SEWARD, Neb. – The final week of regular-season action has arrived for the Concordia University softball team. It will be the busiest week of home games all season. The Bulldogs are scheduled to play the role of host today (April 23), Thursday and Saturday. The program’s three seniors (Brittany Arent, Kaitlyn Buresh and Janey Pasold) will be honored between games of Saturday’s doubleheader with Dordt.
This week’s schedule
Monday, April 23 vs. Dakota Wesleyan, 4 p.m.
Wednesday, April 25 at College of Saint Mary, 3 p.m.
Thursday, April 26 vs. York, 6 p.m.
Saturday, April 28 vs. Dordt, 1 p.m. (senior day)
Fifth-year head coach Todd LaVelle’s squad begins the week in eighth place, but will have an opportunity but could realistically finish as high as fourth place with a successful push down the stretch. Concordia snapped a five-game skid in the second game of this past Saturday’s split at Mount Marty. The Bulldogs ran away with a 10-2 victory spurred by outbursts of three runs in the sixth and four in the seventh. Hhana Haro, Kenna Heath and Mackinsey Schmidt each had at least two hits in the victory.
A freshman from Garden Grove, Calif., Haro just keeps hitting. She went 10-for-15 with three doubles, a triple, a home run and six RBIs over last week’s action. By week’s end, Haro became the program’s new record holder for most doubles in a single season (18). Haro is the current GPAC leader in batting average (.520), on-base percentage (.542) and slugging percentage (.816). Five other regulars in the lineup are hitting better than .300: Elanna Osthoff (.380), Schmidt (.348), Jamie Lefebure (.329), Leah Kalkwarf (.311) and Tori Homolka (.307).
Pasold (Norfolk, Neb.) is the lone senior on the roster who has seen extensive playing time. The exercise science major transferred to Concordia after attending Central Community College for two years. In two seasons with the Bulldogs, Pasold has batting .270 (30-for-111) over 69 games.
All three GPAC opponents this week – Dakota Wesleyan (10-20, 6-6 GPAC), College of Saint Mary (13-23, 4-10 GPAC) and Dordt (18-15, 7-7 GPAC) – are ones that Concordia is jockeying with for positioning in the standings. The Defenders have been hot, winning six of their last seven, including an upset at No. 25 Morningside. The respective leading hitters for these foes are Dakota Wesleyan’s Andriana Sprakel (.430), Dordt’s Marissa VandenBerg (.408) and College of Saint Mary’s Brittney Banks (.381). York College will enter Thursday’s action with an overall record of 8-31.
Postseason play will begin next week with the top two seeded teams in the GPAC hosting separate pods of the conference tournament (May 4, 5, 7). The two teams that emerge from those pods will meet in the GPAC championship series on Monday, May 7. Concordia’s most recent conference title came in 2015 in the GPAC tournament.
Home varsity games can be streamed live via the Concordia Sports Network.