Tyree, Walker slug Bulldogs past Panthers
YORK, Neb. – Up against a York College team hungry for its first victory of the 2014 season, the Concordia University softball squad won its second and third games in a row on Thursday. The Bulldogs swept the host Panthers by scores of 7-3 and 11-1 behind middle-of-the-order hitters Julia Tyree and Rebecca Walker, who terrorized York all day.
Concordia improved to 12-1 overall, which is the best 13-game start to a season in school history.
The Panthers never could retire Walker, a transfer from Otero Junior College and Brush, Colo., native. Walker went 5-for-5 on the day with two walks, a sacrifice fly and six RBIs. She had two hits in Concordia’s blowout win in game 2. Julia Tyree actually made an out. She went 5-for-6 on the day.
“The way Becca is hitting we moved her up to the five spot (in game 2),” first-year head coach Todd LaVelle said. “Then we have Julia No. 3 and Molly (Madsen) fourth right now. Other teams can pick their poison with who they want to pitch to.
“Of course Becca did a great job driving in runs. And we got a couple key RBIs from (Amber) Topil.”
Game 1 did not come easy for Concordia as York (0-19) held a 2-1 lead after four innings. The Bulldog bats woke up in the top of the fifth when they tallied four runs. The big blow came from Walker who cleared the bases with a three-run double to make it 5-2. Walker finished with four RBIs in the contest, driving in another with a run-scoring double in the seventh.
“They were playing like they had nothing to lose,” LaVelle said of York. “We were a little uptight. I told the girls that you can’t let them hang around because teams get tougher and tougher when you do that. I was happy they realized that and scored some runs to break it open.”
Walker (3-for-3) and Tyree (4-for-4), the designated player, were both perfect in game 1. Tyree mashed from the No. 3 spot, clubbing two doubles and a triple. Tyree pushed across Concordia’s sixth run with a three-bagger in the sixth.
In the circle, senior Amanda Beeson (4-1) covered 5.1 innings and struck out six. She allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits and two walks. She was relieved in the sixth inning by freshman Lexye Bruegman, who recorded the final five outs to earn her first career save.
Bruegman then got the win in game 2 with one of the best outings of her young career. The Lincoln native limited the Panthers to three hits and one run in 4.1 innings. Tyree took it from there and kept York off the scoreboard in the fifth, sixth and seventh frames.
Concordia routed York by putting up two runs in the first, two in the fourth, one in the fifth, three in the sixth and three more in the seventh. Regan Doiel (2-for-3), Diana Mendoza (2-for-4), Topil (2-for-3 in both games) and Walker (2-for-2) each collected two hits apiece as part of a 13-hit outburst in game 2.
LaVelle also lauded York third baseman Arica Reeves, who impressed with the bat and glove. She went 4-for-7 with two RBIs on Thursday.
The Bulldogs will play for the third-straight day on Friday when they take part in the Sterling College tournament. Concordia will play twice on Friday and three times on Saturday at Sterling. Saturday’s action includes two contests against No. 24 Friends University (Kan.).