OMAHA, Neb. – According to head coach Todd LaVelle, the Concordia University softball team put together perhaps its best doubleheader performance all season in Wednesday (April 25)’s sweep at College of Saint Mary. The Bulldogs roared with four runs in their first turn at bat and rode the hot start to wins by scores of 7-2 and 8-2 in Omaha, Neb.
LaVelle’s squad has moved to 20-18 overall and back to .500 (9-9) in GPAC play. Already likely to be included in the eight-team GPAC tournament, Concordia has now clinched a spot in the conference’s postseason.
“Those were probably our most complete two games of the year,” LaVelle said. “We put all phases together. It started in the circle. Grace (Bernhardt) threw a complete game and then she threw the first two innings of the second game. Then Brittany (Woolridge) came in and just picked up where Grace left off. We had some great at bats. What I’m most proud of is that when we had runners in scoring position they brought them across the plate.
“When you put all three phases together this time of year, that’s going to put a smile on a coaches’ face.”
A freshman from St. Charles, Mo., Bernhardt has been particularly good in conference play. She whirled her sixth complete game of the season while holding CSM to two runs on seven hits. She did not walk a single hitter. Bernhardt allowed one run in 2.1 innings of game two before giving way to Woolridge, who fanned eight Flames and earned credit for the victory after tossing 4.2 innings.
The Bulldogs pounded out a total of 21 hits on the day. Kenna Heath (RBI double) and Tori Homolka (RBI single) were key contributors in the four-run first that got Concordia rolling in game one. Two innings later, Maddie Fousek drilled a two-run homer that provided a commanding 7-0 lead. Elanna Osthoff recorded two hits and scored twice in the opener.
Leah Kalkwarf and company filled the base paths with 14 hits in game two. Mackinsey Schmidt (3-for-3), Kalkwarf (2-for-3), Homolka (2-for-4) and Janey Pasold (2-for-4) each had two hits or more in the capper. Concordia made it a runaway with a seven-run fourth inning. Tricia Tripp and Heath both emerged with two-run singles in the frame.
College of Saint Mary (13-27, 4-14 GPAC) faced a must-win scenario on Wednesday if it was going to sneak into the GPAC tournament. The Flames have now been eliminated from contention and will end their season by hosting Dakota Wesleyan on Saturday.
The Bulldogs will conclude the regular season on Saturday by hosting Dordt (20-16, 9-7 GPAC) for a doubleheader at Plum Creek Park. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. CT. It will be senior day in Seward, where Concordia will celebrate the careers of Brittany Arent, Kaitlyn Buresh and Pasold.