Softball splits pair of one-run ballgames at Northwestern
ORANGE CITY, Iowa – Senior Shelby Morose drove home the game-winning run with a single to left field in the eighth inning as the Concordia University softball team edged Northwestern (16-12, 4-2 GPAC), 3-2, to salvage a split in Orange City, Iowa, on Saturday afternoon. Both ends of the doubleheader were decided by 3-2 scores.
First-year head coach Todd LaVelle’s club stands at 17-4 overall and 3-1 in GPAC play.
“We competed like crazy,” LaVelle said. “We really pick each other up. We made some great defensive plays with runners on base. If we can put all three phases together we’re going to be a tough team. I’m satisfied that we were able to get a split on the road even when we didn’t have our ‘A’ game.”
Fresh off a four-hit shutout of Doane on Wednesday, sophomore Julia Tyree again shined in the circle for the Bulldogs. The native of Benicia, Calif., moved to 8-0 despite punching out only one hitter. She relied on a defense that turned in 17 ground ball outs. Tyree went all eight innings of game 2, allowing six hits and just one earned run.
Uncharacteristically, Concordia’s offense struggled much of the day. Hitting .356 entering the weekend, the Bulldogs managed only two hits against Northwestern hurler Keely Bracelin, one of the top pitchers in the GPAC. Bracelin did not allow an earned run in game 1 as she ran her record to 6-4.
The Bulldog offense improved in game 2, pounding out nine hits. First baseman Molly Madsen went 2-for-4 with an RBI – a big one in the fifth that tied the score at two apiece.
Morose came through three innings later with a base hit that drove in Rebecca Walker for the go-ahead run. Tyree then worked around a two-out error in the bottom of the eighth, fittingly recording the final out on a chopper to short.
Concordia missed an opportunity to steal a one-run victory in game 1. The Bulldogs took a 2-1 lead to the bottom of the seventh with starter Amanda Beeson working in the circle. Laura Hurley led off the inning with a homer to tie it. Six batters later Jillian Kleinhesselink singled with two outs and the bases loaded to give the Red Raiders a walk-off win.
Beeson struck out eight more hitters to run her GPAC-leading K total to 71. She gave up two earned runs on six hits and two walks.
A key for Northwestern was holding Concordia white-hot freshman leadoff hitter Diana Mendoza to an 0-for-8 day. Mendoza had gone hitless in just one of the first 16 games of her collegiate career.
The Bulldogs return to action on Sunday with two games in Yankton, S.D., versus Mount Marty (3-9, 1-1 GPAC). First pitch is slated for 1 p.m. The Lancers postponed their scheduled Saturday home games with Midland.