SEWARD, Neb. – The action has come at a slow trickle through the first two weeks of conference play. After dropping a pair at Midland on March 19, the Concordia University Softball team appeared at home for the first time in 2022 and split a doubleheader with Dordt on March 26. A twin bill slated for this past Sunday was postponed due to cold temperatures. A cluster of games is on the horizon. Head Coach Tatum Edwards’ squad will host Doane on Tuesday before heading to Northwestern on Saturday. The Bulldogs stand at 12-12 overall (1-3 GPAC).
This Week/Beginning of Next Week
Tuesday, March 29 vs. Doane (6-13, 0-2 GPAC), 5 p.m. DH
Monday, April 4 vs. College of Saint Mary (5-14, 2-0 GPAC), 5 p.m. DH
By the numbers
· In last week’s chilly doubleheader with Dordt, the visitors took the first game, 2-0, before Concordia rebounded with a 4-2 victory in game two. The pitchers from both teams were the story of the day. The Defenders’ Abby Kraemer tossed a two-hit shutout in game one while out-dueling Camry Moore in a battle of aces. Then in game two, Bulldog sophomore Jerzi Rowe fired a seven-inning complete game in a winning performance. Rowe managed to coax a flyout to right with the bases loaded in the top of the seventh. Moore and Rowe combined to allow just three earned runs on the day. Moore notched eight strikeouts without a single walk in her seven innings of work.
· One of the more impressive stats relating to Bulldog softball is the fact that Moore has walked only three batters in 71 innings pitched this season. In 415.2 career innings pitched, the Crete High School alum has walked a grand total of 34 batters. Her career pitching totals also include 46 wins and 294 strikeouts. She needs six more strikeouts to become the seventh pitcher in program history (on record) to notch 300 for a career. As a hitter, Moore has produced career numbers of 144 hits, 104 RBIs, 102 runs, 26 doubles, 14 home runs and seven triples.
· While the pitching has been solid in the early part of conference play, Concordia now will try to get its offense back on track. Through four GPAC games, the Bulldogs have scored a total of five runs while batting .163. Moore has gone 4-for-13 (.308) in conference play as the team’s top hitter. Overall this season, Concordia is hitting .309 with a .353 on-base percentage and .412 slugging percentage. The Bulldogs are scoring an average of 5.1 runs per game.
· Moore and Nixon are the two active Bulldogs with at least 100 career hits. In 114 career collegiate games, Nixon has totaled 113 hits, 82 runs, 66 RBIs, 24 doubles, nine home runs and three triples. So far this season, the York, Neb., native is hitting .329 with four doubles, a triple, a home run and nine RBIs. She’s successfully fielded 69 of 73 chances in the field. Since the start of the 2019 program, Moore and Nixon have helped the program to a combined record of 84-39 with a national tournament appearance in 2021.
· A First Team All-GPAC honoree in 2021 along with Moore, Caitlyn McGarvie has filled a role at the top of the lineup. McGarvie came through with one hit in both ends of the doubleheader with Dordt and is hitting .328 on the season. The native of Valparaiso, Neb., tripled and scored a run in the first inning of the game two win over the Defenders. She batted .325 with a .393 on-base percentage last season. Another of the team’s most experienced players, Julia Van Wey is hitting .281 with eight doubles, a home run and 17 RBIs this season. That RBI total ranks second on the team behind only Moore (19).
Doane got conference play started over the weekend and lost two one-run decisions to Mount Marty, 4-3 and 3-2. Head Coach Jordan Olson is in her second season leading the program, which is coming off an overall record of 26-24 last season. The Tigers returned Second Team All-GPAC honoree Shelby Downard, who is a standout two-way player. She sports a 2.88 ERA as a pitcher and is batting .245 with two homers and 14 RBIs. Doane is averaging 4.1 runs per game and has a team ERA of 4.50.
A strong run through nonconference play allowed Northwestern to garner votes in last week’s NAIA coaches’ poll. Head Coach Shane Bouman’s program is coming off a 27-18 season in 2021. The Red Raiders brought back two Second Team All-GPAC honorees in Jennifer Boeve and Emily Strasser. Boeve is hitting .480 with 11 doubles, two triples and two home runs. In addition, Bri Giordano is hitting .483 with 12 doubles, three home runs and 29 RBIs. In the circle, Kate Kralik is 12-4 with a 2.44 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 94.2 innings.
Monday, April 4 opponent –College of Saint Mary sports an overall mark of 5-14 after having taken two over Dakota Wesleyan to start GPAC play. Last season, Head Coach Carolyn Todd Bray’s squad finished at 9-31 overall (4-18 GPAC). CSM landed in a tie for 11th in the 2022 GPAC preseason coaches’ poll. So far this season, the Flames are hitting .263 and have been led by Rylee Scholl, who is batting .471 (16-for-34) with 10 RBIs. In the circle, Emma Schnell (4-6, 3.87 ERA) has been the team’s top pitcher.
As shown above, the Bulldogs will begin next week by hosting College of Saint Mary on April 4. The busy stretch will continue with a doubleheader at Nebraska Wesleyan on April 5 before home twin bills versus Jamestown on April 8 and Dakota Wesleyan on April 9. Concordia will honor seniors Camry Moore and Kylee Nixon on April 9.