TUCSON, Ariz. – The Concordia softball team outscored its opponents 35-3 over two five-inning games Wednesday afternoon. The Bulldogs defeated the University of Purdue-North Central 20-1 and 25th-ranked St. Francis 15-2 to keep a perfect 7-0 mark in Arizona.
The Bulldogs are now 10-2 on the season. The Panthers fall to 3-9 and the Fighting Saints drop to 8-4 this year.
Head coach Todd LaVelle said, “We’re excited with the things that the ladies did today. We’re mid-week and we have to stay focused through that-they’re playing a lot of ball this week…We played solid defense and made some outstanding catches in the outfield. Our infield turned some good plays and the pitching staff did really, really well today also. Overall, we’re really happy.”
After scoring nine runs and allowing one in the first inning against Purdue, the Bulldogs took over both defensively and offensively to insure a huge victory. The lone Panther run was the only time the team scored in the contest. The first six Concordia batters all crossed the plate in the opening frame. Three more runs were added to take a 9-0 lead. Both Nicole Dobernecker and Taylor Huff jacked two-run homeruns later in the contest to contribute to the 20 runs.
Michaela Woodward pitched the first three innings of the game with Amanda Wygant finishing up the five-inning outing.
“I thought we were really dialed in the first game with Purdue,” LaVelle said. “I think we combined for 21 hits and scored 20 runs. We played all 19 girls and they all contributed which is exciting to see. We kind of looked at it as a warmup because St. Francis made the ratings.”
The Bulldogs also exploded offensively in the second game of the day against a top-25 team. The Fighting Saints did not score until the fourth inning when they crossed the plate twice. Concordia scored in all but one inning and recorded at least three runs in the other frames.
Kylie Harpst was in the circle for the first four innings. Woodward came in for the final inning to bring her total to four innings on the day.
LaVelle said, “The girls were prepared to play them (St. Francis) and we really wanted to come after them. We scored five runs right off the bat and never let up. We have some room for growth but when you have 15 hits, that’s a very good offensive day.”
The Concordia softball team will be back on the diamond this Friday as it closes out its spring break trip in Arizona with three contests. The squad will take on Cardinal Stritch, who is receiving votes in the national coaches’ poll, at 10 a.m. to start off the day. The second game will be played at Noon against William Penn University and the final tilt will be at 4:30 p.m. versus Olivet Nazarene. Audio coverage for the games will be available HERE.
“Friday will be a tough day. We’ll see two teams that were rated so we’re going to take the day off tomorrow and come back Friday and try to win a couple more ball games,” LaVelle said.