ST. PAUL – The St. Thomas softball team swept Saint Mary's University in an MIAC doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at South Field, defeating the Cardinals 3-0 in game one and 6-0 in game two.
With the sweep, St. Thomas captures its 20th win of the season, and is now 20-4 overall and 7-1 in the MIAC, while Saint Mary's drops to 7-16-1 overall and 1-6-1 in league play.
Game 1 – St. Thomas 3, Saint Mary's 0
The Tommies scored all three runs in the opening two innings of game one. Senior Megan Bush got things started in the bottom of the first when she lined an RBI single to left that scored Chase Shortly from third. However, St. Thomas left the bases loaded and moved to the second with a 1-0 lead.
After holding the Cardinals scoreless in the top of the second, the Tommie women came back to score twice more in the bottom half of the inning. Both runners scored on wild pitches from Cardinal pitcher Ashley Betzold to increase the gap to three runs (3-0) headed to the third.
Saint Mary's threatened in the top half of the next three innings. The Cardinals mounted back-to-back singles with two outs, but could not get the third in the top of the third. Saint Mary's left two on base again in the top of the fourth, while bases loaded gave the Cardinals a chance in the top of the fifth, but a much-needed inning-ending double play got the Purple out of the threat unscathed.
For the game, Saint Mary's left eight runners on base to six for the Tommies, who made the most of their opportunities and stood tall defensively in the shutout win.
Jessica Eppenberger made pitches when she needed to, spreading out seven hits over six innings of work to record her 12th win of the year (12-2). Betzold suffered the loss for the Cardinals, going six innings and allowing six hits.
Game 2 – St. Thomas 6, Saint Mary's 0
The Tommies used a consistent approach in game two, scoring three runs in the bottom of the second, then one each in the third, fourth, and sixth.
After a harmless first inning, the Tommies jumped out to a three-run lead in the bottom of the second. Bush opened things up again with a triple to right center to score Rachel Suter. She came in to score on a Sammy Hogan double to center. Hogan was brought around on Melissa Barry's single to left center to give St. Thomas the three-run lead.
The Tommie women added insurance runs over the next four innings. Bush brought in another run with a sacrifice fly to score Dana Connelly in the third before a Barry sacrifice scored Elise Barnes in the bottom of the fourth. UST got back-to-back ground-rule doubles to cap off the scoring in the bottom of the sixth. Barnes led off the inning before Hogan knocked her in with a ground-rule double of her own.
The Cardinals registered just four base runners the entire game and left three stranded, while the Tommies racked up 10 hits and six RBI in the six-run shutout.
Sammy Hogan went the distance in the circle, shutting down the Cardinal offense, allowing just four hits and surrendering no walks in her eighth win of the year (8-2).
Amber Trendle was tagged with the loss for Saint Mary's after allowing six runs on nine hits.
The Tommies will be back in action tomorrow afternoon when they travel to Hamline for a doubleheader. First pitch is set for 1:00 pm.