The Concordia University, Nebraska, softball team wrapped up its regular season on a high note as the Bulldogs swept Dakota Wesleyan on Saturday, April 28 in Seward, Neb. Concordia took game one, 5-2, then claimed the sweep with a 2-1 win in the finale.
Following Saturday's victories, Concordia moved to 19-17 on the season and finished Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) play with a 13-7 record. Dakota Wesleyan fell to 17-26 overall and 10-8 in GPAC action.
Game One: Concordia 5, Dakota Wesleyan 2
The Concordia softball team has had difficulty scoring runs this season. Saturday, however, the Bulldogs' bench provided the spark. Trailing 2-0 entering the home half of the fourth, senior Alyssa Bauwens (Perryville, Mo.) cut the deficit in half with one swing. Bauwens' team leading fourth home run went over the left field fence to lead off the fourth.
One out later, senior Mikaela Klein (Grand Island, Neb.) singled to right. Klein was forced out at second on a ground out by junior Nicole Mapes (Greeley, Colo.). Sophomore Amber Topil (Seward, Neb.) laced a single into left, sending Mapes to second. That brought junior Jacy Beeson (Waverly, Neb.) to the plate for just her 10th at-bat of the season. Beeson promptly ripped a 1-0 pitch down the right field line for an RBI single to tie the game at 2-2.
Energized by Beeson's clutch hit, Concordia claimed the lead in the fifth on an RBI sacrifice bunt by freshman Molly Madsen (Thornton, Colo.). Madsen's bunt brought home junior Angela Harstad (Lewiston, Minn.), who had singled to center, went to second on an infield single by Bauwens, then went to third on a wild pitch. Moments later, Bauwens came home via an illegal pitch, giving the Bulldogs a 4-2 edge.
The bench continued to contribute in the sixth as junior Sam LaFontaine (Hermantown, Minn.) pinch hit for Beeson and drew a walk in 14th at-bat of the year. Freshman Regan Doiel (Millard, Neb.) followed by tattooing the first pitch she saw into right for an RBI triple.
Five runs was more than senior Nicole Sempek (Columbus, Neb.) needed as she scattered 11 hits over seven innings for the win (13-7).
Dakota Wesleyan's Roni Nekrassoff dropped to 4-11 on the year, surrendering five runs on 11 hits and a walk in six innings.
Bauwens finished the game as the Bulldogs' driving force, 3-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI.
Game Two: Concordia 2, Dakota Wesleyan 1
The Bulldogs continued to ride their momentum in the first inning of game two as Doiel opened the home half with a single into left-center. Sophomore Shelby Morose (Claremore, Okla.) dropped a sacrifice bunt down the third base line, but Dakota Wesleyan second baseman Kelsie Fahr missed the bag. Compounding the problem, Fahr launched a throw to first into the Tigers dugout to send Doiel to third and Morose to second.
One out later, Bauwens stepped forward once again with a two-run double into right center to give Concordia a 2-0 lead.
Staked to two lead, sophomore Amanda Beeson (Waverly, Neb.) began powering through the Tigers. After giving up a walk to open the second, Beeson retired 12 of the next 13 hitters she faced.
In the top of the sixth inning, Dakota Wesleyan scratched across a run on two hits, but Beeson slammed the door with her third strikeout of the game. Beeson went on to work around a leadoff single in the seventh to earn her fifth win (5-10) of the season. On the game, Beeson allowed one run on five hits and two walks.
The Tigers' Brandi Nekrassoff fell to 13-13 as she allowed two runs on eight hits in six innings.
Concordia will be back in action on Thursday, May 3 as the Bulldogs open the GPAC Tournament in Hastings, Neb. Currently the Bulldogs are alone in second place in the conference, but pending the outcome of games this weekend Concordia could be the second or third seed.