ST. PAUL – The St. Thomas softball team swept Carleton College by the scores of 4-3 and 11-3 on Thursday afternoon at South Field.
The Tommies walked off winners in extra innings thanks to a clutch RBI single from senior Megan Bush in game one. Game two ended after just five innings, as UST put up seven runs through the first two innings on the way to the win.
With the pair of wins, St. Thomas improves to 27-7 overall and 12-4 in the MIAC, while Carleton drops to 12-14 on the season and 5-9 in league play.
Game 1 – St. Thomas 4, Carleton 3
The Knights grabbed an early lead in game one. A leadoff single to left, followed by a well-placed bunt put runners on first and second to open the game. The third batter of the game, Katie Eppard, knocked in the first run of the game with a double to center and Carleton had things rolling with runners on second and third with nobody out.
But the Tommies thwarted the remaining threat, getting out of the inning trailing by just one until they answered back in the bottom of the second. After Jenna Beeso reached on an error and advanced to second, Kristin McGonigal stole third, and when no one covered the base for the Knights, the throw sailed into left and McGonigal scored to tie the game.
St. Thomas put two more runs on the board, one in the fourth and another in the sixth, to take a 3-1 lead to the final inning, where the Knights scored twice to send the game to extra innings.
Still tied in the bottom of the eighth, the Tommies loaded the bases with two outs, setting the table for senior Megan Bush. Bush delivered, ripping a single through the right side of the infield to bring in Elise Barnes to grab the 4-3 win.
Sammy Hogan tallied her 12th win of the season in the circle, throwing the complete game, allowing three runs with four strikeouts and just one walk surrendered. Sam Kile suffered the loss for the Knights.
Carleton outhit St. Thomas on the game, 12-8, with four players recording multi-hit games, but three Tommies added multi-hit games of their own, led by a 2-for-4, two RBI day from Dana Connelly.
Game 2 – St. Thomas 11, Carleton 3
St. Thomas jumped out to a big lead early in the second game of the afternoon. The Purple scored four runs in the first and three more in the second to take a 7-0 lead to open the game. Chase Shortly and Bush both picked up RBI doubles, while an error and a run-scoring single from Brenna Walek scored the other two in the first.
Shortly came through again in the second, this time with a two-run double to center and later scored when the Carleton defense chose to take the out at first rather than cut down the run at home.
The Knights responded with a pair of runs in the top of the third and another in the top of the fifth, but four more runs in the bottom half of the inning sent the teams home early with an eight run difference (11-3).
The script was flipped in the second game, as the Tommies held a 12-7 advantage in hits, led by a perfect 3-for-3 performance with three RBI from Chase Shortly. Melissa Barry also went 3-for-4, while Bush followed with two hits in three plate appearances.
Jessica Eppenberger ran her record to 15-4 on the rubber, allowing three runs and scattering seven hits over five innings of work. Kile was the pitcher of record for the Knights again in game two, and falls to 8-7 on the year.
The Tommies will be back in action again on Saturday when they travel to St. Peter to take on Gustavus Adolphus for a doubleheader beginning at 1:00 pm.