For the first time in nearly 20 years, the Buena Vista softball team has posted back-to-back 20-win seasons after rallying late in game two of Saturday's doubleheader against visiting Wartburg College for a wild 14-10 victory. The Knights won the opener, 7-4.
Both teams battled through cloudy, cold and very windy playing conditions all day. The defense was put on its heels throughout as balls hit into the air were pushed across the field by the wind.
Wartburg built a 3-0 lead in the opener with a run in the second and two more in the third. The Beavers got on the board with an RBI double from Mckynze Hansen in the third before RBI singles from Cortney Weaver and Michaela Mason tied things at 3-3 in the fourth.
The Knights quickly went back onto in the fifth when Mara Forsyth, the conference's leading home run hitter, blasted her 14th of the year - a two-run shot - to make it 5-3. Wartburg then added two more in the seventh before an RBI groundout by Hansen in the seventh provided the game's final run.
Hansen went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and two RBI for BVU while Mason also added a pair of hits, one RBI and a run scored.
Keely Bycroft went the distance inside the circle and was charged with five earned runs. She struggled a bit with her command by walking four and striking out only one.
The Knights jumped out to a 6-0 lead in game two by scoring five runs in the second, including a big three-run dobule.
ReAnn Cappel came through with a two-run single to highlight a four-run third for the Beavers that cut their deficit down to 6-4. Wartburg added three runs in the fifth to pull ahead 9-4, but it was nearly all BVU from there.
Weaver doubled home two runs to cap a four-run fifth for BVU that also included a run scoring on a wild pitch as well as another on a fielding miscue by the Wartburg defense.
Cheyanne Boland, playing in her final career home game, drilled a line drive double to left center field that scored two as BVU went on to plate six more in the sixth to take a 14-9 lead.
Wartburg didn't go down quietly, however, loading the bases with no outs in the seventh, but was able to only score once, as Moriah Guyett got Forsyth to pop out to the catcher before a groundout ended it.
BVU had five players finish with two hits as it pounded out 13 hits. Wartburg chalked up 16, but only one for extra bases. The two teams struggled a bit defensively in the contest, combining for 10 errors.
Guyett went the distance with only three of her 10 runs allowed being earned.
Buena Vista wraps up the regular season at 20-16 (8-8 IIAC) and earns the fifth seed into next week's Iowa Conference Tournament at Luther College. The Beavers will take on Wartburg in the first game of the tournament, as the Knights locked up the fourth-seed with their win in game one. First pitch in Decorah, Iowa, is scheduled for 2:00pm.