WICHITA, Kan. – The offensive lineup popped in a major way on Friday (March 3) as the Concordia University Softball team began a grueling run of spring break action. The stretch began with two games in Wichita, Kan., at the Friends University Invite. The Bulldogs fell by a score of 11-9 in eight innings at the hands of Bethany College (Kan.) before responding with a 13-2, run-rule shortened victory over Dakota State University (S.D.). As part of a 23-hit day for Concordia, Hanna Bowers, Kylie Shottenkirk and Delanie Voshell homered once apiece.
Head Coach Brock Culler’s squad stands at 4-6 overall while halfway through the four-game weekend stay in Wichita. This was the best the Bulldog bats have looked so far in 2023.
“We swung the bats really well both games,” Culler said. “We fought back and tied that first game up. Defensively we made some mistakes that ended up costing us, but that second game couldn’t have gone any better for this group. We lost three in a row and came back and really hit the ball. It was great to get Jerzi Rowe the first win of her season. We had a lot of good things going to end the night.”
It was a fine spring day at Two Rivers Complex in Wichita. Concordia dug itself a 6-0 hole against the Swedes and managed to rally back and force extra innings. The comeback began with a Bowers solo blast and picked up steam with the help of a Taylor Glause RBI double, two run-scoring grounders from Zoie Isom, an RBI sac bunt by Grace Boganowski and a Bethany error. However, Amaris Guerra belted a three-run homer in the top of the eighth and Bethany pulled out the victory. The Swedes got it done despite four RBIs from Isom.
There was no drama in the Bulldogs’ second game of the day. Concordia set the tone with five first inning runs – thanks to an Isom RBI single, Shottenkirk RBI single and Voshell three-run homer. As part of her productive game, Shottenkirk also doubled home a run in the third and then cracked a three-run bomb in the fourth. The Bulldogs left no doubt by putting up five runs in the fourth. In the circle, Rowe covered all five innings and allowed the two runs on two hits and three walks while striking out four batters.
Three Concordia players notched four hits on the day: Shottenkirk (4-for-7), Julia Van Wey (4-for-7) and Bowers (4-for-8). Meanwhile, Isom and Voshell added three hits apiece. The Lincoln North Star High School product Shottenkirk doubled twice, homered and knocked in seven runs on Friday. Both Bowers and Voshell got on the board with the first home runs of their collegiate careers. Also noteworthy, Caitlin McGarvie picked up two hits on the day and needs one more to reach 100 in her time as a Bulldog.
The Bulldogs will return to the same location on Saturday for two more games. Concordia is slated to play York University at 12 p.m. CT and Hannibal LaGrange University (Mo.) at 4 p.m. Once play in Wichita wraps up, the Bulldogs will quickly turn around and head to Tucson, Ariz., for spring break.