Bulldogs settle for split in home-opening doubleheader

By on Mar. 18, 2015 in Softball

Bulldogs settle for split in home-opening doubleheader

SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University softball team made its 2015 home debut on Wednesday evening at Plum Creek Park, where the Bulldogs relinquished a late lead in game 2 and settled for a doubleheader split with visiting Peru State College. Concordia took game 1, 8-5, before dropping a 9-6 decision in game 2.

Second-year head coach Todd LaVelle’s squad remains one game below .500 overall (8-9). LaVelle and company came away from their latest outing disappointed in their inability to close out the second game.

“When you’re up you definitely want to shut the door and finish the game,” LaVelle said. “The first game I felt like we played pretty well. We took better approaches at the plate and hit the ball fairly well. They had some errors, but I think we forced some of those by hitting it hard.

“In the second game – you never want to go down like that. That’s kind of what’s been happening to us leading up to this game. We seem to have an error or two and the heads go down and we just can’t get out of it.”

Concordia capitalized on seven Peru State (5-7) errors for a win in game 1. The Bulldogs put up crooked numbers with three runs in the first and another five in the fourth. Freshman third baseman Autumn Owens, who went 2-for-5 on the day, got the scoring started in the fourth with a leadoff blast to left center – her team-leading third homer of the season. Julia Tyree also drove in a run with an RBI single during an inning in which three different Bobcat infielders committed an error.

Tyree (2-for-3), Diana Mendoza (2-for-3) and Becca Walker (2-for-4) each had two hits apiece in the victory. The solid offensive attack helped make a winner out of freshman pitcher Michaela Woodward, who battled through 5.2 innings. Tyree then recorded the final four outs to earn the save.

In game 2, Tyree coaxed 17 ground outs as part of a solid performance through six innings. Things then unraveled in the seventh after a pair of errors extended the frame. Trailing 6-1, Peru State exploded with three-straight home runs, including a grand slam by Sydney Webb, to highlight an eight-run top of the seventh. Brittany McNeese powdered one of her two homers on the day during the outburst that put the Bobcats in front, 9-6.

Owens, who flashed a rocket arm on each of her six assists from the hot corner in game 2, surfaced as a bright spot in the loss. The rookie from Henderson, Nev., is one of several first-year Bulldogs making a big impact early in the season.

“Obviously Autumn’s playing really well,” LaVelle said. “She had the one error but she probably robbed two or three hits by playing a great third base. I’m happy with all of our defensive positions. We made most of the plays tonight. We just have to play seven innings instead of five.”

The Bobcats’ eight-run seventh made up for another seven errors that pushed their Wednesday total to 14 miscues. Seward native Lauren Johnson worked around those mistakes, allowing only two earned runs in a complete-game effort.

Eight different Bulldogs collected at least one hit in game 2. Senior center fielder Regan Doiel went 2-for-3 with a pair of infield knocks.

The Bulldogs will be back at home to open up the conference season on Saturday when Dordt (4-14) visits Seward for a 1 p.m. doubleheader. Concordia is scheduled to host five more twin bills yet in the month of March.