Tyree, Bulldogs slug four home runs to stay alive in GPAC tournament
HASTINGS, Neb. – After mustering only three hits in a loss to Midland to open the GPAC tournament, the Concordia University softball team rebounded by slugging four home runs in the process of eliminating second-seeded Northwestern to close the day. After going 1-1 on Thursday, the Bulldogs are set to take on Hastings (24-21) at 2 p.m. on Friday in another win-or-go-home contest.
Third-seeded Concordia, which fell 9-1 to Midland and then topped Northwestern 8-4, now sits at 28-13 overall.
“We regrouped and said, ‘hey we can’t change what took place,’” head coach Todd LaVelle said. “All we can do is look forward and the girls responded well. I don’t think they had any Wheaties or anything in between, just some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The four home runs were nice to see.’”
Sophomore Julia Tyree, who started in right field against Northwestern, powered the Bulldog attack by crushing a pair of home runs for an offense that entered the game with only two big flies all season. Palmer Bosanko got the party going with a solo shot to lead off the third against starter Katie VandeVoort. Brittany Hudler then added a two-run blast in the fourth.
On the day, Tyree went 3-for-5 with two homers, a double and four RBIs to help Concordia stave off elimination.
After taking the loss in the opener, senior Amanda Beeson went the distance to pick up the win over Northwestern. In her seven innings she held the Red Raiders to four runs (three earned) on six hits and a walk.
Outbursts of four runs in the third and three in the fourth sent VandeVoort (13-4) to just her fourth defeat of the season. She gave up eight runs (all earned) on eight hits in four innings of work.
The Concordia offense came alive in time to knock off a team that tied for the GPAC regular season title.
“It was kind of a bad draw but needless to say our girls rose to the challenge and played well,” LaVelle said. “We live to fight another day. We’ll be back tomorrow to play Hastings and see what happens.”
Eight of Concordia’s nine hits off Northwestern pitching came from four players: Bosanko (2-for-3), Hudler (2-for-4), Tyree (2-for-3) and Rebecca Walker (2-for-2). Shelby Morose had the other hit.
Concordia got off to a solid start in its opening game, going up 1-0 on Molly Madsen’s RBI single in the bottom of the first. The game turned quickly after that.
The Bulldogs were doomed when Midland put up seven runs in the second inning. The trouble began when Amanda Beeson hit the first two batters of the frame in front of Sarah Leimser’s three-run homer. The Warriors also got a two-run single from Liz Spooner and a Kortney Wallick RBI single after a key Concordia error.
The second inning alone provided plenty of support for Midland pitcher Sammy Hislop (14-9), who earned her third win this season against the Bulldogs. Hislop was credited with a five-inning complete game for a Warrior squad that went 2-0 on the day.
Friday action from the Smith Softball Complex in Hastings, Neb., can be heard live via the Concordia Sports Network. Mike Meyer will again have the call as the Bulldogs fight to stay alive.
“We have five seniors and our whole motto this week is ‘don’t let it end,’” LaVelle said. “It’s up to them. You just try to play every inning, play every at bat and every out. We don’t want it to end. It’s been a great season.
“These girls don’t want it to end. We’re going to battle and they know that every game’s elimination. These girls are fighters.”
View the updated GPAC softball championships schedule HERE.
1 May 2014
Freshman Palmer Bosanko
Sophomore Julia Tyree