The Buena Vista softball team had a busy day on the diamond Tuesday by playing a trio of games, but the Beavers finished with a 2-1 mark, including a thrilling 17-14 triumph over #6 Eastern Connecticut State. The day began with a narrow 5-4 decision over St. Olaf before the team fell 17-0 against UW-Whitewater in the finale.
In the opener against St. Olaf, it was a key three-run fifth inning that proved to be the difference. In that inning, sophomore Stephanie Hayden (Prairie City, Iowa/PCM) came through with a big two-run single, followed a batter later by an RBI single from junior Sam Engleman (Hawarden, Iowa/West Sioux). Hayden also scored two of the team’s five runs.
St. Olaf did get a run back in the sixth and scored one run in the seventh before ending the game with the bases loaded.
Each team finished the game with five hits.
Freshman Faith Schmidt (Emmetsburg, Iowa/Emmetsburg) evened her overall season record at 2-2 by going the distance and allowing four runs (two earned) on five hits.
BVU looked to keep that confidence and momentum going heading into another match-up with a nationally ranked team, and after a slow start offensively, the Beavers exploded for eight runs in the seventh inning which helped cap a thrilling comeback and a 17-14 victory over the sixth-ranked Warriors.
ESU had built a 14-9 lead heading to the final frame after scoring seven runs in the fourth and six more in the sixth.
After back-to-back singles from Sam Kundsen (Missouri Valley, Mo./Missouri Valley) and Erin Kliefoth (Exira, Iowa/Exira) to start the inning, and a walk to load the bases from sophomore Lisa Turnquist (Alta, Iowa/Alta), senior Jessy Bibler (Alta, Iowa/Alta) drove home the first run with an RBI single to right. Two batters later sophomore Jordon Pilcher (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Washington), who’s home run was the difference in Monday’s win over #14 Carthage, drove home two more when she singled to center. Hayden then made it a 14-12 contest with an RBI single of her own before Engleman’s RBI single got BVU within a run. Jessica Stocker (Carlisle, Iowa/Carlisle) got into the mix with an RBI single to tie the game before Knudsen added her second hit of the frame with an RBI double. Kliefoth later added a sacrifice fly for the game’s final score.
The Warriors tried to rally in the seventh, but despite a BVU error that put two runners on with one out, junior Britney Kubik (Martensdale, Iowa/Martensdale St. Mary’s) closed the door with a flyout and a groundout to end the game.
Stocker and Knudsen each tallied three hits in the contest for BVU, while Engleman and Kliefoth each added two. Engleman, who also homered for the second time this season, also drove in three and scored three times.
The two teams combined for 27 hits.
Kubik came on in relief and pitched the final 2.1 innings to pick up the win and improve to 1-1 overall.
The finale was all Warhawks (8-0) from the outset. They scored five times in the top of the first and added three in the third, six more in the fourth and three in the fifth.
BVU was held to just four hits in the contest. Jaclyn Pfeifer (Kansas City, Mo./Oak Park), who made her season debut, doubled in the fifth for the team’s only extra-base hit.
The Beavers are now 7-5 on the year and will look to add to their win total on Wednesday when they play games against Carleton College at 1:00pm ET and Whitworth University at 3:00pm ET.
Check out photos of our student-athletes in action in the Beaver sports photo galleries.