LINDSBORG, Kan. – An offense that relies on a host of newcomers looked just fine despite a layoff of nearly a week-and-a-half for the Concordia University softball team. In the middle of the lineup, freshman Hhana Haro enjoyed a 5-for-9 day while highlighting Tuesday’s (Feb. 27) doubleheader split at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kan. After a 12-10 slugfest loss in game one, the Bulldogs rebounded with a 10-6 victory in game two.
Due to postponements, fifth-year head Todd LaVelle’s squad had not played since a twin bill at Kansas Wesleyan University on Feb. 18. Concordia is now 2-4 overall.
“We’ve been hitting it really well all six games out,” LaVelle said. “I think we shored up our defense a lot better. That was good to see. We’re playing a lot of freshmen. There’s going to be a learning curve. Hhana’s been hitting really well. Tori (Homolka)’s been hitting well. I’ve been impressed with how they’ve been patient with their pitch selection. We’re making solid contact. I’m pretty excited about that.”
The Bulldogs rallied from an early 4-0 hole in the capper. Concordia took the lead thanks to a four-run fifth inning that included a two-run single by catcher Kaitlynn Carter. Carter’s drive down the right field line cleared the bases with the third run coming around with the help of a bobble in right field. Haro also added a two-run base hit in the sixth to provide some breathing room.
Haro and leadoff hitter Leah Kalkwarf both rapped out three hits in the first game. Kalkwarf drilled jer second home run already this season. Concordia fell despite 16 hits and five different Bulldogs with multiple hits. The Bulldogs also pushed across eight runs in the second inning of that contest. Right fielder Elanna Osthoff, who held down the No. 4 spot in the lineup, also notched a pair of hits in both ends of the doubleheader. Carter knocked three runs in game two.
Baily Clear started both games in the circle. She and Grace Bernhardt covered all innings from a pitching perspective. Bernhardt did a solid job in the second game, limiting the damage to two runs in four innings of work while earning credit for the win.
Concordia continues to play without ace pitcher Brittany Woolridge, who hopes to make a return to the diamond in March. The Bulldogs need to improve upon their run prevention. The Swedes (5-9) recorded 31 hits on the day. Second baseman Courtney Fudge collected five hits for the host. Bethany is the third Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference member that Concordia has played already this season.
The next time the Bulldogs take the field it will be in Tucson, Ariz., for the Tucson Invitational (March 5-9). Concordia will play three times on Monday, March 5 as part of the opening day of the event. Fisher College (Mass.), Aquinas College (Mich.) and Northwest University (Wash.) will serve as the opponents on day one.