The Concordia University, Nebraska, softball team split a doubleheader with Midland University as the Bulldogs celebrated senior night on Tuesday, April 24. Concordia took game one, 7-6, but dropped the second half of the doubleheader, 3-2.
Following Tuesday's action, Concordia is 16-16 on the season and 10-6 in Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) games. Midland is 19-27 overall and 7-7 in GPAC action.
Game One: Concordia 7, Midland 6
Concordia jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening frame as the first four batters reached base safely. Junior Natalie Svoboda (Lincoln, Neb.) got the inning started with a single through the right side. Sophomore Shelby Morose (Claremore, Okla.) reached on a fielder's choice, then junior Angela Harstad (Lewiston, Minn.) delivered an RBI single into center field. Svoboda scored on the play and Morose went to third on an error by Midland center fielder Jennie Sayker. Senior Alyssa Bauwens (Perryville, Mo.) continued the Concordia hit party with an RBI single up the middle to bring Morose in. Unfortunately the Bulldogs left Harstad and Bauwens stranded.
Midland took advantage with two runs in the second and single runs in the third and fourth innings to take a 4-2 lead.
Concordia responded in the bottom of the fifth with three runs on four hits. Sophomore Amanda Beeson (Waverly, Neb.) drove in the first run of the inning with a one-out smash of the glove of Midland pitcher, Kerra Grantski. Beeson's shot plated Harstad, who reached on a single down the left field line to open the fifth. One out later, senior Mikaela Klein (Grand Island, Neb.) blooped a two-run single into center to drive home pinch runner sophomore Natalie Jeppesen (Pleasant Dale, Neb.) and Beeson.
After holding Midland in the sixth, Concordia tacked on two insurance runs. Svoboda led off the sixth with a double to right center, then Morose followed with an infield single to put runners at first and third. Harstad reached on an error as she tried to bunt Morose over to second. The error allowed Svoboda and Morose to score, pushing Concordia's lead to 7-4.
Midland made it interesting in the final frame, plating two runs on two hits and a Concordia error, but senior Nicole Sempek (Columbus, Neb.) slammed the door on a weak fly ball to right field by Nicole Andrews to close the game.
Sempek moved to 12-6 on the season with the win as she allowed six runs (four earned) on eight hits and two walks.
Grantski fell to 7-10 overall, giving up seven runs (six earned) on 12 hits.
Four Bulldogs finished with two hits in the opening game, led by a 2-for-3 day by Harstad.
Game Two: Midland 3, Concordia 2
The second game was a lower scoring affair as Midland got single runs in the first and third innings to build a 2-0 lead. Concordia inched closer in its half of the third as the Bulldogs took advantage of a dropped pop fly to pull within one at 2-1.
Midland pushed the lead back to two in the top of the fourth behind an RBI single by Ashley Willard and the score remained 3-1 until the bottom of the seventh.
In the final frame, the Bulldogs got a one-out triple into right center from Svoboda, followed by a walk to Morose. Morose stole second, then Harstad bounced into an RBI groundout to the pitcher. The Bulldogs rally, however, stalled there as Bauwens went down on strikes to end the game.
Beeson was the tough luck loser (4-10) for Concordia, allowing three runs (two earned) on eight hits and two walks.
Midland's Sammy Hilsop moved to 8-9 on the season with the win. She surrendered two runs (one earned) on seven hits and one walk.
Svoboda was sizzling at the plate in the loss, finishing the contest 4-for-4 with two runs scored.
Concordia is back on the diamond tomorrow, April 25, as the Bulldogs host Morningside in a rescheduled game from April 14. First pitch of the doubleheader is scheduled for 4 p.m.