Beeson, Tyree stifle Briar Cliff bats
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Dominant pitching and defense paved the way for the Concordia University softball team to earn a road doubleheader sweep of Briar Cliff in Sioux City, Iowa, on Monday afternoon. Bulldog pitchers Amanda Beeson and Julia Tyree combined to hold the Chargers (16-19, 5-9 GPAC) to just one run as Concordia won 6-1 and 3-0.
First-year head coach Todd LaVelle’s squad moved to 26-9 overall and 11-5 in GPAC action with its fourth sweep of a conference twin bill this season.
“Those were two good games,” LaVelle said. “Defensively we were lights out, especially in the second game. Jules only had two strikeouts so our defense really worked and did a nice job getting 19 of the outs.
“Shelby (Morose) and Rebecca (Walker) played really well defensively.”
Morose, a senior shortstop, starred in game one, going 3-for-4 with four RBIs in support of Beeson. The native of Claremore, Okla., knocked in a run in the second, one in the fourth and two in the sixth. Left fielder Regan Doiel went 2-for-3 with three runs and one RBI in the same contest.
Game 2 starter Julia Tyree (10-2) notched her second shutout of the season in a seven-inning complete game effort. The native of Benicia, Calif., scattered six Charger hits. Tyree also had a nice day at the plate, collecting three hits in eight at bats as well as an RBI in both ends of the doubleheader.
Concordia got on top in game 2 with Molly Madsen’s sacrifice fly that sent Tyree to the plate in the top of the third. The Bulldogs got two more in the fourth courtesy of a Briar Cliff error and a Tyree run-scoring base hit.
Beeson was virtually unhittable in game 1. After allowing a one-out single to Bailey Hendrix in the bottom of the second, she retired the next 11 batters she faced and did not give up another hit until the seventh. The right hander from Waverly, Neb., missed out on her first shutout of the season when the Chargers pushed a run across on Elizabeth Bye’s RBI grounder in the final inning.
The Concordia ace added seven strikeouts on Monday to bump her GPAC-leading total to 131 in 135.2 innings. She entered the day with the 33rd most punch outs among all NAIA pitchers.
“Our pitchers did really well keeping them off balance,” LaVelle said. “We probably called more changeups than we ever had before. Briar Cliff has three or four lefty slappers with speed and we did a good job keeping them off base.”
At 11-5 in the conference, the Bulldogs sit in third place, a half-game behind second place Northwestern (12-5) and two losses in back of GPAC leading Morningside (11-3).
“We want to finish strong,” LaVelle said. “We talked at practice yesterday about wanting to go 6-0. The girls know what’s at stake. It’s going to tough to catch Morningside but we have a good chance of finishing second or third.”
LaVelle hopes Monday’s decent offensive performance is a sign of things to come. The Bulldogs had been slumping recently at the plate but came through with eight hits in both games at Briar Cliff.
The Bulldogs return to action on Tuesday for a home doubleheader with Midland (16-17, 7-7 GPAC). First pitch is set for 5 p.m. from Plum Creek Park. Concordia will conclude the regular season on Saturday as Dakota Wesleyan visits Seward for senior day.
21 April 2014
Sophomore Julia Tyree
Senior Amanda Beeson