Softball Splits Conference Opener Versus Bethel

Posted on April 1st, 2017 by

Jena Willis pitched a complete game shutout in game two against Bethel. (Photo courtesy of Phil Evans '17)

PHOTO GALLERY

ST. PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus softball team split a Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader Saturday afternoon, falling 5-3 in game one before prevailing 3-0 in game two during the home and conference opener at Gustie Softball Field.

The Gusties move to 13-5 (1-1 MIAC) with the split, while Bethel is now 5-9 (1-1 MIAC).

Bethel 5, Gustavus 3 (Box)

Despite a career-high 14 strikeout performance from Hannah Heacox (Sr., Stillwater, Minn.), the Gusties fell in game one.

Bethel took an early 3-2 after two innings of play. They posted three runs off two hits in the top half of the second inning to grab a 3-0 lead. The Gusties pushed back in the bottom half, adding two runs with RBI hits from Sidney Welp (Fy., St. Peter, Minn.) and Heacox.

The offense stalled for the next three innings until the Royals added two insurance runs in the sixth. Gustavus answered with a run of its own in the bottom half, but were held short for the rest of the game.

Heacox went the distance on the rubber, tossing her ninth complete game of the season. She allowed six Bethel hits and four earned runs, suffering her fourth loss of the season as she moves to 6-4.

Anna Nichols earned the win in the circle for Bethel, allowing seven Gustie hits. Jessica Neuman (Jr., Elk River, Minn.) posted a career-high two hits (2-3), Heacox (1-4, 2B, 1 RBI), and Welp (1-4, 1 RBI) to lead Gustavus at the plate in game one.

Gustavus 3, Bethel 0 (Box)

The Gusties were backed by a complete game shutout on the rubber from Jena Willis (Sr., Kalispell, Mt.) in game two. Willis improved her record to 7-1 and earned her third shutout of the season. She allowed just three Bethel hits in her sixth complete game performance.

A four-run fourth inning was all the offense Gustavus needed, as Willis and the Gusties played a solid seven innings defensively.

Rachel Malo (Sr., Owatonna, Minn.) led off the fourth with a single up the middle prior to swiping second base and advancing to third on a wild pitch. An RBI single from Willis then knocked Malo in to put the Gusties on the board. Another RBI single from Ashley Beise (So., Loretto, Minn.) and a sacrifice fly from Welp pushed the lead to 3-0, where the score stood for the final three innings.

The Black and Gold return to Gustie Softball Field tomorrow afternoon for another conference doubleheader versus Hamline University. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.

 

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