The Concordia University, Nebraska, softball team suffered consecutive one-run losses to Northwestern College in the opening games of the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) on Friday, March 23.
Following the losses, Concordia is 4-8 overall and 0-2 in GPAC action. Northwestern, meanwhile, moved to 10-6 on the season and 2-0 in conference play.
Game One: Northwestern College 10, Concordia 9
Trailing 2-0 entering the top of the third, Concordia took the lead with three runs on three hits in the top of the third. Junior Natalie Svoboda (Lincoln, Neb.) got the Bulldogs on the board with a solo home run over the right field fence. The next batter, sophomore Shelby Morose (Claremore, Okla.), laced a single up the middle. One out later senior Alyssa Bauwens gave Concordia the lead with the second Concordia home run of the inning.
The two teams exchanged runs in each of their next at-bats, then Northwestern reclaimed the lead with three runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Down 6-4, Concordia appeared to take control with five runs in the top of the sixth. The Bulldogs five runs came courtesy of two hits, three walks, an error and a wild pitch.
Unfortunately, Northwestern found a rally of their own in the bottom of the seventh. The Red Raiders strung together four runs on five hits and an error to take the game, 10-9.
Concordia starter, senior Nicole Sempek (Columbus, Neb.), suffered the loss (4-3). Sempek allowed 10 runs on 16 hits and two walks in 6.1 innings pitched.
Northwestern's Alex Brower earned the victory (2-1) with 1.1 innings of scoreless relief.
Game Two: Northwestern College 6, Concordia 5
The finale saw the Bulldogs go for the late rally as Concordia entered the seventh inning trailing 6-3.
One out into the seventh, sophomore Amanda Baldwin (Wilber, Neb.) drew a base on balls. Down to their final out, Concordia sophomore Amber Topil (Seward, Neb.) cut the deficit in half with a two-run blast over the right field wall. That, however, was all the Bulldogs could manage as Concordia dropped the contest 6-5.
Sophomore Amanda Beeson (Waverly, Neb.) took the loss (0-5) for the Bulldogs, allowing six runs on eight hits and a walk in six innings.
Northwestern's Katie VanderVoot nabbed the win (5-2), holding Concordia to three runs on seven hits and two walks in four innings.
Concordia returns to action on Saturday, March 24 as the Bulldogs travel to Sioux City, Iowa to face Dordt College in a doubleheader beginning at 1 pm.