SB: MIAC Playoffs GameDay Preview - Saint Mary's University of Minnesota Athletics (2024)

The Saint Mary’s fastpitch softball team makes its second straight MIAC Playoff appearance on Saturday, when the top-seeded Cardinals welcome Saint Benedict, Bethel, and Gustavus to the Saint Mary’s Field for two semifinal games at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., followed by the championship tilt at 4 p.m.


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2024: 17-5 MIAC, 29-9 Overall


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2024: 17-5 MIAC, 24-16 Overall


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2024: 17-5 MIAC, 29-8 Overall


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2024: 15-6 MIAC, 22-18 Overall


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Thursday, May 9, 2024
Game 1:#5 Gustavus 7, #4 St. Olaf 3 |Recap *Box Score
Game 2:#3 Bethel 7, #6Macalester 2 |Recap *Box Score

Saturday, May 11, 2024

At Saint Mary’s * Winona, MN
Game 3:#5 Gustavus at #1 Saint Mary’s | 11 a.m.
Game 4:#3 Bethel vs. #2 Saint Benedict | 1:30 p.m.
Game 5:Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4 | 4 p.m.


$10 - General Admission
$2 - Students with ID
Free - Children 5 and under
* MIAC passes accepted


•Bethel: April 13, 2024

W, 7-4;W, 4-1 *Series History

•Saint Ben’s: April 20, 2024

L, 6-5;W, 6-4 *Series History

•Gustavus: April 9, 2024

W, 2-1;L, 1-0 *Series History

•St. Olaf: April 14, 2024

L, 5-2;L, 5-1 *Series History


• Saint Mary’s: May 3, 2024

v. Hamline *W, 2-0;W, 7-3

•Saint Ben’s: May 4, 2024

v. Bethel *L, 1-0;W, 2-1

•Bethel: May 9, 2024

v. Macalester *W, 7-2

•Gustavus: May 9, 2024

at St. Olaf *W, 7-3


•FOR THE RECORD:The Cardinals head into post-season play sitting at 29-9 overall, including a 17-5 conference mark that earned SMU a share of the conference’s regular-season title and the No. 1 seed in the six-team playoff field.

PLAYOFF CREDENTIALS: Saint Mary’s is making its second straight MIAC Playoff appearance, and their seventh in program history. SMU has also reached the conference post-season tournament in ?2005, 2006, 2007, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2023. … The Cardinals’ 2024 regular-season conference title is their first since 2001.

• vs. THE FIELD: The Cardinals are 6-4 against the MIAC Playoff field this season, sweeping Bethel and Macalester, splitting against Saint Benedict and Gustavus, and suffering a pair of losses to St. Olaf

LAST TIME OUT: The Cardinals locked up the No. 1 seed and the regular-season crown with a 3-2, 4-2 sweep of Hamline on May 3.

ROAD WARRIORS: After four straight road doubleheaders, SMU’s matchup against Hamline will be the Cardinals’ second straight home twinbill — having dispatched of Augsburg 7-4 and 8-0 at home last Saturday. … SMU is 7-3 on their home field, while going 20-6 on the road —including 12-2 in neutral-site contests.

STREAK SNAPPERS: SMU had its six-game winning streak snapped with its 1-0, Game 2 loss to Gustavus on April 9. … The Cardinals have put together two five-game winning streaks this season, as well as a season-high six-game win streak this season. ... SMU heads to Macalester having won three straight.

• IN THE POLLS: Saint Mary’s made its first appearance in the NFCA Top 25 Coaches Poll since 2006, earning a No. 25 ranking on March 12, before slipping into the “Others Receiving Votes” category in five of the last seven polls. … Saint Mary’s has faced three teams that were nationally ranked, winning all three —SMU dropped then-No. 4 Coe 5-4 on Feb. 24, and swept then-No. 10 Bethel 7-4 and 4-1 last Saturday.

RARE COMPANY: SMU’s 17-2 start to the season was the Cardinals’ best since the 1997 season, when Saint Mary’s opened the year 37-1 —including a school-record 33-game winning streak.

HITTING 29: With their 3-2 and 2-1 sweep of Hamline last Friday, the Cardinals locked up wins No. 28 and No. 29 on the season. It’s the most wins in a season since 2005, when the Cardinals compiled a 37-12 mark —and made their last NCAA tournament appearance.

LEADING THE CHARGE: Makayla Steffes (Winona, Minn.) and Peyton Berg (Chatfield, Minn.) head into SMU’s regular-season finale against Hamline both sporting batting averages above .400. Steffes leads the way, hitting .462, with Berg close behind at 404. The tandem are two of five Cardinals with batting averages north of .300, being joined by Ali French (Winona, Minn. / .333), Naleya Bork (De Pere, Wis. / .319), and Emily Bonk (Hudson, Wis. / .307). Heather Nordlund (Byron, Minn. / .287) and Abbie Stigler (Menomonee Falls, Wis. / .271) are closing in on joining the.300 club.

ON THE RUN: Steffes has scored a team-leading 43 runs, followed by Berg with 23. French (22), Lizzie Pike (Rochester, Minn. / 22) and Bork (21) have also crossed home plate 20+ times this season. … Steffes scored a career-high five times against Emmanuel on March 4. The five runs scored were the most since Alex Raske scored five times against Macalester on April 22, 2015.

BIG RUN GAMES: Saint Mary’s has erupted for 252 runs in 36 games this season — including a season-high 22-run outburst in routing North Central 22-1 on Feb.18, an 18-run outburst in drubbing Martin Luther 18-2 on Feb. 24, and a 17-run showing against Emmanuel in a 17-9 win on March 4 … SMU’s 22 runs against North Central were the most in a game since plating 27 against Mount Marty College on March 20, 2009. … SMU has plated 10 or more runs nine times this season —all victories.

WALKING AWAY: The Cardinals have drawn a season-high seven walks in a game twice —against Emmanuel on March 4 and vs. Saint Benedict on April 20. … SMU has amassed 94 free passes this season, led by Bonk with 18

HIT PARADE: Saint Mary’s boasts eight players who have reach 20+ hits through 36 games, including four —Steffes (55), Berg (42), French (38), and Megan McGinnis (Appleton, Wis. / 31) —who have collected at least 30 hits. … Bork (29), Bonk (27), Nordlund (27), and Stigler (23) have also reached the 20-hit mark. … Steffes and Bork have each posted career-high four-hit games, while SMU has had nine different players post three hits in a game this season. … Steffes — who has had a least one hit in 31 of the team’s 36 games —leads the team with 16 multiple-hit games, followed by Berg with 12 and McGinnis with 10.

EXTRA, EXTRA: The Cardinals have delivered 93 extra-base hits this season —60 doubles, 11 triples, and 21 home runs. … Steffes has delivered a team-leading 10 doubles, one more than both Nordlund and Bork, while Berg owns eight doubles. … McGinnis, Steffes, and Pike have all recorded a team-leading three triples, while Bork and Samya Brown (Chicago, Ill.) own the other three. … Saint Mary’s clubbed a single-game season-high nine doubles against Penn State Behrend on March 7, including a career-high three by Bork.

BOMBS AWAY: Berg leads the Cardinals’ home run parade with eight —including posting her first and second collegiate two-home run game. The sophom*ore launched a pair of round-trippers against No. 10 Bethel on April 13 and repeated the feat against Saint Benedict on April 20. … Nordlund is second with four round-trippers, followed by Bork with three; French, Steffes, and Bonk with two each, and McGinnis with one. … Berg launched Saint Mary’s first home run of the season, a two-run shot against Northwestern on Feb. 17. … Bonk’s two-run home run against St. Catherine on March 29 was the first of her collegiate career, while Steffes’s lead-off HR against St. Scholastica in Game 2 on April 6 was her first as a Cardinal. … … SMU slugged five home runs against St. Scholastica on April 6 —three in the first game and two more in the nightcap.

•ISN’T IT GRAND:Nordlund’s grand slam home run against Carleton on April 18 was SMU’s first four-RBI round-tripper since Alex Raske delivered a bases-clearing HR against Bethel on April 2, 2014.

DRIVING ‘EM HOME: Berg sits atop the team’s RBI race with 35. Nordlund (28), French (25), Steffes (21), Bork (18), Pike (15), McGinnis (12), Stigler (10), and Breonna Methner (Woodbury, Minn. / 10) have also reached double figures in RBIs this season. … Nordlund, French, Berg, and Steffes have all posted four RBI games this season —with Berg achieving the feat three times. … Berg leads the team with nine multiple-RBI games, two more than Nordlund, and three up on Bork. … Nordlund finished SMU’s doubleheader against Carleton on April 18 with seven RBIs —four in Game 1 and three more in Game 2.

STREAKING ALONG: Steffes and French have both posted hitting streaks of 10 or more games this season —Steffes hit safely in her first 12 games this season, while French had at least one hit in SMU’s first 10 games. … Steffes’s current seven-game hit streak is team team’s longest active streak. … French, who closed out the 2023 season hitting safely in each of the Cardinals’ last 12 games, had her 22-game hitting streak snapped against Heidelberg on March 7. … Berg has reached base safely in each of SMU’s last 14 games, while Steffes has been on base in 13 consecutive games.

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN: Saint Mary’s has swiped 76 bases on 95 attempts this season, led by Steffes, who is 20-for-26 in the stolen base department. … SMU has gotten at least one stolen base from 19 different players.

IN THE CIRCLE: Steffes has logged a team-leading 112.0 innings in SMU’s first 36 games, compiling a 14-4 record and a 2.38 ERA, while throwing 12 complete games. … Kenzie Gatz (Oswego, Ill.) has put together a 5-3 record and 3.09 EAR in 56 2/3 innings, while Bork (6-2 2.47 ERA, 45 1/2 IP), Izzy Griffin (West St. Paul, Minn. / 2-0, 4.73 ERA, 13 1/3 IP), and, and Rhiannon Carroll (Rudolph, Wis. / 0-0, 8.08 ERA, 4 1/3 IP) have also seen time in the circle for the Cardinals. … As a staff, Saint Mary’s pitchers own a 2.81 ERA and opposing batters are hitting just .264.

SAVING THE DAY: Steffes has collected all four of the Cardinals’ saves this season, including Game 2 saves against Saint Benedict on April 20 and Concordia the following day. … Steffes’s four saves are tied for the single-season school record, first set in 1994 by Carolyn Todd.

PITCHING FIRSTS: Steffes recorded her first collegiate pitching win with a six-inning, six-hitter against Northwestern on Feb. 17, and collected her first career save in SMU’s 5-4, Game 2 win over St. Catherine on April 29. … Gatz earned her first win as a Cardinal with a complete-game effort in SMU’s 11-4 win over Elizabethtown on March 8.

FANNING THE FLAMES: Saint Mary’s pitchers have struck out 127 batters in 36 games, led by Steffes with 72 strikeouts, followed by Gatz with 25 and Bork with 16. … Steffes struck out a single-game career-high 10 batters in last Sunday’s 2-1 Game 1 win over Concordia. The freshman also owns a nine-strikeout performance this season. … Steffes’ 10 strikeouts against Concordia are the most since Bork fanned 10 against Houghton on Feb. 27, 2023 and Amber Chow struck out 10 against Gustavus on April 17, 2021.

MIAC HONORS: Steffes collected her third MIAC weekly honor on April 1, being named MIAC Pitcher of the Week. The freshman has also been named MIAC Offensive Player of the Week twice, on Feb. 19 and March 11.

PROGRAM FIRSTS:The Cardinals’ spring trip games against Thomas, Emmanuel, Heidelberg, Penn State Behrend, and Elizabethtown were all the first in program history.

WORKING OVERTIME: Saint Mary’s has played three extra-inning games —all wins. SMU beat both Heidelberg (3-2) and Penn State Behrend (15-11) in eight innings during the Cardinals’ spring trip, before adding a third eight-inning win with last Saturday’s 3-2 Game 1 victory over Hamline … SMU scored nine runs in the top of the seventh, and then erupted for five runs in the top of the eighth in their 15-11 win over Penn State Behrend on March 7.

CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS: As a team, Saint Mary’s is hitting .334 (337-for-1008), with 60 doubles, 11 triples, and 21 home runs, while scoring 252 runs and owning 205 RBIs. … SMU has outscored its first 36 opponents 252-122 — including 88-22 through the game’s first two innings. … SMU has scored five or more runs in an inning 11 times —including an 11-run fourth inning in the Cardinals’ 22-1, five-inning victory over North Central on Feb. 24. SMU has also posted a nine-run seventh inning against Penn State Behrend on March 7, an eight-run first inning against Emmanuel on March 4, and a seven-run seventh inning against Macalester on April 23. … Saint Mary’s is 14-1 when holding its opponents to two runs or less. … The Cardinals are 22-5 when scoring first and 18-1 when scoring in the first inning. … SMU owns nine wins cut short by the eight-run rule.


•FOR THE RECORD:The Bennies head into post-season play sporting a 24-16 overall record, including a 17-5 mark in conference play that left CSB tied with Bethel and Saint Mary’s for the regular-season title.

PLAYOFF CREDENTIALS:For the fourth straight season and seventh time since 2016, Saint Benedict has advanced to the MIAC Playoffs. The Bennies stand 7-14 overall in 11post-season MIAC appearances (2004, 2006, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018,2021, 2022, 2023, 2024).CSB, which earned a share of the league regular season title for the first time since 1994, finished 1-1 in the tourney a year ago, falling to Bethel, 1-0, in the playoffs title game.

LAST TIME OUT: CSB clinched the No. 2 seed in the MIAC Playoffs thanks in part to a split in their regular-season finale against Bethel last Saturday in St. Joseph, Minn. The Bennies dropped the opening game of the DH 1-0, before bouncing back with a 2-1 victory in the nightcap.

•PLENTY OF NAILBITING: The Bennies have had their share of nailbiters of late —with each of their last five games having been decided by two runs or less. CSB dropped the second game of its MIAC doubleheader against St. Scholastica 2-1 on April 27, split two-run games with Gustavus (W, 2-0; L, 9-7), before splitting a pair of one-run games against Bethel last Saturday (L, 1-0; W, 2-1).

LEADING THE CHARGE: Olivia Tautges boasts a team-leading .417 batting average and is one of eight Bennies who are hitting above .300. Maddy Kubik is second to Tautges with a .378 average, followed by Cat Smetana (.354), Bryn Carlstrom (.348), Addy Bowne (.345), Bryn Ruhberg (.327), Megan Erickson (.317), and Tori Benson (.306), while Tori Muetzel (.294) and Olivia Van Hout (.294) are just percentage points away from joining the .300 club.

ON THE RUN: CSB has amassed 241 runs in 40 games, had has 12 players who have crossed home plate at least 10 times. Tautges and Ruhberg lead the Bennies with 36 and 32 runs scored, with Erickson (23), Benson (22), and Van Hout (20) owning 20 or more runs scored. … Saint Benedict has had a player score three runs in a game three times —Ruhberg has done it twice and Smetana has scored three times once.

HIT PARADE: The Bennies boast three players —Tautges (48), Smetana (46), and Carlstrom (46) —who have eclipsed the 40-hit mark, with Erickson (38), Ruhberg (37), Benson (37), Kubik (34), and Muetzel (32) all owning more than 30 hits. … Smetana owns a pair of season-high four-hit games, with Tautges also delivering four hits in a game this season. … CSB banged out a season-high 18 hits against Concordia on April 9. … CSB boasts seven players who have recorded 10 or more multiple-hit games, led by Tautges with 14, Carlstrom with 14, and Smetana with 12.

EXTRA, EXTRA: Saint Benedict has collected 364 hits in 40 games, including 103 for extra bases. The Bennies have belted 68 doubles, seven triples, and 28 home runs. … Erickson (11), Smetana (10), and Benson (10) have all reached double figures in doubles, with Tautges and Muetzel one two-batter shy of double digits. … Smetana leads the Bennies with two triples, while Erickson, Benson, Kubik, Bowne, and Van Hout accounting for the other five. … CSB hit a single-game, season-high five doubles against Macalester on April 14, and laced a season-high three home runs in both games of its doubleheader against Concordia on April 8

BOMBS AWAY: Tautges has accounted for half of the Bennies’ 28 home runs, launching 15 round-trippers this season. Benson is second on the team with six HRs, followed by Erickson with five, Smetana with two, and Van Hout with one.

DRIVING ‘EM HOME: Fueled by her nine doubles and 14 home runs, Tautges has collected a team-leading 44 RBIs. She is one of nine CSB players with 10 or more runs batted in this season. Erickson is second on the team with 32 RBIs, followed by Benson with 29 and Carlstrom with 26. … The Bennies recorded a season-high 17 RBIs against Macalester on April 14. … Tautges leads the team with 13 multiple-RBI games —six two-RBI performances, six three-RBI games, and one four-RBI effort.

STREAKING ALONG: Tautges and Smetana have each posted hitting streaks of more than 10 games this season. Smetana owned a 13-hit streak, while Tautges hit safely in 22 straight. Carlstrom, however, owns CSB’s longest active streak at eight games.

IN THE CIRCLE: Saint Benedict has used three different pitchers this season, with all three logging more than 40 innings. Ellie Peterson (13-5, 3.05 ERA) leads the staff with 121 2/3 innings pitched, followed by Olivia Wallace (5-9, 3.68 ERA) with 91 1/3 IP and Bowne (6-2, 5.25 ERA) with 42 2/3 IP. … Peterson has made a team-leading 24 pitching appearances, one more than Wallace, and leads the team with 20 starts. … Peterson has tossed 11 complete games, with Wallace chipping in eight. … Peterson owns all three of CSB’s complete-game shutouts.

FANNING THE FLAMES: CSB pitchers have combined to strikeout 162 batters in 40 games, led by Peterson with 91 strikeouts. Wallace has fanned 53 batters, followed by Bowne with 18 Ks. … Wallace posted a single-game season-high nine strikeouts against St. Scholastica on April 27.

CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS: As a team, the Bennies are hitting .322, going 364-for-1130 —with 68 doubles, seven triples, and 28 home runs —while scoring 241 runs and collecting 220 RBIs. The CSB pitching staff, meanwhile, has compiled a 3.64 ERA, with opponents hitting .276 off them. … Saint Benedict has scored 10 or more runs in a game 10 times, including a season-high 18 runs in routing Macalester 18-2 on April 14. On the flip side, CSB has allowed 10+ runs in a game just twice —falling to Christopher Newport 10-6 on March 3 and dropping a 10-0 decision to Emory on March 7. … Since opening the season 2-11, the Bennies have gone 22-5 in their last 27 games —fueled in part by a season-high nine-game winning streak.


•FOR THE RECORD:The Royals head into MIAC Playoff semifinal action sporting a 29-8 overall record, including a 17-5 mark in conference play that earned BU the No. 3 seed in the six-team post-season field.

PLAYOFF CREDENTIALS:Bethel is making its fourth straight MIAC Playoff appearance and ninth overall. TheRoyals are in search of their third consecutive MIAC Playoff title, having won it in 2022 and 2023. BU has how made MIACplayoffappearances in2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024.

LAST TIME OUT: Bethel made it look easy in its MIAC Playoff-opener against Macalester on Thursday, as the Royals coasted to a 7-2 victory over the sixth-seeded Scots at Ona Orth Athletic Complex in Arden Hills, Minn.

• IN THE POLLS: Bethel enters post-season play ranked No. 18 in the latest NFCA Top 25 Coaches Poll. The Royals have been ranked as high as No. 10 this season, and were No. 17 a week ago.

COMING IN HOT:The Royals head into Saturday’s MIAC Playoff “Final Four” having gone 12-1 in their last 13 games. BU put together a 10-game winning streak, before dropping a 2-1, regular season-ending loss to second-seeded Saint Benedict on May 4, before bouncing back with a win over Macalester on Thursday in the first round of the MIAC Playoffs.

•STREAKING: Bethel has enjoyed three lengthy winning streaks this season —putting together win streaks of six, seven, and 10 games to account for 23 of the Royals’ 29 wins.

ROUGH PATCH: Four of Bethel’s eight losses this season came in a two-day span in which they dropped back-to-back doubleheaders to Saint Mary’s (L, 7-4; L, 4-1) and Gustavus (L, 3-1; L, 4-3) on April 13-14. It marks the only time this season BU has lost more than one game a row.

LEADING THE CHARGE: Abby Otterness entered the MIAC Playoffs leading the Royals with a .398 batting average, going 37-for-93. She is one of eight Royal regulars sporting averages north of .300, being joined by Lexi DeBace (.389), Mandalyn Franks (.354), Sidney Bartels (.351), Kayla Hokanson (.340), Autumn Earney (.333), Olivia Weinberg (.329), and Cortney Hokanson (.309).

ON THE RUN: Bethel scored 205 runs in 36 regular-season games this season, led by Earney, who has crossed home plate 35 times. DeBace is second on the team with 28 runs scored, with Franks also eclipsing the 20-run mark, sitting at 21. Seven other players —Otterness (19), Kayla Hokanson (16), Bartels (15), Camryn Thurow (13), Cortney Hokanson (11), Girard (11), and Maddi O’Connor (11) —have all reached double figures in runs scored. … Earney and Thurow have each scored four runs in a game this season.

HIT PARADE: DeBace and Earney have both racked up more than 40 hits this season. DeBace leads the way with 42, one more than Earney, while Otterness (37), Franks (34), Kayla Hokanson (34), and Cortney Hokanson (34) all own 30+ hits. … Earney and Bartels have both posted a season-high four hits in a game. … DeBace has accumulated a team-high 13 multiple-hit games, while five others have 10.

EXTRA, EXTRA: Bethel accumulated 327 hits in 36 regular-season games, including 45 doubles, seven triples, and 14 home runs. … Otterness owns the team lead with eight doubles, two more than Franks, Bartels, and Cortney Hokanson. … Bartels, Otterness and Earney have accounted for all seven of the team’s triples. Bartels has posted three three-baggers, with Otterness and Earney each collecting two. … Bethel recorded a season-high four doubles against Saint Mary’s on April 13, while recording a season-best two triples against both Plymouth State on March 14 and vs. St. Scholastica on April 29.

BOMBS AWAY: Seven different BU players have hit home runs this season, led by Otterness with five. Earney is second on the team with three round-trippers, followed by Cortney Hokanson with two, and Bartels, Weinberg, Kayla Hokanson, and Ellie Baker with one each.

DRIVING ‘EM HOME: Otterness boasts a team-leading 35 RBIs and is one of eight Royals with 10 or more runs batted in. Earney is second with 25 RBIs, followed by Bartels (19), Cortney Hokanson (18), Kayla Hokanson (18), Girard (16), Franks (13), and Weinberg (10). … Earney delivered a single-game season-high five RBIs against Concordia on April 20, while the Royals as a team collected a season-high 14 RBIs in both games against the Cobbers. … Otterness has posted a team-leading 11 multiple-RBI games, five more than Earney

STREAKING ALONG: DeBace headed into post-season play sporting a 10-game hitting streak —the longest active streak on the team. … Otterness has reached base safely in each of the Royals’ last 11 games.

IN THE CIRCLE: Kayla Simacek has been the workhorse of the BU pitching staff, throwing 183 1/3 of the team’s 236 1/3 regular-season innings pitched. … Simacek enters post-season play having compiled a 23-6 record and a 1.49 ERA in 33 appearances —including 27 starts. She has tossed 21 complete games and owns eight shutouts, with opponents hitting just .204 off her. … Kayley Frenette (2-0, 2.40 ERA, 11 2/3 IP), Rylee Blandin (1-0, 3.13 ERA, 15 2/3 IP), Mary Hajduk (2-0, 6.05 ERA, 19 2/3 IP), and Otterness (0-2, 9.33 ERA, 6.0 IP) have also seen limited time in the pitcher’s circle.

FANNING THE FLAMES: Simacek has accounted for 213 of the team’s 239 strikeouts this season—including six games with 10 or more Ks. … Simacek’s 213 strikeouts lead the nation, while her 23 wins are also tops in NCAA Division III. … Simacek struck out 15 batters against Plymouth State on March 14, and fanned a season-high 16 against Farmingdale State on March 10.

CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS: As a team, Bethel hit .326 during the regular season, going 327-for-1004 —including 45 doubles, seven triples, and 14 home runs —while adding 205 runs scored and 178 RBIs. BU’s pitching staff, meanwhile, has a combined 2.22 ERA, with opponents hitting just .226 off them. … The Royals have scored 10 or more runs five times this season, including 14- and 15-run efforts in sweeping past Concordia 14-2 and 15-7 on April 20. On the flip side, BU has not allowed an opponent to reach double figures, giving up a season-high nine runs in falling to Wartburg 9-4 on March 2. … Bethel has held its opponents to two runs or less in 23 of its 36 regular-season games this season.


•FOR THE RECORD:The Gusties head into Saturday’s post-season semifinals having compiled a 23-18 overall record, while finishing MIAC play 16-6, earning GAC the No. 5 seed in the MIAC Playoffs.

PLAYOFF CREDENTIALS:Gustavus is making its third straight MIAC Playoff appearance, and its 16th in program history.The Gusties made 13-consecutive playoff appearances from 2004 to 2016, and have reached the conference postseason all three of the last seasons. GAC won its only playoff championship in 2015.

LAST TIME OUT: The Gusties erupted for five runs in the first inning and never looked back in dealing fourth-seeded St. Olaf a 7-3 setback in Thursday’s opening-round game of the MIAC Playoffs in Northfield, Minn.

ROLLING ON:With their tournament-opening win over St. Olaf, the Gusties extended their winning streak to four straight. GAC had beaten Saint Benedict (9-7), and Carleton (3-1, 3-0) prior to Thursday’s victory over St. Olaf.

• HOME SWEET HOME:Gustavus closed out the regular season with four straight home games, splitting with Saint Benedict (L, 2-0, W, 9-7) and sweeping Carleton (W, 3-1, W, 3-0) to improve to a near-perfect 9-1 record on their home diamond this season.

SWEEPING UP: Gustavus played 12 doubleheaders this season, collecting five series sweeps and six splits. The only time this season the Gusties were swept was against Bethany Lutheran, falling 4-2 and 2-0 on March 13. Since that time, GAC swept Concordia, Hamline, Bethel, Macalester, and Carleton; while splitting with Saint Mary’s, Augsburg, St. Scholastica, St. Catherine, St. Olaf, and Saint Benedict.

LEADING THE CHARGE: Carly Olson enters post-season play leading the Gustie offense with a batting average of .360. She is one of three GAC regulars who are hitting above .300, being joined by Olivia Guggenberger and Kayla Herda, who boast averages of .318 and .310, respectively.

ON THE RUN: As a team, Gustavus scored 168 runs during regular-season play, and has eight players who have crossed home plate at least 10 times. Caitlin Olafsson leads the Gusties with 29 runs scored. She is one of three players who have reached the 20-run mark —Madi Mueller (26) and Guggenberger (25) are the other two —while Herda (19), Macy McNally (15), Lauren Lamberg (12), Taylor Katzenmeyer (11), and Olson (10) have all scored at least 10 times. … Mueller scored a season-high four times against Union on March 26.

HIT PARADE: Olson closed out the regular season with a team-best 45 hits —she is on the only Gustie with 40 or more hits this season. Hera (39), Mueller (35), Guggenberger (36), and Olafsson (34) have also reached the 30-hit plateau, with McNally (27), Lambert (26), and Greta Dahlen (22) all collecting 20+ hits. … Olson has recorded three hits in a game twice, with Olafsson, Mueller, and Herda also chipping in three-hit games. … Olson lead the Gusties with 12 multiple-hit games, one more than Herda and two up on Mueller. … Gustavus collected a season-high 20 hits in beating Union 16-6 on March 26. … GAC has reached double figures in hits 12 times this season —all resulting in victories

EXTRA, EXTRA: The Gusties have amassed 299 hits, including 59 for extra bases. GAC owns 48 doubles, eight triples, and three home runs. … Olson leads the Gusties with 13 doubles, followed by Herda, Olafsson, and Lambert with five each. … Olafsson has three of the team’s eight triples, followed by Mueller with two, and Dahlen, McNally, and Peyton Stevermer with one each. … GAC recorded a season-high five doubles against St. Olaf on April 27 —including three off the bat of Olson.

BOMBS AWAY: Gustavus’s three home runs this season have come from three different players —Mueller, Nelson, and Guggenberger. Mueller launched her round-tripper against St. Olaf on April 27, while Nelson clubbed her vs. UW-La Crosse on Feb. 17, and Guggenberger recorded her against Martin Luther on Feb. 24.

DRIVING ‘EM HOME: Gustavus has seven players sitting in double digits in RBIs, including two —Olson (26) and Herda (21) —with 20 or more runs batted in. Lamberg is third on the team with 15 RBIs, while Guggenberger (14), McNally (14), Olafsson (13), and Mueller (10) also delivering 10+ RBIs. … Herda is the team-leader with seven multiple-RBI games, followed by Olson with six and Lambert with five. … Gustavus owns a pair of 11-RBI games —driving in 11 runs against both Union on March 26 and vs. Concordia on April 4.

STREAKING ALONG: Olson owns the team’s longest hitting streak at 10 games, but no Gusties heads into post-season play with an active hit streak longer than two games.

IN THE CIRCLE: Maizie Anderson and Ava Hammond have been the workhorses for the Gusties in the circle, with Anderson (12-8, 2.52 ERA) logging 125.0 innings, while Ava Hamsund (9-8, 2.50 ERA) is close behind with 109 2/3 IP. … Anderson leads the pitching staff with 23 appearances and 20 starts, followed by Hamsund with 19 APP and 18 starts, and Megan Sherwood (1-2, 3.21 ERA, 28 1/3 IP) with 11 appearances — including nine in relief. … Anderson owns 14 complete games, two more than Hamsund.

FANNING THE FLAMES: GAC pitchers have combined to strike out 153 batters, led by Anderson with 82 strikeouts and Hamsund with 53. … Anderson has struck out seven batters in a game twice, and owns a season-high eight-strikeout effort against Augsburg on April 13. Hamsund, meanwhile, has also fanned seven in a game twice.

CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS: As a team, Gustavus entered post-season play hitting .283, going 299-for-1058 —with 48 doubles, eight triples, and three home runs —while scoring 169 runs and boasting 144 RBIs. GAC pitchers, meanwhile, have combined for a 2.69 ERA, and opponents are hitting .259 against them. … Gustavus has scored 10 runs in a game five times, highlighted by a season-best 16-run effort in routing Union 16-6 on March 26. On the flip side, GAC has surrendered 10+ runs in a game just twice —falling to St. Olaf 10-2 and to UW-Oshkosh 13-1. … Gustavus has held its opponents to two runs or less 17 times, going 11-6. … After opening the season 6-12, Gustavus has gone 16-6 in its last 22 games.

SB: MIAC Playoffs GameDay Preview - Saint Mary's University of Minnesota Athletics (2024)
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