Defense clinches game one of two in regular season finale

By Chase Benton on Apr. 27, 2024 in Softball

SIOUX CENTER, Iowa – With a varying degree of seeding on the line, every game mattered for potential conference placement in the upcoming GPAC championships. Both contests were tightly contested but Eurich pitched a shutout (2-0) in game one and Dordt took advantage of errors in game two (3-2).

Missing Head Coach Brock Culler and starting shortstop Laycee Josoff due to sickness, the Bulldogs were still able to finish their regular season with a record of 23-23 and 13-9 in the GPAC. Assistant Coach Jenessa Jarvis commented on the two games and pitcher Megan Eurich.

“We obviously had some changes today, but the girls didn’t miss a beat. Game one, the defense was solid. All day we continued to hit the ball hard. Game two, we just kept hitting right to their defense and had a hard time getting balls to fall. Meg (Eurich) did great! She did a good job communicating what had been working for her. She was able to work ahead in counts which is essential!”

Megan Eurich, timely hitting and great defense defined game one, as the visitors got up in the 1st after singles by Hanna Bowers, Aubriana Krieser and Kylie Shottenkirk. Van Wey reached by fielders choice and was on second when Shottenkirk hit a line drive single to push the third basemen across the plate. In the third, Bowers hit a one-out double and Krieser followed with an RBI single to score the second run. In the seventh, Aubrey Bruning made a diving catch to keep the Defenders from gaining any momentum in the final frame.

Eurich ended with 10.1 innings pitched, 12 strikeouts, one earned run, four hits and four walks in the two contests. The Gretna, Neb., native was untouched in game one until the fifth inning, only surrendering two hits in both games. Eurich ends her regular season with 18 wins and 176 strikeouts, which lands her second in the GPAC and is third all time in single season history (strikeouts).

Krieser hit a .500 (3-for-6) batting average, plus had an RBI and Cushing went 2-for-5 (2B). In game one, Bowers went 2-for-2 (2B) and collected a run and a walk.

In game two, Concordia broke the tie on a wild pitch that resulted in Aubrey Bruning's run. The once stellar defense had two hiccups in the fourth to give Dordt its game tying score. Eurich was pulled with two on after pitching double-digit innings and Taryn Ganstrom entered the circle. Unable to stop the runners from scoring, the Defenders got two across in the fifth. Jennifer Katz blasted a two-out double and scored after Delanie Voshell singled behind her. The visitors couldn't get more tallies and the final two innings would end scoreless.

The Defenders complete their regular season slate with a 13-9 record. Lauren Steenstra led Dordt going 3-for-7 and Aurora Tyson went 2-for-3 (RBI) in game two. Bailey Sample got the win and Jaydn Faber took a save in game two.

Concordia finishes on an 11-3 run (23-23 overall) and 13-9 record in the Great Plains Athletic Conference season. The Bulldogs will prepare for the GPAC tournament, and the conference will announce the seedings once all the regular season games are finished.

Jarvis continued, “If this team carries the energy and approach they have into next week, we’re going to be good! Our hitting has been hot, and confidence is rolling which is a key component to this game!”