight strikeouts to finish the year with a record of 12-4. Lindsay Edee earned the win for the Royals after allowing five runs on eight hits in five innings of work to improve to 14-4 on the season.