Softball Embarks On MIAC Playoffs Friday In Arden Hills

Posted on April 30th, 2015 by

St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus softball team is set to embark on the postseason this weekend as the 2015 MIAC Playoffs begin on Friday, May 1. After finishing the regular season 30-14 overall and 16-6 in the MIAC, the Gusties earned the No. 3 seed in the MIAC Playoffs and will take on No. 2 seeded Hamline University in their opening round game on Friday at 5:00 p.m.

Bethel University secured the No. 1 seed after winning the 2015 MIAC title with an 18-4 league record and a 27-13 overall mark. The University of St. Thomas rounds out the playoff field as the No. 4 seed at 32-8 overall and 16-6 in the MIAC.

The Gusties head into the postseason the fifth-ranked scoring team within conference play. Against league opponents, Gustavus scored 110 runs and hit .328 as a team (2nd). The Gusties boast one of the league’s top pitching staffs with an MIAC-best earned run average of 1.56 after giving up just 34 earned runs (1st).

Senior Sarah Rozell heads into the final MIAC Playoffs of her career with a 1.24 ERA against league opponents.

Senior Sarah Rozell heads into the final MIAC Playoffs of her career with a 1.24 ERA against league opponents.

Fronting that pitching staff is senior Sarah Rozell (Lakeville, Minn.) and sophomore Hannah Heacox (Stillwater, Minn.). In MIAC Play, Rozell was 7-1 with a 1.24 ERA, while Heacox was 9-3 with a 1.55 ERA.

Offensively, Gustavus was led by Kailey Morgan (Sr., Mound, Minn.), Shelby Nosan (Sr., Baudette, Minn.), Paige Breneman (Sr., Sherburn, Minn.), and Jena Willis (So., Glacier, Mont.) over the course of its 22-game conference schedule. Morgan led the way with a .415 batting average to go along with a team-best 14 RBI, eight doubles and four home runs. Shelby Nosan hit .397 and boasted the team’s top on-base percentage at .474. Breneman went on a strong late-season surge to bump her average to .389 to go along with a team-best 15 runs. Willis hit .386 as the team’s primary designated player in what was her first season seeing MIAC pitching.

The Gusties reached the 30-win mark for the first time since 2012 and have now reached the postseason in all 10 years of the Jeff Annis era. Gustavus and Hamline split in their regular season series on Saturday, April 25 in St. Peter. The Gusties cruised to a 7-0 win in game one, but the Pipers bounced back with a 5-2 victory in game two.

Gustavus Links
Roster | Statistics | Schedule/Results

FROM THE MIAC

In the offseason, the MIAC coaches voted in the new twist that the conference’s regular-season champion would host the entire MIAC Playoffs, so this weekend’s action will be played on Bethel’s home field at the Ona Orth Conference in Arden Hills, Minn. In another change, the tournament will move to a three-day event, with the double-elimination showdown beginning Friday, May 1, and culminating on Sunday, May 3.

The action starts Friday at 3 p.m. with the host Royals taking on No. 4-seeded St. Thomas in a rematch of each of the last two MIAC Playoff championship games. Though the Tommies saw their regular-season MIAC title streak end, they will have a chance to extend their other impressive run as the champion of the MIAC Playoffs. St. Thomas has won every title in the 11-year history of the tournament.

Senior Kailey Morgan finished conference play ranked eight in batting average (.415) and second in doubles (8).

Senior Kailey Morgan finished conference play ranked eight in batting average (.415) and second in doubles (8).

Friday’s second game starts at 5 p.m., and offers No. 2 Hamline and No. 3 Gustavus a chance to settle the score after splitting on Saturday. The tournament continues Saturday with games at 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. The championship game is set for Sunday at 11 a.m., with a second game, if necessary, immediately following. The winner of the MIAC Softball Playoffs will receive the conference’s automatic bid to the 2015 NCAA Division III Softball Tournament.

The MIAC has a home page dedicated to the 2015 MIAC Softball Playoffs, containing schedules, links and information on each of the four teams in the field. Throughout the tournament, the page will be updated with scores, stats, updated schedules and more.

Fans can also track the MIAC Playoff action on the MIAC Scoreboard or the MIAC mobile app, which is a free download for both Apple and Android devices. Connect throughout the tournament on social media through the MIAC’s Facebook page or Twitter and Instagram accounts, using the hashtags #MIACSB and #MIACPlayoffs.

 

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