Dawgs drop out of GPAC championships on day one; Eurich breaks record

By Chase Benton on May. 2, 2024 in Softball

SIOUX CENTER, Iowa – The No. 4 seed Concordia Softball team made the trek to the campus of Dordt University, joining seven other teams to compete in the GPAC championships on Wednesday (May 1). Needing extra innings in the opening round, No. 5 seed Morningside found two runs in the eighth taking a 3-1 win in the pitchers’ duel. No. 8 seed Mount Marty came out hot, scored all six of its runs in the first, and held onto a 6-3 victory over the Bulldogs.

Head Coach Brock Culler’s squad finishes its season with a 22-24 overall record and an improved 13-9 showing in the conference. Culler commented on the season and how its sets the foundation for the program.

“This BULLDOG NATION is awesome! The outreach, the amount of help and love this team got from you guys was incredible. This season was like a catapult into how things are gonna go, going forward. We started the season up and down. We started the conference 2-6 and a lot of teams give up in a situation like that. We challenged this group, ‘You are too good to be performing like this.’ We got back to the drawing board and they bought in. It’s one of the better groups I’ve coached because of that fact. They were like, ‘we are not going to fail. We are better than this.’ I just love that, man!”

Assistant Coach Jenessa Jarvis commented on the results of the GPAC tournament and standouts Aubriana Krieser and Megan Eurich.

“Obviously, we didn’t have the results we were looking for today. The girls still went out playing hard and hitting hard, just not how we wanted. Krieser has been seeing exactly what she has been since we put her in the game. She has played the last half of our season, and she has been absolutely hammering the ball. All season, Megan (Eurich) has started off pretty good and we were able to get the rest of the team to work with her. She was able to continue that out today. Work her pitches and do what she needed to do on the mound.”

Eurich needed one strikeout in the seventh inning of the Mount Marty contest to solidify the single-season strikeout record in Concordia Softball history. The Gretna, Neb., native had two outs to claim the record for herself but she claimed her third strike and the 194th K in her 2023-24 campaign.

Eurich said, “A lot of it was we worked really hard in the offseason. I was able to go out there and locate my pitches really well. Inside, outside, high and low. I worked hard on my rise ball over the season and it worked well in our last game.”

Aubriana Krieser has swung the bat well from the right box in the last half of the season, continuing her stellar performance into postseason play. The Lincoln North Star, product hit 4-for-7, a home run, three runs, a double and an RBI in the two games.

After pitching all seven regulation innings, Eurich allowed only one run and five hits in the game. The Mustangs' bats got the better of her with three hits and two runs batted in after the top of the eighth was finished. The Bulldog offense was unable to respond, and three outs were recorded before the No. 4 seed could muster runs across in extras.

Taryn Ganstrom got the starting nod in the second game but was rocked by the Lancer offense, as the defense committed two errors behind her and gave up all six runs in the first. Krieser crushed a homer to left center to respond and started off the third with a single to center. Julia Van Wey hit a triple to right center and Taylor Glause pushed her across for an RBI. The offense went stale and would end Concordia’s short time in the postseason for the 2023-24 year.

Seniors Taylor Glause, Julia Van Wey and Creighton Taylor will be sorely missed as the Bulldogs start the climb into the 2024-25 campaign. With a wealth of experience coming back, Concordia is sure to show continued improvement as they did this year.

Culler, “My number one thing and I’m so happy for them for this, they were able to finish their career on an upward trend and competed in the GPAC tournament. It meant so much to me that they were able to walk away moving upward.”