'Dogs go 1-2 on day 2 of Arizona trip

By on Mar. 9, 2015 in Softball

‘Dogs go 1-2 on day 2 of Arizona trip

TUCSON, Ariz. – A lengthy winning streak in the city of Tucson came to an end on Monday for the Concordia University softball team. The Bulldogs roared back for a 10-4 win over the University of St. Francis (Ill.) in a late-morning affair. Concordia then fell by scores of 7-6 to No. 13 Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) and 16-6 to Ashford University (Iowa).

Second-year head coach Todd LaVelle’s squad is 3-2 on the current road trip and 3-4 overall.

Down 2-1 in the top of the seventh in Monday’s opening contest, the Bulldogs erupted for nine runs to turn a tight game into a comfortable lead. Concordia loaded the bases after three-straight one-out singles by Molly Madsen, Shelby Schacher and Becca Walker. Concordia tied then tied the game on Palmer Bosanko’s sacrifice squeeze bunt in which the Cougars failed to record an out on.

As part of the seventh-inning outburst, starting pitcher/second baseman Julia Tyree added a two-run single and designated player/relief pitcher Michaela Woodward struck for her first career homer – a two-run shot to left. Walker, who scored a run in the frame, recorded two of the team’s six hits in the victory.

“In the first game we played really well overall,” LaVelle said. “We came back and hit the ball fairly well. We battled and got a bunch of runs and put the pressure on them. When we went up two it kind of broke their back. Then we exploded for more.”

Saint Francis freshman pitcher Morghan Dieringer had been working on a gem until running into trouble in the seventh inning. She ended up being tagged seven runs (five earned) and the loss. On the other end, Woodward picked up a win for the third-straight game by tossing 2.1 innings in relief of Tyree.

In rematch of last year’s meeting in Tucson (a 5-1 Concordia win over then No. 10 Olivet Nazarene), the Tigers held on for a 7-6 win over the Bulldogs. LaVelle’s squad made a late push by putting up two runs in the sixth and one in the seventh.

“We were up for that one emotionally against a highly-ranked team,” LaVelle said. “We jumped out to a 3-0 lead and it could have easily been 4-0 or 5-0. We missed the location on a pitch and they hit a two-run homer that got them going. Our kids kept battling. We had our chances at the end. Overall I was pleased with the first two games.”

The loss to Olivet Nazarene snapped a 15-game Concordia win streak in contests played in the city of Tucson. That stretch dated back to 2011. Last season LaVelle’s bunch opened 2014 by winning all nine games in Tucson.

Ashford sent Concordia to a second-straight defeat in Monday night’s clash. The Eagles took advantage of sloppy Bulldog defense and won by the run rule after five innings. Concordia cut an eight-run deficit to four, but never got any closer.

The Bulldogs turn around quickly on Tuesday as they begin action at 9 a.m. local time in Tucson. Concordia’s stretch of 13 games in five days continues with contests on Tuesday:
9 a.m. MST / 11 a.m. CDT vs. University of Jamestown (N.D.)
11 a.m. MST / 1 p.m. CDT vs. Aquinas College (Mich.)
3:30 p.m. MST / 5:30 p.m. CDT vs. Baldwin Wallace University (Ohio)

Live audio from each of the team's 13 games in Arizona can be heard via the Concordia Sports Network.