Concordia and Doane wrestle down one win apiece

By Chase Benton on Mar. 29, 2024 in Softball

SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University Softball team competed at a sunny 60-degree Plum Creek Ballpark on Friday (Mar. 29). Hosting conference rival Doane, the Bulldogs split the two game doubleheader. The home team bested (3-2) the Tigers in the first round but couldn’t get anything going in the 4-2 loss in game two.

Concordia moves to 11-17 on the season and clinches their first conference win to move to 1-3 in the GPAC. Head Coach Brock Culler commented on the first conference win and the 3-run sixth inning in game one.

“I was so happy we were able to scrape together the first win. That was a big deal for us and Megs (Eurich) settled in really well. She (Ganstrom) had a good week of practice and she put a good swing on that one. Then Hanna (Bowers) came up with a great squeeze bunt and scored Taryn. That was a very big inning for us. Taryn spun the ball really well but we underachieved in game two especially. We got to find a way to string some hits together but we are going to take this Easter break and take a deep breath. Then we are going to get back to it. We have got to start going to work.”

Down 1-0 going into the bottom of the 6th, the Bulldogs were able to capitalize on a Kylie Shottenkirk double and an error that put shortstop Lacey Josoff on base. With runners on second and third, pinch hitter Ganstrom was subbed in for her first step into the batter's box this season. Ganstrom made the most of the opportunity and smashed a three RBI three-bagger as she zoomed around the bases. The typical second game pitcher rushed the plate after a planned bunt executed perfectly by Bowers for an insurance run.

Ganstrom said, “I was nervous. Up until now, I have been a PO (pitcher only). I went and took one practice swing and coach said T you’re up. I was shaking in my boots and I messed up a squeeze bunt. He just had the confidence in me, and it really helped me out.”

What can’t be overlooked is the performance in the pitcher’s circle by Megan Eurich. The game one ace pitched seven innings and four strikeouts. She allowed six hits and one earned run in 29 batters faced.

In game two, the hitting woes continued, adding four errors to boot. Still, the Bulldogs tied the contest at two apiece after Jennifer Katz and Aubrey Bruning crossed the plate. Two errors in the sixth cost the home team, surrendering two runs on one hit in the top of the sixth. CUNE was unable to put hits together in the final six outs and walked away with a bad taste of what could have been in the final contest.

Doane moves to 8-12 on the year and 1-1 in the conference. The Tigers were led by Marisa Marquez and Grace Downing with three hits each. Faith Molina and Sarah Shevenell walked away only giving up four hits apiece and one earned run in total.

Concordia (11-17, 1-3 GPAC) will travel to face off against Hastings (12-12, 0-2 GPAC) in a doubleheader in Hastings, Neb. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. CT at the Smith Softball Complex.