2019 THE Spring Games

St. Olaf Tops No. 9 UW-Whitewater & University of Chicago

St. Olaf Tops No. 9 UW-Whitewater & University of Chicago

St. Olaf Tops No. 9 UW-Whitewater & University of Chicago at THE Spring Games.

Mar 23, 2019 by Chez Sievers
St. Olaf Tops No. 9 UW-Whitewater & University of Chicago

The St. Olaf College softball team edged No. 9 UW-Whitewater, 2-1, and capped the day with an 8-5 win over the University of Chicago on Saturday to improve to 3-1 at THE Spring Games.

St. Olaf (8-4) upended ninth-ranked UW-Whitewater (1-2) in the opener, as sophomore Abby Grismer provided the go-ahead RBI single in the top of the seventh and junior Julie Graf escaped a bases-loaded jam to end the game in the bottom of the inning. Senior Alison Curry and first year Tarah DeCroock drove in six runs for the Oles in their second game of the day in the win over Chicago (0-1).

With 16 strikeouts on the day, Graf moved up one spot to third all-time in MIAC history with 637 for her career, passing Hannah Heacox of Gustavus Adolphus College, who had 629 in her career from 2014-17.

St. Olaf 2, No. 9 UW-Whitewater 1 | Box Score

Grismer drove in the game-winning run with a one-out single in the top of the seventh and junior Julie Graf left the bases filled with Warhawks, as St. Olaf defeated nationally-ranked UW-Whitewater for the second-straight season in Clermont. The Oles defeated the No. 18-ranked Warhawks, 2-0, last season at THE Spring Games on a one-hitter by Graf.

REPLAY | St. Olaf vs UW-Whitewater

The Oles got on the board first in the top of the fourth on a one-out RBI single up the middle by Hannah Matthies. With one out, senior Emily Carr singled to center, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on Matthies' single.

St. Olaf threatened to add to its lead in the top of the sixth, putting runners on second and third with two outs, but Bella Matthias got a ground out to short to end the threat. The Warhawks got a runner to third base with just one out in the bottom of the sixth before Graf escaped trouble with a strikeout and a fly out to left.

In the top of the seventh, the Oles scored the eventual game-winning run on a one-out single to right by Grismer after Curry singled to start the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Graf.

UW-Whitewater loaded the bases with one out in the home half of the seventh before Vera Pflugradt drew a bases-loaded walk to make it a 2-1 game with still only one out. Graf, however, wriggled out of the jam by getting a fly out to left and a fly out to center to seal St. Olaf's first one-run win of the season.

Graf improved to 5-4 on the season by holding the Warhawks to one run on three hits with 10 strikeouts in the complete game. Matthias also went the distance for UW-Whitewater, allowing two runs on six hits with two walks and 10 strikeouts.

St. Olaf 8, Univ. of Chicago 5 | Box Score

Curry went 2-for-3 with a double, triple, walk, three runs and four RBI and DeCroock was 2-for-4 with two RBI, as St. Olaf defeated the University of Chicago for the first time in the fifth meeting between the two programs.

REPLAY | St. Olaf vs Univ. of Chicago

In the circle, Graf earned her second victory of the day by allowing just one hit and two walks with six strikeouts in three innings of shutout relief. Sydney Robson worked the first four innings for the Oles.

After the Maroons went ahead 1-0 in the top of the first, Curry delivered a bases-clearing, three-run double to left field to highlight a four-run bottom of the inning for the Oles. DeCroock also had an RBI single in the four-run frame.

Chicago got two runs back in the top of the third, but St. Olaf answered with two runs of its own in the bottom of the inning. A pair of errors by the Maroons led to two unearned runs, as the Oles scored on a RBI single by DeCroock and a double steal.

The Maroons again closed the gap to a single run, 6-5, with two runs in the fourth, but the Oles scored twice in the bottom of the inning to account for the final margin. After the first two batters were retired, Matthies doubled and scored on a triple by Curry, who then scored on an error.

Graf took care of the rest, shutting down the Maroons over the final three innings to move to 6-4 on the season.