Bulldogs suffer heart-breaking 6-5 loss to Doane in round two of GPAC Tournament
Concordia will face Hastings in an elimination game at noon on Friday, May 4
Despite coming back from a 4-1 deficit to take the lead, the Concordia University, Nebraska, softball team suffered a 6-5 loss to Doane College in the second round of the Great Plains Athletic Conference Tournament on Thursday, May 3.
The Bulldogs fell to 20-18 with the loss, while Doane moved to 25-20.
The loss bumped Concordia into the elimination bracket. The Bulldogs will face the No. 8 seed, Hastings (24-27) at 12 p.m. on Friday, May 4. Hastings split two games on Thursday, falling to top-seeded Northwestern 8-3, then defeating Dakota Wesleyan 5-3.
Concordia will need to win three consecutive elimination games on Friday to advance to the championship on Saturday, May 5
Concordia got on the board first as sophomore Amanda Beeson (Waverly, Neb.) helped her own cause in the top of the third, smacking a one-out double down the left field line. Moments later, sophomore Amber Topil (Seward, Neb.) sent Beeson to third on a short single to left. Beeson bluffed towards the plate to draw a throw, allowing Topil to move to second. The next Concordia batter, freshman Regan Doiel (Millard, Neb.) blooped an RBI single to left, giving the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead.
The Doane offense, however, came alive in the bottom of the fourth connecting on two home runs. Brooke Sampson fouled off two full count pitches then launched the third one over the left field fence, giving Doane a 2-1 lead. One out later, Alyssa Maraia ripped a shot to right field to extend the Tigers’ lead to 3-1. Doane added an unearned run in the fifth to set the stage for the Bulldogs’ charge.
Trailing 4-1 entering the top of the sixth inning Concordia exploded for four runs, sending nine batters to the plate. Sophomore Shelby Morose (Claremore, Okla.) got her teams' juices flowing as she opened the sixth with a solo home run to left-center. It was Morose's first round tripper of the year. One out later, senior Alyssa Bauwens (Perryville, Mo.) was hit by a pitch. Freshman Molly Madsen (Thornton, Colo.) saw an opportunity and snatched it, lacing the first pitch she saw over the left field fence to tie the game at 4-4. It was Madsen's first home run as a Bulldog.
Concordia didn't stop there, senior Mikaela Klein (Grand Island, Neb.) drew a walk, then junior Nicole Mapes (Greeley, Colo.) reached on an error, sending Klein to third. Beeson came through once more, smacking the first pitch of her at-bat through the right side to give Concordia a 5-4 lead.
Unfortunately Doane answered in the half of the sixth. After the first two Tigers went down, Doane got back-to-back singles from the bottom of their order to put runners at first and second. Head coach Frank Greene turned to senior Nicole Sempek (Columbus, Neb.) to get the final out of the inning. Sempek, however, was greeted by an RBI double from Nicole Diaz and an RBI single by Andrea Gonzales to surrender the lead.
Beeson, the Concordia starter, fell to 6-11 with the loss. She allowed six runs (five earned) on eight hits in 5.2 innings. Doane's Jenna Alswager got the win (3-1) for the Tigers in relief, holding Concordia to just one hit in the final 1.2 innings.
Despite the loss, the Bulldogs are likely encouraged by their offensive production. In the 35-game regular season, Concordia hit six home runs. In two games on Thursday at the GPAC Tournament, the Bulldogs had a combined five dingers.