They used two very different ways to do it. But the results ended up the same.
Hamline's softball team swept their way into second place in the MIAC at the midway point of the season with 6-0 and 17-10 wins over St. Thomas at Meredith Field. The Pipers are 8-2 halfway through their league schedule, trailing only St. Benedict, which has an 8-0 mark and did not play Sunday.
It's believed to be the first time that Hamline has swept UST in softball, although records are not complete.
Casey Anderson continued her string of impressive pitching with her fourth consecutive shutout -- a five-hitter -- in the first game. With the game scoreless, the righty worked her way out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the third inning. HU then exploded for all the scoring in the game in the bottom of the inning. Delaney Kohler, and Sydney Fransiscus had RBI singles and Mary-Clare Couillard had a bases-loaded walk for three of the runs. The others came on a pair of wild pitches and a successful steal of home by Kira Krueger.
Anderson did the rest, walking one with four strikeouts to stretch her scoreless inning streak to 26. She is now 9-4 on the season.
The second game was wild from the start. It featured:
- Three Hamline home runs -- two of which were grand slams.
- Couillard had three hits to move into second place all-time in school history with 185. Koehn also had three hits to move into seventh place at 142 and Anderson became the 19th player in school history to hit the century mark for her career.
- The Pipers batting around twice, finishing with a season high 20 hits.
- Hamline coming from behind on three different occasions.
- Seven HU players had multi hit games. Kohler, hitting ninth was 4-for-4 with three runs scored. In all, 26 Pipers reached base one way or another.
- A 40 minute lightning/rain delay.
Casey Anderson threw a five-hit shutout in the first game and had a homer and four RBI in the second.
Hamline athletics photo by Cole Mayer
Anderson started the game on the mound. She allowed one run in the top of the first that the Pipers immediately got back, In the second, the senior was nicked for four more runs, only two of which were earned. That's when the Piper hitting parade really started. Ten HU batters came to the plate in the frame. The first three got on base and Anderson cleared them with her third homer of the year to left field. Two batters later, Douglas boomed a shot over the center field fence and HU led 7-5.
The Tommies tied it up in the top of the third against Sarah DeMars (who relieved Anderson and was the winning pitcher) and a Couillard RBI single put HU back ahead 8-7. UST went back ahead 9-8 in the 4th. HU battled back to take a 11-9 lead only to be stymied by the weather delay. When play resumed, the Pipers unleashed some thunder of its own -- Anderson's grand slam homer to left that capped a nine-run inning. By the time the game ended -- five hours after the first pitch was thrown -- HU had vaulted into second place in the conference and had an overall record of 13-9.
Hamline returns to action Thursday, April 13 against Bethel at Meredith Field. First pitch of the doubleheader is slated for 3:30 p.m. CT. The Tommies will be back in action again on Thursday when they travel to Moorhead, Minn., to take on Concordia. That doubleheader is scheduled to start at 4 p.m.