Bulldogs take two of three in season's opening day

By Jacob Knabel on Feb. 10, 2017 in Softball

FORT WORTH, Texas – Picked third in the GPAC preseason coaches poll, the Concordia University softball team opened up its season in Fort Worth, Texas, on Friday with a trio of games. The Bulldogs defeated Bethel College (Kan.), 8-2, and Sterling College (Kan.), 9-6, before falling to Columbia College (Mo.), 7-4, in the final contest of the day.

Fourth-year head coach Todd LaVelle’s squad is spending its weekend in Fort Worth as part of the Cowtown Classic. Concordia will play twice more on Saturday.

“It was a good start. It gave us a sense of where we are this early in the season,” LaVelle said. “I felt it was very promising. We definitely witnessed a lot more positives than negatives. It was our first time out on the dirt in 75 degree weather. We were out her from 7:15 this morning to 6:30 at night. I like the way our girls handled that and stayed focused mentally.”

LaVelle used a different starting pitcher each game, employing Kylie Harpst, Amanda Wygant and Michaela Woodward throughout the day. Woodward struck out six and scattered nine hits in her seven innings of work. At the plate, Taylor Huff, Autumn Owens and Woodward each had two hits each in the final game of the day.

It was a solid offensive opening for the Bulldogs, who last season averaged nearly 6.5 runs per game. LaVelle made mention of several individuals who had fine days at the plate, including Woodward, Megan Ruppert, Owens and Ronee Watson, who made her collegiate debut. Watson doubled and scored in the sixth inning of the third game.

LaVelle isn’t overly worried about the day’s only loss, which came against a Columbia team that impressed him.

“We’re right there,” LaVelle said. “We just need to look at what we did today and improve on it. That starts as early as tomorrow.”

Concordia will get its Saturday started at 9 a.m. CT on day two of the Cowtown Classic. The Bulldogs will start the day by playing Oklahoma Wesleyan University. They will finish their excursion in Texas by taking on William Penn University (Iowa) at 11 a.m.