The Buena Vista softball team carried over momentum gained from its doubleheader split of #14 St. Thomas on Friday by winning three of its final four games to close out its season-opening, three-day set of games, inside of the Rosemount Dome on Sunday. BVU split with Carleton College on Saturday before outscoring the University of Dallas, 20-2, during a doubleheader sweep on Sunday.
In the opener with Carleton, the Beavers scored runs in each of the first two innings before tacking on two more insurance runs in the fifth en route to the 4-0 victory. Freshman Erin Kliefoth (Exira, Iowa/Exira High School) launched her first career home run in the second and that proved to be the only extra-base hit for BVU, which finished with seven in the contest. Sophomore Brooke Berkey (Colfax, Iowa/Colfax) tallied two of the seven hits and also scored two runs.
Senior Chancey Wilcke (Battle Creek, Iowa/BC-IG) turned in her seventh career complete-game shutout, allowing only two hits and striking out five.
BVU then jumped out to a commanding 7-0 lead in game two, with four runs in the second and three more in the third. Carleton, however, began to chip away at that lead with single runs in the third and fourth before erupting for six in the seventh en route to the 8-7 win.
Kliefoth added two more hits for the Beavers, including a double, to go along with three RBI and two runs scored. Freshman Jessica Stocker (Des Moines, Iowa/Carlisle High School) doubled twice and drove in one while scoring twice, as senior Jami Webster (Spencer, Iowa/Spencer) posted two hits and Berkey two RBI.
Wilcke came on in relief in the seventh and was charged with three runs on six hits to suffer her first loss of the year. Webster got the start and went six innings, allowing just two runs on five hits, while striking out seven.
The Beavers finished its season-opening trip in convincing fashion against the University of Dallas on Sunday.
Wilcke turned in a solid performance with both her arm and her bat, going 2-for-4 with a pair of home runs and three RBI at the plate, while throwing her third complete game of the year, allowing only two runs on six hits, while striking out six and walking none, as BVU went on to win 10-2 in five innings. Wilcke now has 24 career wins which moves her into eighth on the program’s all-time list, and also sits 10 strikeouts shy of becoming only the sixth player in school history with at least 200.
The final game was much of the same, as the team scored two runs in each of the first two innings before plating three more in the third and fifth innings to win 10-0 in five innings.
Freshman Stephanie Hayden (Prairie City, Iowa/PCM) had a big game at the plate for the Beavers, going 3-for-3 with a triple, two RBI and two runs scored. Junior Alison Kirchgatter (Anthon, Iowa/MVAO) also tallied three hits, including a double, and scored three times, to go along with one RBI. BVU out-hit the University of Dallas, 12-1, in the contest.
Webster was tough on the mound, picking up her second career win and her first career complete-game shutout. She finished the contest allowing just the one hit and struck out five, as only five balls left the infield.
Buena Vista (4-2) is off to its best start since going 10-5 to start the year back in 2001. The team looks to add to that win total next weekend as it will play a doubleheader in St. Louis, Mo., against Fontbonne University (2-2) beginning at 3:00pm on March 16 before playing a pair of games in Fulton, Mo., on Saturday , March 17, against Westminster College (1-2), starting at 1:00pm.
Check out photos of our student-athletes in action in the Beaver sports photo galleries.