SEWARD, Neb. – The fifth season of head coach Todd LaVelle’s tenure as head softball coach at Concordia University is set to get underway on Feb. 17 when the Bulldogs begin a nonconference slate heavy on opponents from the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. The 2018 schedule was made available on Thursday (Sept. 7). The new slate is made up of 17 doubleheaders in addition to what has become an annual trip to the Tucson Invitational.
LaVelle’s squad is coming off an impressive 2017 campaign during which it went 34-14 overall and placed in a tie for second in the GPAC. The 34 wins equaled the second most in a single season in program history. The headlining returner from the 2017 squad will be second baseman Leah Kalkwarf, who batted a team best .366 and earned first team all-conference honors as a sophomore.
Kalkwarf and the Bulldogs are scheduled to play seven doubleheaders at Plum Creek Park. Based on last season’s records, Kansas Wesleyan University (35-16) and Tabor College (33-19) will provide significant road tests during the February portion of the schedule. Concordia’s showdown with defending GPAC regular season champion Morningside will take place in Sioux City, Iowa, on April 7. Four days earlier, the Bulldogs will welcome defending GPAC tournament titlist Hastings to Seward.
Concordia will play at the Tucson Invitational on March 5, 6, 7 and 9. Specific opponents and game times have not yet been announced. Under LaVelle’s direction, the Bulldogs have gone a combined 32-9 in games played in Arizona over the past four seasons.
The GPAC postseason tournament will play out May 4-5 with the championship series set for May 7. Once again, the top two seeds will both host pods as part of the eight-team tournament format. The two pod winners then advance to the championship series. Dates for the national tournament are May 14-16 for the opening round and May 21-25 for the NAIA Softball World Series.