Morningside takes two from Bulldogs, runs win streak to 15
SEWARD, Neb. – Morningside pitchers Jordan Johnson and Kayla Salonen combined to hold the Concordia University softball team to only two combined runs as the Mustangs swept a GPAC doubleheader on Saturday. Morningside (20-6, 10-0 GPAC) ran its winning streak to 15 and remained unbeaten in conference action.
Concordia, which fell by scores of 1-0 (nine innings) and 10-2 (five innings) on Saturday, was swept in a doubleheader for the first time this season and fell to 22-7 overall and 7-3 in the GPAC.
Bulldog game one starting pitcher Amanda Beeson made only one mistake in a stellar nine-inning effort as part of an extra-inning loss. The score remained scoreless until the top of the ninth when Johnson helped her own cause by blasting a solo homer over the right field fence.
Johnson then went to work in the circle and completed the game by retiring the Bulldogs’ 6-7-8 hitters in order. Johnson (12-3) struck out eight and scattered seven hits and two walks on the way to earning the shutout.
Beeson held the Mustangs to fewer hits (five) while striking out nine, running her season punch out total to 108.
Concordia left eight runners on base in game 1. Its best scoring chance came in the bottom of the second when catcher Amber Topil led off with a double to right center. Pinch runner Courtnay Serve then moved to third on a passed ball. Johnson buckled down and struck out the next two hitters before inducing a ground out to end the threat.
“I felt we outplayed them in every aspect except the scoreboard (in game 1),” head coach Todd LaVelle said. “A couple times we had a runner at third with less than two outs and didn’t get her home. Those things always come back and bite you at the end and this one did, but I felt we played well.”
Game 1 seemed to take the air out of Concordia, which lost by the eight-run rule in the capper. The Mustangs raced out to a 9-1 lead and were never threated. Morningside pounded out 15 hits, four of which came from No. 2 hitter Kristina Neumann (4-for-4, two runs, one RBI).
Morningside pinned game 2 starter Julia Tyree (9-1) with her first loss of the season. Tyree was responsible for nine of the 10 Mustang runs.
“In game 2 we just came out flat,” LaVelle said. “They were so deflated from the first game that it was hard to get back in the mode of playing. By the time we got back in it, it was too late.”
A Concordia offense that has been high-powered for much of the season has managed only six runs over the last four games. The Bulldogs earned a sweep of Hastings on Tuesday despite scoring four combined runs in the doubleheader.
The Bulldogs return to GPAC action on Monday when they hit the road and take on Dordt (6-23, 2-9 GPAC) in a doubleheader set to begin at 5 p.m. from Sioux Center, Iowa.
“We’ll rebound here,” LaVelle said. “There’s a lot of season left to play. We’ll go to Dordt on Monday and we’re still right there in the conference. We know what we’ve got to do and there’s no doubt in my mind that the girls will respond to these losses.”