ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Gustavus softball team Thursday continued its winning ways, taking down Macalester 13-0 in game one and 4-1 in the nightcap for its third consecutive sweep in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Hannah Heacox (Sr., Stillwater, Minn.) highlighted the day by tossing her second no-hitter of the season in game one. The sweep improves the Gusties to 21-11 overall and 8-6 in the MIAC, while the Scots drop to 18-16 overall and 6-10 in the league.
“Today we were sharp all around,” Head Coach Britt Stewart said. “We pitched the ball incredibly well giving up only three hits on the day. We also were able to play perfect defensively, which is allowing us to keep the momentum in games.”
Heacox was one walk away from pitching a perfect game as she kept the Scot bats hitless and struck out seven for her fourth career no-hitter. The Gustie ace faced one over the minimum in the five-inning game with five flyouts and three groundouts.
The offense provided plenty of run support, scoring 13 times and collecting 11 hits. The game-winning run was scored in the second inning as Emily Webb (So., Maple Lake, Minn.) came in as a pinch runner and scored on a throwing error. The Gusties added four runs in the third, which included an RBI triple by Heacox and a two-run single by Ashley Beise (So., Loretto, Minn.).
Gustavus then exploded for seven runs in the fourth on five hits and an error. Jessica Neuman (Jr., Elk River, Minn), Webb, and Kim Kurtzweg (Jr., Arlington, Minn.) all had a two-run singles during the frame. The final run of the game was scored in the fifth as Neuman walked and later scored on a triple by Brooke Willemsen (Sr., Hamburg, Minn.).
Kurtzweg (2-3, 2 RBI) and Rachel Malo (Sr., Owatonna, Minn.) (2-3, 2 R) led the Gusties at the plate.
The Gusties completed the sweep behind another impressive pitching performance, this time by Jena Willis (Sr., Kalispell, Mt.). The Gusties’ No. 2 pitcher went the distance, allowing one run on three hits with six strikeouts and two walks.
The Black and Gold took a 1-0 lead in the opening frame as Neuman walk and later scored on a throwing error. Gustavus increased its lead to 3-0 in the third on a two-run single by Emily Carlson (Fy., Burnsville, Minn.), scoring Heacox and Malo.
Willis went through the Scots batting order perfectly the first time around, but her no-hit bid ended in the fourth on an infield single. The runner then came around to score on a double three batters later. The Gusties got the one run back in the seventh as pinch runner Caitlin Kammerer (Fy., Watertown, Minn.) scored on a single by Willis.
Carlson (2-4, 2 RBI), Willis (2-4, RBI), and Sidney Welp (Fy., St. Peter, Minn.) (2-3) led the team at the plate in game two.
“Our bats were alive today, all the way through our lineup,” Stewart said. “Combining 21 hits in two games, more importantly we are having success with timely hitting as well.”
Gustavus hosts St. Thomas (26-7, 10-4 MIAC) at 1 p.m. Saturday in a MIAC doubleheader.
“We are excited for this weekend’s doubleheaders and to continue to play one game at a time,” Stewart said. “We keep preaching about believing in the process and our kids are buying in which is awesome! It’s a great time to be playing well as a team. We are starting to play Gustie softball which is so fun to be a part of.”