Softball Splits Non-Conference Doubleheader Versus St. Scholastica

Posted on April 7th, 2017 by

Jena Willis leaps into home plate after her game one homer. (Photo courtesy of Kegan Couture '20, Gustavus Sports Information)

PHOTO GALLERY

ST. PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus softball team split a non-conference doubleheader against the College of St. Scholastica Friday afternoon, defeating the Saints 8-0 in game one before falling 7-5 in game two.

Gustavus 8, St. Scholastica 0 (5 inn.)

The Gusties needed just five innings to take care of the Saints in game one, scoring two runs in the second inning and another three in the fourth and fifth.

Rachel Malo (Sr., Owatonna, Minn.) got the scoring started in the second inning with a two-run single to left center, one of her three hits and two of her five runs batted in.

In the fourth inning, Jena Willis (Sr., Kalispell, Mt.) led off with a home run to left field, her second of the season, sparking a three-run inning. Aly Freeman (Fy., Omaha, Neb.), Jessica Neuman (Jr., Elk River, Minn.), and Malo also picked up hits to push the lead to 5-0.

Gustavus added another three runs in the following inning to take the 8-0 win. The Gusties began a two-out tear with a Willis single, followed by a Freeman double to score her and a Neuman single to score Freeman. Malo tallied her third single of the game to score Neuman, the game-clinching run.

Hannah Heacox (Sr., Stillwater, Minn.) earned her eighth win and fourth shutout of the season in the pitching circle, tossing all five innings while posting five strikeouts, picking up her 16th career complete game shutout.

Malo and Willis each went 3-for-3 at the plate, Malo tying a career-high with five RBI. Freeman (2-3, 2 2B) and Neuman (2-2, 1 2B) also helped carry the Gustie offense.

St. Scholastica 7, Gustavus 5

Game two was a different story as the Gusties were held to just one run through the fifth inning. After Gustavus rallied from a 2-1 deficit in the sixth inning to take a 5-2 lead, St. Scholastica answered with a rally of its own, scoring five runs in the seventh to claim the 7-5 win.

The Black and Gold grabbed a 1-0 in the first inning when Heacox led off the game with a single prior to coming around to score from a Willis double.

After the first, the Gusties weren’t able to generate offense up until the sixth inning, trailing 2-1. St. Scholastica defensive errors as well as hits from Sidney Welp (Fy., St. Peter, Minn.), Heacox, and Malo allowed¬†four runs to cross as the Gusties took a 5-2 lead with an inning remaining.

Jena Willis got the nod on the rubber in game two and pitched a solid six innings before struggling to close out the game in the seventh. A three-run double began a two-out rally for the Saints, eventually knocking out Willis and scoring five runs off six hits to regain a 7-5 lead.

Freeman would come in to relieve Willis, forcing a groundout to escape the inning and give the Gustie bats a chance for a comeback.

The Gusties started would looked like a two-out rally of their own in the bottom of the seventh. Ashley Beise (So., Loretto, Minn.) reached first on an error before two-straight hits from Neuman and Welp. With the bases loaded, Caitlin Kammerer (Fy., Watertown, Minn.) then hit a ground ball to the shortstop in which Neuman interfered with, ending the game.

“I could not be happier with our fight today,” said Head Coach Britt Stewart. “Our girls competed until the very last pitch. We hit the ball well throughout our line up, executed with runners on base and played relaxed while doing so. Rachel Malo stepped up every single at bat today and was able to produce RBIs. She truly exemplified her senior leadership.”

Tomorrow, Gustavus heads back into Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play, hosting a doubleheader against the College of Saint Benedict at Gustie Softball Field. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.

“We keep talking about the process and learning each day,” Stewart mentioned. “I think there were some big takeaways today from both our win and our loss. We are ready and excited to compete in two more tomorrow.”

 

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