Concordia cut down by hot Doane team

By on Apr. 3, 2015 in Softball

Concordia cut down by hot Doane team

CRETE, Neb. – The Concordia University softball team faced a stiff conference test in going up against the GPAC’s top-rated squad in a Friday afternoon doubleheader. Host Doane used an impressive defensive performance to sweep the Bulldogs, taking decisions by scores of 8-1 and 2-0 in Crete, Neb.

Second-year head coach Todd LaVelle’s bunch slipped to 14-13 overall and 5-3 in conference action.

“I tip my hat to Doane,” LaVelle said. “They probably have the best defensive team that we’ve seen in the conference. Their shortstop robbed us a couple times and their outfielder made a diving catch. Plus their top four hitters are all tough outs.”

The Tigers (21-7, 7-1 GPAC) put two runs on the board in the bottom of the first off Concordia game 1 starting pitcher Julia Tyree and never trailed at any point on the day. The Doane pitching combo of Ellie Doughty and Mala Lemay covered all 14 innings of the doubleheader, scattering 12 hits and six walks.

Concordia managed eight hits in the second game, but floundered with runners in scoring position. Lemay consistently wiggled out of jams and stranded the bases loaded in the third, fourth and fifth innings.

The lack of offensive production spoiled a solid outing from freshman Michaela Woodward, who went all six innings in the circle in the capper. She allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits and four walks while striking out six.

The only Bulldog run of the day came on first baseman Molly Madsen’s RBI double off Doughty in the top of the fifth of game 1. Madsen went 4-for-5 with a pair of walks on the day. In addition, Woodward turned in a solid 3-for-7 performance at the plate.

On the opposing side, Doane’s Nos. 1, 3 and 4 hitters (Nicole Fernandez, Heather Ramirez and Sam Valadez) went a combined 8-for-11 with five runs and four RBIs in the opening contest. Fernandez (.480) and Valadez (.440) are both hitting well above .400 on the year. Fernandez collected two hits in both games.

While the absence of clutch hits doomed Concordia in game 2, LaVelle sees progress in his team that relies on several young players in key spots.

“We hit it hard and they made all the plays,” LaVelle said. “They make you earn everything you get. On the other hand, we had a costly error in the second game.

“We’re right there. We know what we need to do now to be at No. 1 in the conference. We’re not getting too stressed out about today.”

After taking the Easter weekend off, the Bulldogs return to action on Monday when they host York College (4-19). The nonconference doubleheader is slated to begin at 5 p.m. from Plum Creek Park. Concordia has a home record of 7-3.