For the fifth time this school year, a Tommie sports team has raced to an impressive unbeaten record.
UST Women's Tennis is off to a 13-0 start, believed to be a school record. Coach Terry Peck's group joins these fast-starting St. Thomas teams:
- Football won another conference title and started 12-0 before a 34-31 season-ending loss in the NCAA playoff quarterfinals;
- Men's Soccer began its season 14-0-3, later won its first outright MIAC crown since 1991, and stormed to its first NCAA playoff Final Four;
- Women's Soccer started 10-0-1 en route to another MIAC crown and an NCAA playoff trip;
- Women's Basketball steamrolled foes in a 31-0 start before losing 60-57 in the national semifinals.
The Toms went 4-0 last week on spring break, including a 5-4 defeat of Connecticut College and a 7-2 win over Allegheny.
The duo is 15-1 together in doubles play. In singles, Taylor is 12-2, while Paige is 5-0.
Senior Paige Becher recently surpassed 90 career wins in doubes and singles.
Gustavus, St. Thomas and Carleton all shared the 2016 MIAC championship. Those teams, currently ranked Nos. 35-36-37 nationally, are scheduled to play head-to-head in the last eight days of April to close the regular season.
Peck has guided Tommie Women's Tennis to a 48-6 record (.888) over the last three seasons.
St. Thomas went 4-1 in Hilton Head, S.C., last weekend, with its lone loss of the season a 6-3 decision to regionally-ranked Oberlin (Ohio). Martin Beck led the way as he went 9-1 in singles and doubles play, with the lone defeat 12-10 in a third-set singles tiebreaker.
All-Americas Beck and Luke Elifson have recorded a 15-2 doubles record (8-0 in dual meets). Scott Wall is 8-2 in singles and 7-3 in doubles. Elifson is 8-2 in singles.
Both Tommie teams play next Sunday at Hamline on the Pipers' campus courts in St. Paul.
Tommie Baseball sits 5-8 heading into four games this weekend, starting with Thursday's 1 p.m. home doubleheader against UW-Stout. That includes an 0-5 mark against ranked teams or squads receiving votes in this week's D3Baseball.com poll.
The Toms also are home Saturday to face St. Olaf in a 1 p.m. doubleheader that starts the 20-game conference season.
Last week in Florida, UST was able to close out a 7-5 victory from a Feb. 28 suspended game against UW-Stevens Point for a sweep. But the Toms lost three one-run or extra-inning decisions en route to a 3-5 finish.
Over the last six games. Tommie starting pitchers combined to post a 2.58 ERA, but UST's offense was inconsistent.
Tommie leaders on the trip included:
- Mitch Larson went 1-0 with eight strikeouts in eight innings of shutout ball against Benedictine;
- Henry DeCaster went 0-1 with nine strikeouts in eight innings and one run allowed for a 1.13 ERA against Southern Maine;
- Ryan Zimmerman went 1-1 with 19 strikeoutss and three walks in 14 innings and a 2.60 ERA;
- Sam Cobbs batted .440 with 11 hits, six runs and two walks;
- Hunter Hart batted .320 with eight hits, eight RBI, four doubles, a HR and three walks;
- freshman Sam Schneider hit .300 with six hits, five RBI, four doubles and four runs;
- Jake Smith hit .285 with eight hits, eight runs, two walks and four RBI;
- Zach Gottfredson hit .285 with eight hits and three runs.
St. Thomas Softball opens its home season Thursday with a 3:30 p.m. doubleheader against UW-La Crosse. UST is also home next Sunday for a 1 p.m. twinbill against Augsburg.
The Toms are scheduled to play 10 doubleheaders in a 20-day span starting with La Crosse, including four conference twinbills from April 1-9.
Coach John Tschida's team (11-3) went 7-1 last week in Florida on its spring-break trip, including a 10-2 win over 10-2 UW-Whitewater. The Toms are 11-0 this season when they allow three or less runs.
Top performers were:
- Junior transfer Sammy Hogan, who went 3-0 with one save and a 1.25 ERA on the mound and went 2-for-4 at the plate;
- Jessica Eppenberger, who went 4-1 with 13 strikeouts in 21 innings;
- sophomore Rachel Suter, who hit 9-for-19 and scored three runs;
- Megan Bush, who batted 9-for-22 with seven RBI, six runs and four doubles;
- sophomore Melissa Barry, who hit 11-for-19 with six runs scored;
- sophomore Chase Shortly, who went 10-for-22 with six RBI, six runs, a home run and five doubles;
- sophomore Jenna Bromen, who went 7-for-18 with five RBI and five runs. Bromen homered twice against UW-Whitewater after hitting no homers in her first 96 career college at-bats.
Track and Field
St. Thomas will get its first outdoor track and field experience for 2017 this Saturday as its sends some men and women competitors to a competiiton at Hamline.
Did You Know?
Tommie Softball (22) and Baseball (17) have played 39 consecutive games away from campus dating back to last May. That streak ends on Thursday as both teams play home doubleheaders.