Freshman Kendra Bowe threw a one-hit shutout for five innings and the Tommies scored seven second-innigng runs en route to an 8-0 win over Gustavus in Saturday's MIAC softball playoff championship game in Shoreview. A wild pitch scored a runner from third to end the game in the fifth inning on the run rule.
Gustavus forced a winner-take-all in the double-elimination tourney with a 7-1 win over St. Mary's and a 5-2 win over the Tommies. The second game included a 2:45-minute rain delay.
No. 14-ranked St. Thomas (37-7) made it 9-for-9 in conference playoff championships and pushed its all-time playoff record to 27-1. Coach John Tschida's team is in the NCAA playoffs with the MIAC's automatic bid -- St. Thomas' ninth consecutive NCAA berth -- and it learns its assignment and pairings on Monday. Gustavus, which is 2-3 this season against the Tommies, will learn Monday if it receives an at-large berth.
Genny Duffy's pinch-hit RBI double started the seven-run uprising. Kimmy Hassel had an RBI single and Tisa Phinney drove in two runs with a single. Eight different players had the Toms' eight hits.
Phinney extended her hitting streak to 21 games. Jenna Hoffman went 7-for-11 with three walks and scored six runs on the tournament.
Game 1 box score:
Game 2 box score:
Greg Smith took action photos at Friday's games and some are displayed here. To view more Greg Smith action photo, click here:
Kimmy Hassel had six hits and four RBI in four playoff games. (Greg Smith photo)
Jenna Hoffman (23) had seven hits in the playoffs. (Greg Smith photo)
Freshman Kendra Bowe won three playoff games including a one-hit shutout on Saturday. (Greg Smith photo)
Coach John Tschida congratulates Erin Mussett after her home run. Mussett had five hits and five RBI in the playoffs. (Greg Smith photo)
Mary Rentz (6) had five hits and four runs in the four playoff games. (Greg Smith photo)