Softball splits with St. Catherine

Mark Brown photo
Mark Brown photo

ST. PAUL – The St. Thomas softball team split an MIAC doubleheader with St. Catherine University on Wednesday afternoon at South Field.  After leading 4-0 after three innings in game one, the Wildcats came back to score 10 unanswered runs to win 10-4.  

In game two, St. Thomas jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the first inning on its way to a 10-7 win.  With the split, the Tommies move to 18-4 overall and 5-1 in the MIAC, while St. Kate's is now 16-8 overall and 4-2 in league play. 

Game 1 – St. Thomas 4, St. Catherine 10

The Tommies jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead through three innings, thanks to a pair of runs in both the first and the third.  Chase Shortly got things started with a run-scoring single to center.  Brenna Walek followed two batters later with an RBI double to right center to put the Tommies up 2-0. 

In the third, St. Thomas scored two more thanks to an RBI single to center from Jenna Beeso and an illegal pitch surrendered by the Wildcats. 

However, St. Kate's came back to score 10 unanswered runs over the next four innings including eight combined in the fifth and sixth to capture the win.  In the top of the fifth, four straight batters recorded an RBI to give the Wildcats a 5-4 lead.  In the top of the sixth, four more runs scored thanks in large part to a two-run single by Jenna George, as the Wildcats pushed on for the win. 

Chase Shortly paced the St. Thomas offense going 3-for-4 with an RBI, while George led the Wildcats with a 3-for-5 performance at the plate to go along with three RBI and two runs scored. 

In the circle, Sammy Hogan went five and a third innings, allowing 12 hits and eight runs for her second loss of the year.  Krista Flugstad tallied the win for St. Kate's in a complete game with six strikeouts. 

Game 2 – St. Thomas 10, St. Catherine 7

The Tommies shot out of the gate in game two, scoring nine runs in the bottom of the first inning. St. Thomas batted around and then some, as six different players tallied an RBI in the opening frame.  

Shortly got things started with single to right to score Dana Connelly.  She later scored when senior Megan Bush reached on a St. Catherine error.  Bush started a train where a run scored in seven of the next nine at-bats, capped off by a Shortly RBI single to center.  

Trailing 9-0, St. Catherine mounted a comeback, scoring four runs in the top of the fourth and three more in the sixth and seventh, but an insurance run in the sixth for the Tommies gave them some breathing room as they held on for the win. 

Shortly continued her hot day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI, as 10 different players scored for the Tommies.  On a similar note, seven different Tommies recorded a hit, which added up to a total of 11 hits for the Purple. 

St. Kate's tallied 17 hits in the second game, but starting pitcher Jessica Eppenberger spread them around to close out her 11th win of the year.  For the Wildcats, Maddie Greer suffered the loss. 

St. Thomas will be back in action on Saturday when it hosts Saint Mary's University for a doubleheader that is scheduled to start at 1:00 pm.