MIAC roundup: softball begins undefeated in conference

Designated hitter Brenna Walek’s six RBIs and two home runs powered the No. 14-ranked St. Thomas softball team to its first two MIAC wins of the season in a sweep of Bethel Sunday.

The Tommies defeated the Royals 8-1 and 11-0 after the games, which had originally been scheduled to be played at Bethel, were relocated to St. Thomas. Before hosting Bethel, the softball team played 12 games during its spring trip to Florida, and finished with a 9-3 record that included a 14-3 win against Wis.-Whitewater and a 4-3 loss against No. 22-ranked North Central (Ill.).

With the pair of wins against Bethel, St. Thomas extended its home unbeaten streak to 45 games and its MIAC regular season winning streak to 32 games.

The team is back in action at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday with a doubleheader against Concordia-Moorhead at home.

Baseball goes .500 during spring trip, postpones MIAC opener

Left fielder Tim Kuzniar went 11-for-14 with eight RBIs as the St. Thomas baseball team finished with a 3-3 record on its spring break trip to Florida.

The No. 13-ranked Tommies split double headers with St. Norbert and No. 9-ranked Wis.-Whitewater. St. Thomas also earned an 11-1 victory over Grinnell College (Iowa) and took a 12-8 defeat against Wis.-Oshkosh.

“It was a good learning experience for us. It didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to,” pitcher Eric Veglahn said.

After postponing a series against St. Mary’s on Saturday due to lingering winter weather, the Tommies are scheduled to open MIAC play at home Wednesday against Macalester. MIAC THUMB

“We’re still doing our normal routine and definitely getting ready for conference season,” Veglahn said. “We know we’re going to have a target on our back.”

Men’s tennis earns three wins in S.C.

The men’s tennis team traveled to Hilton Head, S.C., during spring break, and came home with a 3-1 record led by freshman Burke Anderson’s three singles victories and three doubles wins.

The team started off the trip with 6-3 wins over Nebraska Wesleyan and Concordia University (Wis.), and a 9-0 win against Hartwick College (N.Y.). St. Thomas lost 7-2, to No. 25-ranked Colby College (Maine) in its final match of the trip which ended St. Thomas’ six-match win streak.

“We’ve practiced hard and the players are giving really solid effort,” coach Terry Peck said. “We’re improving, so I think the wins will just come.”

Burke Anderson led the Tommies on their trip, with an untarnished record over their first three matches. The freshman was 3-0 in his singles matches, as well as 3-0 in his doubles matches against Wesleyan, Concordia and Hartwick. He finished the trip with a 6-2 overall record.

St. Thomas will resume MIAC play Saturday against Hamline at St. Paul academy where the Tommies will look to improve on their 4-1 conference record.

Women’s tennis goes unbeaten in spring trip

Kara Lefsrud and Bridget Noack both went 8-0 during the St. Thomas women’s tennis team’s spring trip to Hilton Head, S.C., where the Tommies were unbeaten in four matches.

St. Thomas played Converse College (S.C.), Nebraska Wesleyan, Concordia University (Wis.) and Colby College (Maine), and won all four matches 9-0. The four victories extend St. Thomas’ winning streak to 10 matches, with nine of those 10 matches being 9-0 sweeps.

Henderson said the winning streak is due to the positive team dynamic.

“It has to do a lot with tennis mechanics, but for the most part it’s how strong our bond is with each other and how we just motivate each other,” Henderson said.

St. Thomas hopes to extend its conference unbeaten streak to six matches when it hosts Hamline Saturday at St. Paul Academy. The Tommies have not lost a match since Feb. 8.

“We’re just going to do what we’ve always done,” Henderson said. “Keep practicing hard and play our best.”

Men’s golf tops Calvin in Arizona

Junior Alex Gabriel led the St. Thomas men’s golf team with an even-par 72 as the team beat Calvin College (Mich.) 298-308 during its spring trip in Chandler, Ariz.

Gabriel was the only Tommie to shoot an even round as Bennett Schroeder and Michael Klampe shot a 74 and 75, respectively. Pat Larkin and Alex Kapraun rounded out the five-man varsity lineup with a pair of 77’s.

St. Thomas’ next meet is scheduled for April 7 and 8 when they will travel to Atlanta for a dual meet against Emory University (Ga.).