Bulldog Weekly Report
Bulldog Booster Club Athletes of the Week
Female: Molly Madsen, Softball
Madsen, a native of Thornton, Colo., helped spark Concordia’s first 9-0 start in school history by going 12-for-19 with 10 RBIs and seven runs last week in Tucson, Ariz. Madsen made a quick recovery from offseason shoulder surgery and started all nine of the team’s season-opening games.
Male: Taylor Dudley, Baseball
Dudley, who hails from Longmont, Colo., carries an active six-game hitting streak during which he cracked 12 hits (three doubles) in 19 at bats. He drove in nine runs and scored seven as part of the Bulldogs’ six-game win streak. He leads the team with a .392 batting average.
News and Notes:
Concordia women’s soccer seeks participation in superhero race supporting abused children: The Concordia women’s soccer program (led by junior captain Katrina Muther), in conjunction with the Southeast Nebraska CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) and The Superhero Foundation, is partnering in the organization and facilitation of the Superhero 5K run/walk and 1K fun run, set to take place on Sunday, April 6 in Seward. The event will raise money for abused and neglected children. For information on how to participate, click HERE.
Dance places sixth at NAIA national invite: The Concordia University dance team placed sixth with a score of 82.93 at the 2014 NAIA Competitive Cheer and Dance National Invitational held March 14-15 at Oklahoma City University. That performance concluded the season for head coach Daneen Kovar Theye’s squad, which also finished fourth at its regional competition on Feb. 15.
Up next: All spring sports will soon get into full swing. Baseball and softball continue this week (details in the notes section below) with golf and outdoor track and field coming up on the horizon. Tennis resumes on Saturday. See below for upcoming competitions.
-Men’s golf: March 29-30 at Bethel Invite
-Women’s golf: April 8 at Midland Invite
-Men’s tennis: Wednesday, March 26 vs. Doane (4 p.m.)
-Women’s tennis: Saturday, March 22 vs. Mount Marty (12 p.m.)
-Outdoor track and field: March 28-29 at Wildcat Classic hosted by Wayne State
Scholar-athlete update: Four Bulldog basketball players were named 2013-14 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes on Monday. That brings the Concordia scholar-athlete tally to 45 in 2013-14 and 964 all-time – most among all NAIA schools. This year’s basketball scholar-athletes are Micah Kohlwey and Adam Vogt on the men’s side and Tracy Peitz and Rachel Royuk on the women’s side.
Concordia Sports Network: Live webcasts for most home varsity contests can be accessed by visiting http://www.cune.edu/csn at game time. Check team schedules/results pages for webcast dates. Scrimmages, exhibitions and junior varsity events are not broadcasted.
- The season came to end in the first round of the national tournament for the second-straight year when the eighth-ranked Bulldogs were upset, 91-86, by No. 25 Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) on March 12. Concordia made its 13th all-time appearance at the national tournament, where it now has a record of 18-13 after its most recent loss. Eighth-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad finished with a 25-8 overall record, marking the ninth time the program has reached 25 wins or more over the past 13 seasons.
- In an up-tempo contest to the extreme, the Bulldogs committed a season high 31 turnovers while going an uncharacteristic 14-for-25 (56 percent) from the free throw line in falling to Olivet Nazarene. It was the first meeting between the two teams since Nov. 12, 2004, when the Bulldogs, then coached by Todd Voss, won going away, 107-54.
- Despite being held to 15 points on 5-for-19 shooting last week, junior guard Bailey Morris will enter her season with 1,389 career points – 11th most in school history. Her career high scoring average of 19.3 allowed her to pile up 616 points this season, putting the Sandy Creek High School product 411 points away from the school record (1,800 – Sarah Harrison). In terms of total points, Morris ranked 11th among all NAIA Division II players in 2013-14.
- Junior Kelsey Hizer put together a fine performance in the season’s final game. She totaled 12 points and 11 rebounds (career high) for her first career double-double. The GPAC honorable mention selection made 5 of 7 shots, including 2 of 3 from 3-point range. Hizer played in all 33 games and was one of three Bulldogs to make 30 or more starts.
- Defense wasn’t the cause of Concordia’s early exit from the national tournament. The Bulldogs held Olivet Nazarene to 17 points below its season average and frustrated the Tigers into 8-for-43 shooting from beyond the arc. Olivet Nazarene found a way to win even though its star backcourt of Liz Bart and Miranda Geever shot a combined 8-for-29 from the field.
- This year’s varsity roster included only three seniors, including two – Britney Birtell and Kristen Conahan – who finished their careers on the bench because of injury. Over this season’s 33 games, freshmen, sophomores and juniors played 85.5 percent of the minutes, scored 85.3 percent of the points and grabbed 87.1 percent of the team’s rebounds. The current junior class, next year’s seniors, will be relied upon heavily. Hizer, Morris, Tracy Peitz and Jericca Pearson all averaged more than 21 minutes per game this season and are expected to form the nucleus of the 2014-15 squad.
- Olson will enter next season within arm’s reach of several significant coaching milestones. At 191-75 overall (.718), Olson sits just four wins behind Carl Everts (195 victories in 11 seasons) for the most coaching victories in program history. He also remains one national tournament win away from tying Todd Voss for the most in school history. This past season Olson became the first Bulldog women’s basketball coach to eclipse 100 GPAC wins and is on the verge of becoming the first to reach 200 wins overall.
- Peitz’s 23 points versus Olivet Nazarene were the most for a Bulldog in a national tournament game since Conahan’s school record 26 points in a national quarterfinal victory over Grand View University on March 10, 2012. Peitz, who finished the season with an average of 13.8 points, had opportunities to break Conahan’s record. The native of Hartington, Neb., went 10-for-20 from the field.
- With Morris back in the fold next season, Olson’s squad will be expected to return to the national tournament for the fourth-straight year.
- Todd LaVelle’s first season as head coach got off to an exhilarating 9-0 start, marking the first time in school history that a Bulldog softball team has won nine games to begin a season. All nine contests took place in Tucson, Ariz., last week as Concordia upset No. 10 Olivet Nazarene and then won three of its last four games in walk-off fashion. The previous best start in program history was a 6-0 record to begin the 2003 campaign. To read recaps of last week’s action, click HERE.
- Concordia’s first nine-game winning streak since the 2008 team won 15 in a row has the Bulldogs as the only remaining undefeated team in the GPAC. LaVelle’s club entered the week as one of only three teams in the NAIA with unblemished marks, joining Waldorf College (13-0) of the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference and the University of Northwestern Ohio (6-0). None of those three teams received votes in the NAIA’s preseason coaches’ top 25 poll.
- The offensive outburst led the way in Concordia’s big first week of action. Six different Bulldogs who started in six or more games during the Arizona trip batted .400 or better. As a team, Concordia hit .395 and piled up 71 runs for an average of 7.9 per game. The Bulldogs put up 10 runs or more in three games, including a season high 15 in the victory over College of Saint Mary on March 14.
- Junior first baseman Molly Madsen quickly returned to the lineup despite offseason shoulder surgery. The native of Thornton, Colo., went 12-for-19 with three walks and 10 RBIs and seven runs while starting all nine games of the trip. Madsen is looking to return to the form that saw her earn second team all-conference honors as a freshman when she batted .365.
- Four of the six who batted .400 or better last week did not even play a single game for the Bulldogs in 2013. Freshman left fielder Diana Mendoza made herself comfortable at the top of the lineup. She drilled a triple in her first collegiate at bat against Olivet Nazarene and is now 14-for-25 (.560) on the season with 10 runs and eight RBIs. The native of Santa Clarita, Calif., hit in the leadoff spot in six games last week.
- Fellow freshman Palmer Bosanko (Henderson, Nev.) showed a flair for the dramatic, twice delivering walk-off triples to keep the Bulldog winning streak alive. Bosanko’s two-run triple with two outs in the bottom of the seventh on March 12 lifted Concordia to a 3-2 win over Presentation College. On March 14, in the final game of the Tucson trip, Bosanko cracked a two-run walk-off triple to push the Bulldogs past NCAA Division III Alfred University, 13-12. Bosanko started all nine games and went 10-for-25 (.400).
- LaVelle’s team also featured a host of other newcomers last week, including utility player Brittany Hudler (10-for-24), outfielder Regan Doiel (2013 redshirt, 12-for-29), third baseman Rebecca Walker (9-for-22) and infielder Courtnay Serve (4-for-12). All four made at least three starts during the Arizona swing.
- The Concordia pitching staff featured stalwarts in senior Amanda Beeson and sophomore Julia Tyree in addition to freshman Lexye Bruegman, a product of Lincoln North Star. Beeson (3-0) tossed 30 of a possible 64 innings over the nine games and earned a complete-game win over Olivet Nazarene. She allowed just eight earned runs on 35 hits and three walks while striking out 27. Tyree threw a total of 18.2 innings and notched four wins. Bruegman fired 15.1 innings and went 2-0 on the week.
- LaVelle used a total of 17 different position players throughout last week. Six of those individuals started all nine games: Bosanko, Doiel, Madsen, Morose, Tyree and Walker. Catcher Amber Topil (walk-off RBI single vs. Aquinas College on March 14) played in all nine games and made eight starts.
- The Bulldogs return to action on Wednesday when they play a doubleheader at Peru State (13-8). First pitch is slated for 3 p.m. from Peru. Concordia will play two again the next day at the same time at York (0-13). Five more games are scheduled between Friday and Saturday as part of the Sterling College Tournament in Sterling, Kan. LaVelle’s squad will get another shot at a ranked opponent when it takes on the host Warriors (ranked 24th) at 11 a.m. on Saturday. For the most up-to-date schedule, please visit the team schedule page HERE.
- Concordia finished up a winning Tucson road trip last week by winning the final six games of the Arizona swing. The Bulldogs entered play on March 11 with a nine-game losing streak but busted out of it by scoring a combined 28 runs in victories over Missouri Valley College and Dakota State University (S.D.). A suddenly explosive offensive attack then led doubleheader sweeps of Presentation College (S.D.) on March 14 and Dickinson State University (N.D.) on March 15. The six-game win streak puts head coach Jeremy Geidel’s squad at 10-12 overall. For recaps of last week’s action, click HERE.
- Several Bulldog hitters heated up along with the weather in The Grand Canyon State. Foremost among these batsmen was sophomore left fielder Taylor Dudley, who went a white-hot 12-for-19 over the last six games of the trip and 14-for-28 overall in Arizona. During his current six-game hit streak, the native of Longmont, Colo., has driven in nine runs, scored seven runs, doubled three times and has raised his batting average from .250 to a team best .392. Dudley collected a career best four hits in Concordia’s 16-3 win over Dickinson State on March 15.
- One of two Tucson natives on the roster, junior right-handed pitcher Will Holbrook pitched a gem in his second start of the trip. Holbrook tossed a seven-inning complete game shutout in the Bulldogs’ 8-0 blanking of Presentation on March 14. He scattered seven hits and a walk while striking out six as part of his first shutout as a Bulldog. Holbrook is 2-2 with a 3.66 ERA in 32 innings this season.
- Both of Concordia’s Santa Fe, Texas, stalwarts also had big performances under the desert sun. Right fielder and clean-up hitter Daniel Wilkerson went 17-for-37 with six doubles, a triple and 12 RBIs over the 10 games in Arizona. Wilkerson, 11 extra base hits on the season, leads the Bulldogs with a .573 slugging percentage. Wilkerson shares the same hometown as third baseman and No. 3 hitter Andrew Yerrell, who went 13-for-33 with 14 RBIs in Tucson. Yerrell is the team leader with 21 RBIs.
- Concordia did the bulk of its damage with center fielder Camaren Gause, another Tucson native, still finding his stroke in the early going. Gause went 5-for-9 on the opening day of the Arizona trip before finishing 4-for-30 over the past eight games. Last season Gause topped the team with a .372 on-base percentage.
- As a team, Geidel’s club has tallied 65 runs during the six-game win streak for an average of nearly 11 runs per contest. Concordia has piled up the runs by hitting a scalding .383 (69-for-180) over those six games to raise the team average to .283, a significant improvement from last season’s .249 clip. The Bulldogs enter the week with four regulars hitting above .300 – Dudley (.392), Yerrell (.338), Wilkerson (.333) and Zach Cambier (.333) – and one – Alex Cargin (.297) – just under .300.
- The current run of success has also seen complete game wins for freshman lefty Brody Yost and senior righty Jordan Stirtz. Yost (Sutton, Neb.) threw all seven innings of Concordia’s 7-2 win over Presentation on March 14. He allowed two runs (both earned) on three hits and two walks to go with seven strikeouts. The next day Stirtz (Gretna, Neb.) gave up just a single unearned run on six hits and two walks. Stirtz and the Bulldogs defeated Dickinson State 6-1 in the final game of the road trip.
- The abundance of games allowed Geidel to use much of his varsity roster. To date, 17 different position players have started at least one game and 13 different pitchers have toed the rubber for the Bulldogs. One Bulldog who earned more playing time with his play in Arizona was second baseman A.J. Peterson, who made a habit of getting on base. The native of Tampa, Fla., went 4-for-9 in five starts and reached base an additional five times via walks and hit by pitches.
- Concordia will have had a week off before returning to action on Saturday when it begins a scheduled four-game series with Dakota State (6-10), whom the Bulldogs defeated 8-4 in a single game last week in Arizona. Concordia will battle the Trojans in doubleheaders at Plum Creek Park in Seward on Saturday and Sunday. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. on both days.
18 March 2014