For the second straight day the Buena Vista softball team took the field against a top-25 team, and for the second straight day, the Beavers played a pair of thrilling games, including a walk-off victory in the opener of Thursday's doubleheader against #23 Central College.
That first game turned into an instant classic with many pressure-cooked moments, key plays, and an exciting finish. Central's speed and small ball approach put BVU on its heels early on as it built an early 2-0 lead in the second. BVU chipped away with a sacrifice fly by Jeanne Bramhall in the third and an RBI single by Kate Lesmeister in the fourth to tie things back up at 2-2.
Taylor Frain then led off the bottom of the sixth with a double to left center and later scored on an RBI single to center by Carlee Guyett which gave BVU its first lead of the game at 3-2. The Dutch, however, loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh, and came through with back-to-back infield singles to retake a 4-3 lead. Autumn Boland got one of those runs back with just one swing of the bat as she blasted a game-tying home run off the scoreboard in left centerfield - her second homerun of the year. Lesmeister followed with a walk and moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt from Kennedy Colvert. Frain then singled to center to move the winning run to third with just one out, but a scorching line drive from Bramhall to right was caught on the run before Guyett ripped a line drive that was caught at first to end the threat.
Moriah Guyett worked around a one-out single in the eighth and sent the Dutch down in order in the ninth to give BVU yet another chance to end the game. Lesmeister and Colvert posted back-to-back singles with one out before Bramhall drew a two-out walk to load the bases for Guyett. The freshman came through with arguably her biggest base hit of the year when she ripped a 2-2 pitch right back up the middle and past the diving Dutch second baseman and into centerfield while sending the Beaver dugout into a frenzy.
Guyett finished the game 3-for-6 with two RBI while Lesmeister and Frain also notched three base hits. Lesmeister also walked and scored twice as BVU pounded out 14 hits in the contest.
Guyett went the distance and pitched her 11th complete game of the year. She scattered seven hits (all singles) while allowing just two earned runs and striking out four. It was the team's fourth straight win over the Dutch in Storm Lake.
The Beavers were looking to go for its second straight home sweep of the Dutch with a win in the nightcap, but the late-game rally came up just short.
Central again got on the board first by plating a run in the second and adding two more in the third. Guyett was right in the middle of the scoring yet again in the home half of the third as her one-out single got the rally started. She then came around to score from first on Michaela Mason's double to left center. Mason advanced to third on a groundout by Mckynze Hansen but an errant throw from the Central first baseman allowed her to scored and make it a 3-2 game.
The Dutch, who overcame five errors in the contest, made it a 4-2 game in the top half of the fourth with a two-out RBI single, but BVU came right back in the bottom half as Lesmeister continued her torrid hitting by launching a no-doubt home run over the wall in left and nearly onto the batting cages beyond the fence. It's her second career home run and the second in as many days.
A bunt single and a squeeze bunt by Central in the fifth extended its lead to 6-3. Mason with her second double of the game drove home a run with two outs in the sixth for BVU as it tried to fight back. A one-out single by Boland in the seventh brought the tying run to the plate, but a ground out and a pop out ended the game and gave Central the split.
Guyett and Mason each finished with two hits in the contest to account for four of the team's seven hits.
Marissa Promes also went the distance for BVU, allowing just two earned runs, while scattering 11 hits and striking out one.
Buena Vista is now 16-10 on the year (1-5 IIAC) while the Dutch are 19-7 (6-2 IIAC). BVU is scheduled to play at Loras on Saturday afternoon weather permitting and then again on Sunday inside the Rochester Dome in Rochester, Minn., against UW-Eau Claire.