Softball Earns First MIAC Sweep At Saint Mary’s

Posted on April 13th, 2017 by

Gusties celebrate Aly Freeman's game one homer. (Photo courtesy of Saint Mary's Sports Information)

WINONA, Minn. – The Gustavus softball team won both games in a Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader Thursday afternoon at Saint Mary’s University, claiming the¬†series sweep with 4-1 and 5-0 wins.

The Gusties, now 17-11 overall and 4-6 during MIAC play, allowed just one Saint Mary’s run and eight hits en route to their first conference doubleheader sweep of the season.

“We pitched well today on the mound and had our players make plays behind them,” said Head Coach Britt Stewart. “This was a great adjustment from our games on Saturday. We also were able to pull hits together in innings to produce runs.”

Gustavus 4, Saint Mary’s 1 (Box)

A three-run fifth inning and an 11 strikeout pitching performance from Hannah Heacox (Sr., Stillwater, Minn.) carried the Gusties to a game one victory.

After four scoreless innings, Gustavus broke through with three runs in the fifth inning. Caitlin Kammerer (Fy., Watertown, Minn.) first reached base on a Cardinal error before she advanced into scoring position from an Ashley Beise (So., Loretto, Minn.) single. A Heacox single then scored Kammerer as the Gusties took a 1-0 lead. Another single from Jessica Neuman (Jr., Elk River, Minn.) and a passed ball plated a couple more runs and pushed the lead to 3-0.

Aly Freeman (Fy., Omaha, Neb.) homered to left center in the sixth inning, her second round-tripper of the season to give Gustavus a 4-0 cushion. Saint Mary’s added a run of its own in the bottom, scoring their first run of the game on a passed ball.

The Cardinals weren’t able to generate any more offense as Heacox and the Gustie defense escaped a bases loaded jam in the seventh to take the 4-1 win.

Heacox went the distance on the rubber to pick up her 15th complete game of the season while she tallied 11 strikeouts and improved her record to 9-7.

Jena Willis (Sr., Kalispell, Mt.) (2-3, 2B), Freeman (1-3, HR, RBI), Heacox (1-4, RBI), and Neuman (1-3, RBI) led the Black and Gold offense.

Gustavus 5, Saint Mary’s 0 (Box)

The Gusties compiled all of their offense in the first three innings and were backed by a complete game shutout from starting pitcher Jena Willis in game two.

An Emily Carlson (Fy., Burnsville, Minn.) RBI single in the first inning ended up being the difference in the shutout. Heacox led off the game with a single through the left side before scoring the eventual game-winning run off the Carlson base hit.

Gustavus added two more runs in each the second and third inning to own a 5-0 lead, which was maintained for the rest of the game. The offense in the second and third frames was highlighted by a Kim Kurtzweg (Jr., Arlington, Minn.) RBI double and a Willis RBI single.

Willis notched her fourth complete shutout of the season in the pitcher’s circle, giving up just four Cardinal base hits while walking one and striking out three, improving her record to 8-4.

Carlson (2-3, RBI), Heacox (2-3), Kurtzweg (1-2, 2B, RBI), and Willis (1-3, RBI) led the Gusties at the plate.

“I am proud of the way that Jena pitched today. She maintained great composure and stayed ahead all day. We were able to come back in the second game and get ahead early which helped to maintain control and gave us some confidence. We are excited to play Concordia on Saturday and continue to build on this success,” said Stewart.

Gustavus returns to Gustie Softball Field on Saturday afternoon for another MIAC doubleheader with Concordia College. Game one is scheduled for 2 p.m.¬†UPDATE: Saturday’s doubleheader vs. Concordia is rescheduled to 2 p.m. Monday.

 

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