Weekend in Bulldog athletics

Weekend in Bulldog athletics

By Lukas Vigil, Sports Information Intern

Weather permitting, spring sports will be in full swing this weekend as Bulldog baseball gets back to action and head coach Frank Greene’s softball squad kicks off the 2013 season on Friday. Meanwhile in Geneva, Ohio, the indoor track and field season comes to a conclusion with the NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships, held Thursday through Saturday. The only teams in action at home this weekend will be Concordia men’s and women’s tennis, which both host Friday and Saturday.

Here’s a rundown of events taking place between Thursday and Saturday.

Indoor Track and Field National Championships, Geneva, Ohio, Thursday – Saturday

Watch Live | Men’s Schedule | Women’s Schedule | Concordia Qualifiers

Outlook: The Concordia Bulldog track and field team will conclude their indoor season as they send off a total of 26 athletes to Geneva, Ohio, to compete in the NAIA Indoor Track and Field Championships. Concordia will be led by six GPAC champions, two on the women’s side and four on the men’s. One of the GPAC champions on  the men’s side is senior Colin Morrissey, who qualified for three events, will focus his attention on the 3,000 meters – a race in which he won two weeks ago at the GPAC Championships in Lincoln. Morrissey has a great shot at a top-eight finish, which would make him an All American. Another hopeful of having a top-eight finish this weekend is junior Carson Farr in the pole vault. As for the relay teams on the men’s side, the 4x400 team that took first place at the GPAC Championships will also look to leave the weekend as All Americans once again as they currently hold the seventh best time (3:20.53). On the women’s side the Bulldogs are expecting yet another All-American performance this weekend from junior and two-time All-American Jamie Crouse in the weight throw. Crouse currently holds the third best distance in the NAIA with a toss of 59’ 3 ½”. The Bulldogs could also leave this weekend with two other All-Americans in the weight throw as freshman Stephanie Coley and sophomore Brittany Erdman both have progressed quickly as underclassmen. Another strong event for the Bulldog women this weekend will be the pole vault led by freshman Cynthia Mick, who currently holds the 10th best vault in the NAIA this season. As for the relay teams on the women’s side, the 4x800 team has a great shot of leaving this weekend as All-Americans as they hold the third best time in the NAIA (9:32.21). Other notable athletes on the women’s side will be senior Jena Schwalenberg in the one mile and freshman Kim Wood in the 600 meters. Of the 26 Concordia participants, just five are seniors, 10 are juniors, eight are sophomores and three are freshmen. 

Softball: Concordia (0-0) at Oklahoma Baptist University Tournament, Shawnee, Okla., Friday
Friday schedule:
Game 1: 10 a.m. vs. St. Gregory’s (Okla.)
Game 2: 12:00 p.m. vs. Dordt
Game 3: 4 p.m. vs. Bethany (Kansas)

Outlook: The Concordia Bulldog softball team will open their 2013 campaign this weekend as they compete in the Oklahoma Baptist University Softball Festival. The Bulldogs will open the weekend with three games on Friday. Head Coach Frank Greene will look to junior Amanda Beeson (6-11, 2.80 ERA) to fill that void left by the graduation of star pitcher Nicole Sempek. Beeson, who put up solid numbers last year, despite playing with a torn bicep is ready to take on the role of being the Bulldogs’ ace. To help Beeson out this upcoming season, Greene brought in highly talented freshman Julia Tyree of Benicia, Calif. Tyree has definitely had her impact felt as she turned heads during fall ball and has gained the confidence of her coaches and her teammates. Tyree and Beeson will be backed up with a solid lineup which has a number of returners from last year. In particular the outfield looks to be the strong point as senior Natalie Svoboda returns from a very productive junior year. Svoboda, a centerfielder from Lincoln, Neb., broke out in 2012 with a second team All GPAC performance. She hit .348 while providing a steady glove out in the center field. Other notable Bulldogs that look to have an impact on the 2013 season is sophomore third baseman Molly Madsen, junior shortstop Shelby Morose and senior left fielder Nicole Mapes. Concordia’s first opponent of Friday’s tripleheader is St. Gregory’s University. The Cavaliers currently hold a 5-1 record in their young season with their only loss coming to No. 18 ranked Central Methodist University. Bulldog’s second and third opponents of the day, Dordt College and Bethany College, have yet to play a game this season.

Baseball: Concordia (0-4) vs. Oklahoma Wesleyan (11-4), at Mid-America Christian University in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Friday: 11 a.m. vs. Oklahoma Wesleyan (1x9)
Saturday: 1 p.m. vs. Oklahoma Wesleyan (2)

Outlook: Due to inclement weather, this weekend’s schedule had to be altered. Head coach Jeremy Geidel’s squad will still take on Oklahoma Wesleyan in a weekend series but will play all games Friday and Saturday at Mid-America Christian University in Oklahoma City, Okla. Oklahoma Wesleyan sports a record of 11-4. The Eagles have won four in a row, including a three-game sweep of Hastings Feb. 22-23. Oklahoma Wesleyan, led by the .377 batting average of first baseman Jerett Hardy, are averaging 8.1 runs per game. The Bulldogs are looking to pick up their first wins of 2013. They have been idle since a four-game set with Bethany College (Kan.) Feb. 16-17. Concordia has had three-straight doubleheaders canceled. All three had been scheduled in the state of Kansas.

Women’s Tennis:
Friday: Kansas Wesleyan University (0-0) at Concordia (1-1), Seward, Neb., 3:30 p.m.
Saturday: Tabor College (Kan.) (0-1) at Concordia (1-1), Seward, Neb., 10 a.m.

Outlook: After a lengthy two week break from matches, the Bulldog women’s tennis team is back in action as they face weekend set against Kansas Wesleyan on Friday and Tabor College on Saturday. The last time the Bulldogs were in action, they got blanked by William Jewell College (9-0). Despite not winning a match, Concordia competed closely in most games against a solid opponent in the Cardinals. The Bulldogs look to build upon that performance in this weekends’ matches. Concordia will have the advantage of having two matches under its belt, while Kansas Wesleyan has yet to play and Tabor has played in only one contest.

Men’s Tennis:
Friday: Kansas Wesleyan University (0-0) at Concordia (1-1), Seward, Neb., 6 p.m.
Saturday: Tabor College (Kan.) (0-1) at Concordia (1-1), Seward, Neb., 12:30 p.m.

Outlook: The Bulldogs got their first taste of victory in the young 2013 season as they pulled out the win against Simpson College last weekend (Feb. 22). The doubles pairing seemed to be no match for Simpson as all three of Concordia doubles teams won their respective matches. Concordia’s No. 1 doubles of Nathan Wingfield and Cole Egger easily won their battle against Simpson’s No. 1 doubles of Alex Hook and Blake Billings. The Bulldogs look for continued improvement as they host a pair of matches on Friday and Saturday. Concordia’s experience of having played in two matches in the young 2013 season could give it a slight advantage over its two opponents from the state of Kansas. Kansas Wesleyan will be playing in its first match of 2013, while Tabor, which lost to Newman University its first time out, will be playing its second.

28 February 2013

Nathan Wingfield