Bulldog Weekly Report
News and Notes:
Outdoor track and field preview: Concordia began its outdoor track and field season at the Wildcat Classic hosted by Wayne State College March 29-30. If you missed our season preview from March 28, check it out HERE.
Video of Guatemala mission trip: Several Concordia student-athletes participated in the school’s mission trip to Guatemala led by HHP Department Chair Jen Janousek. Check out video produced by student Anna McDaniel HERE.
Concordia Sports Network: Live webcasts for most home varsity contests can be accessed by visiting https://www.cune.edu/csn at game time. Check team schedules/results pages for webcast dates. Scrimmages, exhibitions and junior varsity events are not broadcasted.
- Sam Nelson got his first matches as Concordia head tennis coach under his belt March 26 as the Bulldog men and women challenged Doane in a non-conference matchup inside the Walz Fieldhouse. The Bulldog women improved to 4-1 this season with a 9-0 shutout of the rival Tigers. Meanwhile, the men dropped a 6-3 decision and fell to 2-3 in 2013.
- Because of cancelations of matches scheduled March 22-23 in the state of Kansas, the Bulldogs went more than three weeks without a match. That gave Concordia time to adjust to Nelson, who started working with the teams on March 4. Freshman Chelsea Haack says that one of the biggest changes has been the different types of drills that Nelson, a tennis pro in Lincoln, has implemented at practices. “We do a lot more drills that we’ve never done before,” Haack said. “I can see them in the matches. Certain points set up and I’m like, ‘oh, we’ve done this in drills.’ It’s helped a lot.”
- The change in approach has been mostly seamless thanks to the hard-working nature of the Concordia roster. “They all impressed me,” Nelson said. “I really appreciate what (assistant) James (Ingrahm) and Coach (Amy) Harms have instilled in their work ethic. It paid dividends (March 26). They have been really solid with their work in the weight room and extra practice they’ve been getting in.”
- Haack, a native of Columbus, Neb., impressed as much as anyone on the court last week. She teamed with sophomore Grace Hollenbeck for an 8-4 victory over Doane’s Kayla Bamesberger and Kendra Ritter at No. 2 doubles. Then at No. 2 singles, Haack recorded a 6-1, 6-3 win over Jade Patterson. Haack is now 3-2 in singles in 2-3 in doubles in her first season of collegiate tennis.
- Sophomore Elyse Kohl also caught the attention of Nelson in her tiebreaker win over Doane’s Nicole Beranko in three sets. With the team win already clinched, Kohl and Beranko went toe-to-toe in a battle that tested both competitors physically and mentally. Kohl, who hails from Lincoln, won 2-6, 7-4, 10-1. “(She) really showed some moxie, fighting and coming back,” Nelson said. “That’s really the motto we want to go with moving forward – that you’re never out of a match until the last point is played.”
- At No. 1 singles, junior Katelyn Koll has quietly raced out to a 4-1 record. Her only loss so far this season came to Kristen Stivers of William Jewell College (Mo.). Koll has since won three-straight, including a tough, three-set victory over Tabor College’s (Kan.) Rebecca Faber.
- On the men’s side, sophomore Jonathan Douglas continued his outstanding start to his first season in Bulldog blue. The native of Fenton, Mo., holds records of 4-1 at both No. 5 singles and No. 3 doubles. He breezed past Doane’s Sam Tipton 6-2, 6-0 in his most recent battle. That followed a tight doubles win in which Douglas teamed with Joe Vanderveld for a 9-8 (7-4) win over Tipton and Chance Hohensee.
- The Bulldogs’ only other win over the Tigers came at No. 1 doubles, another hotly-contested match. Junior Nathan Wingfield and senior Cole Egger came out on top, 9-8 (7-3), over Ross Schulenberg and Tyler Johnson. Wingfield then played the only three-set singles match of the evening – a 4-6, 6-1, 10-2 loss.
- Nelson’s Bulldogs return to action Wednesday to take on NCAA Division II University of Nebraska-Kearney in both men’s and women’s matches. First serve is 6 p.m. from Kearney.
Track and Field
- After nearly a month since putting together strong performances at the indoor national championships, Concordia opened up the outdoor season with several first-place finishes at the Wildcat Classic held at Wayne State College. "With it being this early in the spring season the conditions were not quite ideal,” head coach Kregg Einspahr said. “It was breezy and cool outside which is about what you would expect in Nebraska in March. But overall it was a very good meet for the first time out."
- Bulldogs who took first in their respective events at the Wildcat Classic included: John Cartier (400 meter dash – 50.16), Adam Prahlow (5,000 meter run – 15:41.51), Ben Sievert (10,000 meter run – 33:45.96), Benjamin Hinckfoot (110 meter hurdles – 14.87; 400 meter hurdles – 55.17), Hayden Hohnholt (3,000 meter steeplechase – 9:50.65), Carson Farr (pole vault – 14’ 11”), Kamala Moore (pole vault – 11’ 9 ¾”), Cynthia Mick (pole vault – 11’ 9 ¾”) and Shelby Yelden (pole vault – 11’ 9 ¾”).
- The Bulldogs dominated the women’s pole vault with the top-six finishers at the Wildcat Classic. Moore, Mick and Yelden each hit the national automatic qualifying mark by clearing 11’ 9 ¾” at Wayne State. Both Mick and Yelden also reached the indoor nationals in the pole vault. The trio is currently tied for the third best pole vault mark so far in early part of the outdoor season.
- Freshman Stephanie Coley continued a stellar first season as a Bulldog thrower. Her mark of 47’ 11 ¾” in the shot put placed her in second, just off the leader at the Wildcat Classic. That figure also is a national qualifying mark and ranks second on the NAIA leaderboard in the shot put.
- Three-time All-American Jamie Crouse also picked up where she left off in the winter. The Belgrade, Neb., native, the top hammer thrower in the GPAC, finished fourth in the hammer at the Wildcat Classic. She measured in at 174’ 3”, which automatically qualifies her for nationals and puts her in third in the NAIA in the event.
- Junior Lydia Pomerenke and sophomore Montana Hayes rank second and ninth, respectively, in the NAIA in the heptathlon on the NAIA leaderboard. Pomerenke finished second at the Wildcat Classic with 4,137 points in the heptathlon. Hayes posted 3,762 points to claim fifth.
- After sitting out the indoor season, Concordia senior standout distance runner Sarah Kortze got back on the track at the Wildcat Classic. She finished second in the 10,000 meter run by clocking in at 39:19.32. "We held her back a little in the 10,000 meters,” Einspahr said. “We didn't want her to try to run with the leader. We just wanted her to get a solid race in. She's healthy now and looking good."
- Bulldogs who finished in second place in their respective events included: Taiheem Pleasant (400 meter hurdles – 55.82), men’s 4x400 meter relay (3:21.29), Joel Ripke (discus – 155’ 10”), Kim Wood (800 meter run), Kortze (10,000 meter run – 39:19.32), Shelby Stolze (400 meter hurdles), Coley (shot put – 47’ 11 ¾”), Pomerenke (heptathlon – 4,137 points).
- Because of the Wildcat Classic landing on the day before Easter, several Concordia athletes missed the event to spend time with their families. Einspahr said student-athletes were given the option to compete or leave campus for the Easter break.
- The Bulldogs continue the outdoor season on Saturday at the Loper Invite hosted by the University of Nebraska-Kearney. Their first home meet will take place Saturday, April 13 when Concordia Outdoor Invite takes place inside Bulldog Stadium.
- Sophomore standout Shawn Rodehorst and the Bulldogs teed off for the first time this spring as they took part in the Hastings College Invite on March 29. Rodehorst picked up where he left off after a solid fall season to take third-place hardware in Hastings. He shot a one-over-par 73 to pace Concordia.
- Rodehorst, who led the team with an average of 77.25 in eight rounds of golf during the fall season, recorded 2012-13 best with his 73 in Hastings. His lowest round in the fall was a 74 on day two of the Doane Invite back on Sept. 18. The sophomore from Kearney, Neb., currently sits in 30th in the GPAC after the two fall conference qualifier meets. He shot 82-78–160 through the first two GPAC qualifiers.
- Nine other Bulldog golfers joined Rodehorst at the Hastings Invite. Head coach Brett Muller was encouraged by the team’s performance, especially considering the lack of practice time Concordia has had due to unseasonably cold spring weather. “We had probably played only about five rounds of actual practice rounds this spring, so expectations weren’t particularly high,” Muller said. “It was good to see Shawn and Sam (Simonson) come out and perform well in the first meet of the spring. We’re about a month behind where we were last spring because of the cold weather.”
- Simonson, a freshman from Saint Libory, Neb., turned in the second-lowest score behind Rodehorst with a 77. That score was better than any Simonson carded during the fall season when he averaged an 86.25. His previous low had been an 82 on two occasions – at both the Doane Invite (Sept. 18) and the Hastings Fall Invite (Sept. 24).
- Senior Nick Milberger, who competed in Hastings as part of the Bulldogs’ second grouping of five, was a pleasant surprise as he posted an 86. The remaining scores from Concordia golfers: Garrett Suchanek – 89; Sam DeFreece – 90; Mitchell Volk – 92; Brock Colclasure – 93; Andy Nevius – 96; Paul Rempfer – 97; Cody Lehmann – 104.
- The Concordia men will be back in action on Monday, April 8 when GPAC Qualifier No. 3 gets started in Lincoln, Neb. Through two GPAC rounds, the men shot 338-335–673, placing them in a tie for 10th.
- The Bulldog women begin the spring season on Wednesday at the Midland Invite in Fremont, Neb. They will be without their top golfer from the fall, Mackenzie Deutschmann, who is student teaching this semester. The women will participate in GPAC Qualifier No. 3 in Hastings on Tuesday, April 9.
- The Bulldogs have effectively shaken off the rough road trip in California with a 5-1 record in their last six games. Head coach Frank Greene’s squad began last week with a GPAC-opening doubleheader split at Doane on Wednesday. Concordia followed with a pair of non-conference victories at the Morningside Invitational Softball Tournament in Sioux City, Iowa. The Bulldogs defeated both Dakota State University and Mayville State University to conclude a 3-1 week. Concordia now sits at 7-10 overall and 1-1 in GPAC action.
- Junior right-handed pitcher Amanda Beeson, named GPAC Pitcher of the Week on March 26, continued her dominant run last week. She started by blanking Doane in a 7-0 victory on March 27. The Waverly, Neb., native narrowly missed a third-straight shutout when Dakota State finally got on the scoreboard with two outs and two strikes in the bottom of the seventh on March 29. Beeson went 21.1 innings over four appearances without allowing a run.
- A big reason for Beeson’s success has been her impressive strikeout rate. She leads the GPAC with 64 punch outs in 57.2 innings of work for an average of 9.99 strikeouts per nine innings. She piled up a career high 13 strikeouts in her seven-inning shutout of Central Christian College on March 20. She nearly matched that number by fanning 12 more hitters in the victory over Dakota State.
- The Bulldogs have surged lately thanks to not only to Beeson’s fine work in the circle, but also because of better results offensively. Freshman infielder Danielle Harstad has been particularly hot as she is 8-for-14 with a home run, five RBIs and nine runs over her past five games. Her hot streak has raised her average to a team-leading .382 (among players with 30 or more plate appearances).
- Several other players have also caught fire in the batter’s box. Junior catcher Amber Topil has notched eights in her last 16 at bats with four doubles, a triple and six RBIs over the five-game stretch. Topil, a Seward native, has boosted her average to .325. Similarly, sophomore first baseman Molly Madsen is 7-for-16 with five RBIs and five runs over the past five games.
- Since returning from the California trip, the Bulldogs have outscored their opponents 48-10, with two wins coming by the eight-run rule over the past six games. The Bulldogs have hit a sizzling .366 (64-for-175) during that stretch while also tossing two shutouts. Concordia has pounded out 12 hits or more in three of those games with a high of 16 in the 17-4 win over Central Christian on March 20.
- GPAC Individual ranks: Beeson (first in strikeouts – 64; fourth in innings pitched – 57.2; fourth in wins – 3; eighth in ERA – 3.52), Tyree (third in wins – 4; seventh in innings pitched – 44.1; ninth in strikeouts – 20), Danielle Harstad (fifth in slugging percentage - .647; 12th in on-base percentage - .462, 14th in batting average - .382), Topil (ninth in doubles – 4).
- On the season, Concordia has scored more runs in the first inning (21) than in any other frame. The Bulldogs have outscored their opponents 21-9 in the first inning, their best margin of any inning. Greene’s team is 6-2 when it scores first and just 1-8 when the opponent scores first.
- The Bulldogs continue to be one of the GPAC’s top defensive teams. They rank second in the conference in fielding percentage (.948) and first in fewest errors per game (1.44). Topil has yet to commit an error in 84 chances behind the plate. Concordia pitchers rank second in the GPAC in strikeouts with 83, only one behind Northwestern for the league lead.
- Concordia has a busy week of home GPAC doubleheaders on the horizon. Between Tuesday and Sunday, the Bulldogs will play four doubleheaders at Plum Creek Park, starting with Dordt (4-13) on Tuesday at 4 p.m. All of these games will be viewable live online via the Concordia Sports Network.
- The Bulldogs kicked off the GPAC portion of their schedule on March 29-30 with a pair of conference doubleheaders. Head coach Jeremy Geidel’s club split a doubleheader with Nebraska Wesleyan last Friday before taking one of two in Hastings the next day. Earlier in the week, Concordia also split a pair of games at No. 23 Sterling. That leaves the Bulldogs at 9-12 overall and 2-2 in GPAC games.
- Both games in Hastings were decided by one run with Concordia getting shutout 1-0 in game one prior to a 3-2 walk-off victory in game two. Three of the Bulldogs’ last four games have been decided by one run. They are now 4-3 in one-run ballgames. Twelve of the team’s 21 games have been won or lost by a margin of three runs or fewer. Concordia is 6-6 in those contests.
- Junior center fielder Camaren Gause enjoyed a big week at the plate as went 9-for-19 while starting all six games in center field. He has been the team’s most consistent hitter as he has recorded at least one hit in 16 of 21 games this season. He has at least two hits in six games. The Tucson, Ariz., native leads the team with a .375 batting average.
- In the four GPAC games last week, Concordia pitchers allowed only eight earned runs in 27 innings of work. Geidel got solid performances from each of his starters on the week: Jeremiah Luber (W; 5 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 3 ER, 2 K), Joe Brandenburg (L; 4.2 IP, 5 H, 0 BB, 2 ER, 5 K), Luke Parish-Ward (L; 7 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 1 ER, 7 K) and Kyle Godfrey (ND; 6.2 IP, 6 H, 2 BB, 2 ER, 3 K). Concordia’s team ERA of 4.69 ranks fourth in the GPAC.
- Despite taking the loss at Hastings, Parish-Ward pitched his best game statistically as a Bulldog. He went all seven innings and allowed only one run on two hits and two hits while striking out a career best seven hitters. The lefty from Tucson set down 19 of the last 20 batsmen he faced, including 14 in a row to end the game. Parish-Ward had won his previous four starts. He’s given up just one run in his last 10 innings. His 3.38 ERA ranks as the best on the team among starting pitchers.
- One of the season’s unsung heroes thus far has been right-handed reliever Nick Thill, who has often entered games with men on base and gotten key outs. The Littleton, Colo., native picked up a hold in the victory at Nebraska Wesleyan by getting two important fly outs to center field with men on second and third and Concordia clinging to a 5-4 lead. Thill owns a microscopic 1.42 ERA in 12.2 innings. He is tied with Tim Fosmo for the most appearances on the team with 10 apiece.
- The Saturday doubleheader at Hastings was moved from its originally scheduled venue because of wet conditions at Plum Creek Park in Seward. The Bulldogs are now set to host their home opening twin bill on Saturday, April 13 versus Dordt. Concordia had already played eight home games by this date last year. This season the Bulldogs will play only four home doubleheaders before wrapping up the regular season at the end of April.
- GPAC Individual ranks: Parish-Ward (first in wins – 4; seventh in ERA – 3.38; seventh in innings – 32.0), Luber (12th in ERA – 3.94; ninth in innings – 29.2), Jordan Ahl (second in saves – 3), Gause (sixth in batting average - .375, 10th in slugging percentage - .469, 13th in on-base percentage - .425), Tyler Harris (10th in batting average – .360), Ray Finley (fifth in doubles – 7), Kyle Ivanoff (ninth in stolen bases – 8).
- Concordia will break from conference play with a single nine-inning game tonight (Tuesday) at 4:30 p.m. at No. 20 York College (27-7). The Panthers enter today’s game on an 18-game winning streak. The Bulldogs remain on the road on Saturday for a conference doubleheader at Briar Cliff (1 p.m.) and on Sunday for a twin bill at Dakota Wesleyan (1 p.m.).
2 April 2013