Concordia splits pair of two-run decisions at Bellevue
BELLEVUE, Neb. – The latest matchup between the Concordia University softball team and Bellevue University (15-11) could not have been more different than the one that produced two Bruin blowout wins in 2013. The Bulldogs got at least some measure of revenge in winning game 1, 4-2, prior to Bellevue’s 5-3 victory in game 2.
First-year head coach Todd LaVelle’s club, which received votes in the national poll for the third-straight week, is now 20-5 overall.
“I’m really pleased even though we lost the second game,” LaVelle said. “We played and battled hard. Some key ladies made plays that we need to make to be able to win the GPAC. We gave Lexye (Bruegman) the ball in the second game and she pitched really well.
“We had a chanced just like all 25 games we’ve played. That’s what I’m pleased with as a coach. I really felt like we got better tonight.”
A year after falling twice by a combined score of 31-2 in a home doubleheader versus the Bruins, Concordia bit back by taking the lead right from the get-go in Tuesday’s first contest as freshman Brittany Hudler connected on her first career homer.
Senior right-handed pitcher Amanda Beeson dominated in the circle in leading game 1. The native of Waverly, Neb., held Bellevue to two runs on six hits and two walks. At the same time, she increased her GPAC high strikeout total 92 with six more on Tuesday.
After the Bruins got two runs to tie the score at the end of an inning, Beeson settled in and did not allow a single run the rest of the game. A fourth inning sacrifice fly from Julia Tyree and followed by a fifth inning RBI double by Regan Doiel provided Beeson the support she needed to improve to 9-3.
Bellevue game 2 starter Kelli Fisher proceeded to match Beeson’s performance later in the evening. Concordia did not even manage a hit until Doiel’s one out single in the fifth inning.
The Bruins could only push across a single run despite eight hits over the first three frames of game 2. Bellevue finally broke things open with Ashley Gigax’s two-out, three-run homer off of Bruegman.
Down 5-1 to begin the top of the seventh, Concordia mounted a rally that came up two runs short. Leadoff hitter Diana Mendoza tripled down the left field line to score two runs. Pinch hitter Danielle Harstad then walked to put runners at the corners for Tyree, who was left in the batter’s box when Harstad was caught stealing to end the game.
Doiel produced the best results of any Bulldog hitter on Tuesday, going 4-for-5 (two hits in both games) with a double and an RBI. Hudler went 2-for-4 with a home run in the first game.
“Talking to some of the girls, they felt like this was the best pitching a doubleheader they had seen this year,” LaVelle said. “Bellevue is a good ballclub.”
Bruegman ended up tossing 5.1 innings, allowing five runs (one earned) on 11 hits and a walk.
The Bulldogs return home on Wednesday for two more nonconference games. Concordia will host Central Christian College (8-22), a member of the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference, for a 4 p.m. doubleheader at Plum Creek Park. Last season the Bulldogs defeated Central Christian by scores of 8-0 and 17-4 in a twin bill in McPherson, Kan.