Bosanko's walk-off triple gives Bulldogs first 6-0 start since 2003

Bosanko’s walk-off triple gives Bulldogs first 6-0 start since 2003

TUCSON, Ariz. – The Concordia University softball team brought less offensive flair to Wednesday’s games than it did two days earlier. No matter, another tripleheader of games saw three more wins as first-year head coach Todd LaVelle’s Bulldogs moved to 6-0 on the young season. Even while shuffling around the lineup with youngsters and new faces, Concordia found ways to defeat Valley City State (N.D.) and Purdue North-Central (Ind.) by identical 6-4 scores and then Presentation (S.D.) by a 3-2 final.

For the first time since 2003, Bulldog softball has won six games to begin the season.

“It’s my intention to play a lot of people here (in Arizona) and get better and see what we have,” LaVelle said. “We did play a lot of players today to see what they could bring to the table. We didn’t play our best in any of the three games.

“It’s a sign of a championship team when you can pull out wins even when the ball isn’t bouncing your way and some calls go against you.”

The final win of the day came in dramatic fashion. Presentation College took a 2-1 lead with a run in the top of the seventh, dealing Concordia its first deficit of the season. Things looked bleak in the bottom half when the Bulldogs’ first two hitters failed to reach base. After Danielle Harstad was hit by a pitch and Rebecca Walker walked, freshman Palmer Bosanko, a Henderson, Nev., native, delivered a walk-off two-run triple to keep Concordia unbeaten.

“Dani did a nice job laying off a wicked changeup and then the next pitch she gets hit,” LaVelle said. “That started the whole thing and then Becca gets on for Palmer. It was nice to see Palmer have the confidence to get up there and drive the ball into the gap and score those runs.”

Bosanko’s heroics made a winner of freshman pitcher Lexye Bruegman, who gave up only a single earned run in seven innings. That run was produced by the Saints’ Brenda Botzenhart on a fourth-inning solo homer. It was the only mistake Bruegman (2-0) would make all day.

For the sixth-straight contest, Concordia struck first. The Bulldogs got up on Presentation right away with first baseman Molly Madsen’s RBI single in the bottom of the first. The bats went silent until Bosanko, 3-for-3 with a walk in game 3, provided the game winner.

LaVelle’s crew opened the day with a victory despite committing five errors against Valley City State. The Bulldogs overcame those miscues with solid pitching from starter Julia Tyree and reliever Amanda Beeson. They also got two hits apiece from freshmen in Diana Mendoza, a sparkplug at the top of the lineup, and Brittany Hudler, power hitter from Napa, Calif.

Tyree and Beeson also split pitching duties in the game 2 win over Purdue North-Central, a member of the NAIA’s Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference.

The Bulldogs have three games left on their Arizona swing. They will finish the trip on Friday with games at 9 a.m. MT / 11 a.m. CT vs. Aquinas College (Mich.), at 11 a.m. MT / 1 p.m. CT vs. College of Saint Mary and at 3:30 p.m. MT / 5:30 p.m. CT vs. Alfred University (N.Y.).

“We have some tough ones coming up on Friday,” LaVelle said. “We have to play better. 9-0 would be nice, but we have some things we need to fix.”

12 March 2014

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Freshman Palmer Bosanko