Softball drops pair to Midland ace
SEWARD, Neb. – Midland ace pitcher Sammy Hislop covered all 14 innings in leading the Warriors to a doubleheader sweep of the Concordia University softball team in contests played Tuesday evening at Plum Creek Park. The Bulldogs managed only three total runs off of Hislop and fell by scores of 7-0 and 4-3.
Concordia’s records dropped to 26-11 overall and 11-7 in GPAC play. The Bulldogs sit in fourth place in the league standings.
“I thought we had energy,” head coach Todd LaVelle said. “Midland’s a good team and they pitched their best pitcher against us. She’s been around for three years and she’s a top-notch pitcher. We battled hard but got behind early.”
Game 2 ended in heartbreak as Midland recorded the game’s final two outs on plays at the plate. Both Regan Doiel and Palmber Bosanko were tagged out by Hislop on consecutive plays after errant pitches got by catcher Rebekka Hammer in the bottom of the seventh. The short distance between the plate and the backstop allowed Hammer to retrieve the ball in time to preserve a 4-3 win.
The Bulldogs held only a single brief lead the entire day. Catcher Amber Topil doubled in a pair of runs in the bottom of the first of game 2 for a 2-1 advantage. Concordia would relinquish the lead again before tying the score at 3-3 with Molly Madsen’s RBI single in the fifth. Shortstop Kayla Ritzdorf delivered the game-winning base hit in the top of the sixth off of reliever Julia Tyree.
The Warriors enjoyed surprising success against Concordia ace Amanda Beeson (13-6), who started both games and ended up allowing seven earned runs in 7.1 innings. Both Nicole Andrews and Liz Spooner homered off of Beeson in game 1.
Concordia, which entered the contest batting .246 in GPAC play, went a combined 12-for-53 (.226) against Heslop. Brittany Hudler had two hits in game 1 and Madsen and Diana Mendoza both recorded two hits in game 2.
“Some of our girls need to come out of their slumps but I think we’re really close,” LaVelle said. “I think we’re 95 percent there.”
The Bulldogs have not yet been mathematically eliminated from contention for a GPAC regular-season title, but first-place Morningside (12-4) has three fewer losses.
Concordia’s five seniors will play at Plum Creek for the final time in their careers when the Bulldogs host Dakota Wesleyan (17-13, 8-8) at 12 p.m. on Saturday. The conference tournament will be held May 1-3 at the Smith Complex in Hastings, Neb.