Softball Opens MIAC Play with Pair of Losses at No. 11 Bethel Posted on April 8th, 2023 by

Photo courtesy of Carl Schmuland and Bethel Sports Information

ARDEN HILLS, Minn. — After nearly two weeks off, the Gusties opened conference play against a formidable foe, facing nationally-ranked No. 11 Bethel Saturday afternoon. The Gusties dropped a tight game one in nine innings, 1-0, before falling 4-2 in the second matchup.

Gustavus 0, Bethel 1 | BOX SCORE

Game one proved to be a marathon between the two pitchers, as Piper Otto (Jr., Brooklyn Park) and All-American Kayla Simacek for the Royals each pitched eight, nearly nine, scoreless innings. Simacek ultimately won the battle, holding the Gusties to just one hit throughout the game. Otto, impressive on the mound as well, held the nationally-ranked Royals to only seven hits and one run overall in the bottom of the ninth.

The Royals’ scoring play started with a double to left center in the second at-bat of the extra inning. Izzy Wilhelm singled to end the game, scoring teammate Autumn Earney for the 1-0 walk-off victory. Shelby Ringwelski (So., Forest Lake) notched the Gusties’ only hit of game one, a single to center in the top of the ninth. Ringwelski advanced to third but was left on base to end the inning.

Gustavus 2, Bethel 4 | BOX SCORE

Game two brought on Simacek for the Royals on the mound once again, but the Gusties managed to muster five hits against the veteran pitcher, breaking her shutout for the day with two runs in the top of the third.

To avoid another nearly scoreless game, the Royals scored early, getting two runs off a double in the bottom of the first. The Gusties responded in the second, adding two of their own to even the score at 2-2 in the third. Madi Mueller (Jr., North Mankato) plated a two-out double to right center and was sent home in the next at-bat as Kayla Herda (So., Farmington) singled to left for the RBI. Caitlin Olafsson (Fy., Woodbury) followed Herda with an RBI single of her own for the 2-2 score. In response, the Royals tacked on two more in the bottom of the third for the eventual 4-2 final.

Maizie Anderson (Fy., Rosemount) got the nod on the mound for the Gusties in game two, pitching the complete game, allowing four runs on seven hits. Anderson matched Otto’s strikeouts from the game before, getting four of her own in the rematch.

Herda led the Gusties from the plate in game two, going 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI. Mueller, Olafsson, and Lauren Lambert (Fy., Woodbury) tallied the other three hits for the black and gold.

“I’m extremely proud of how we came out and competed today,” Head Coach Coley Ries Welter said.”For our first taste of conference play and it being against the #11 ranked team in the nation, taking them into extras and being one hit away from a win is a huge boost for our young team.”

With the series sweep, the Gusties fall to 7-11 overall and 0-2 to start MIAC play. Weather permitting, the Gusties will host Saint Benedict for their home opener Tuesday, welcoming the Bennies for a doubleheader in Saint Peter.


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