SEWARD, Neb. – A scheduled doubleheader at Nebraska Wesleyan University on Monday (March 21) was wiped out by rain. That leaves two conference twin bills on this week’s slate for the Concordia University Softball team. The Bulldogs look forward to hosting Dordt on Saturday and then College of Saint Mary on Sunday in the first Plum Creek Park action of 2022. Head Coach Tatum Edwards’ squad (11-11, 0-2 GPAC) will attempt to bounce back from a pair of defeats at Midland this past weekend.
Saturday, March 26 vs. Dordt (10-7-1, 0-0 GPAC), 1 p.m. DH
Sunday, March 27 vs. College of Saint Mary (3-12, 0-0 GPAC), 5 p.m. DH
By the numbers
· The GPAC opening doubleheader at Midland on March 19 featured a pitcher’s duel in game one that went to the Warriors, 2-1, in eight innings. It was a tough-luck loss for Camry Moore, who went 7.2 innings and allowed only one earned run on nine hits and no walks. She also recorded five strikeouts. The story of the day was the work of Midland pitchers Haliee Fliam and Aliyah Rincon, who combined to limit the Bulldogs to just six hits in the doubleheader. Rincon notched eight strikeouts and tossed a one-hitter in game two, which ended in a 7-0 Warrior win. Midland (15-4, 2-0 GPAC) is the reigning GPAC regular season and tournament champion.
· Concordia got its only run of the day at Midland when Zoie Isom singled home Kylee Nixon in the fourth inning of game one. Five Bulldogs produced exactly one hit apiece in that contest. Shortstop Kylie Shottenkirk then came up with Concordia’s lone hit of the game two. It marked the third time this season that the Bulldogs have been shut out.
· While Concordia has slipped to 11-11 overall, it isn’t far from having a much better record. The Bulldogs have dropped six games by a one-run margin, including four that have been decided in extra innings. Through 22 games, Concordia has outscored its opponents by a combined total of 119-95. Offensively, the Bulldogs are hitting .317 with a .364 on-base percentage and .424 slugging percentage. The pitching staff sports a team ERA of 3.45. With new starters all over the diamond, Concordia expected some degree of growing pains. The key now is to get over the hump in the close games.
· Moore looks to be on her way to producing another First Team All-GPAC type of season. The Crete High School product is hitting .470 with four doubles, two triples and 18 RBIs while slugging .591. In the circle, Moore is 7-5 with a 2.08 ERA and 65 strikeouts in 64 innings. She has issued only three free passes. In her career, Moore has won 46 games as a pitcher while throwing more than 400 innings. Entering this season, Moore owned the second lowest career ERA (2.11) by a Concordia pitcher in school history. She needs three more wins to pass Michaela Woodward (48) for No. 3 on the program’s all-time list.
· Entering this week, the Bulldogs boast six lineup regulars hitting better than .300 on the season: Moore (.470), Kylee Nixon (.328), Caitlyn McGarvie (.321), Aubrey Bruning (.320), Zoie Isom (.311) and Taylor Glause (.305). Nixon has been a mainstay at second base while playing in 112 career games as a Bulldog. She’s notched 111 career hits while batting .344 as a Bulldog. Meanwhile, McGarvie is coming off a First Team All-GPAC season and the remainder of the .300+ hitters are newcomers.
College of Saint Mary sports an overall mark of 3-12 having lost seven straight games. The Flames will be opening conference play in Seward on Wednesday night. 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 .248 and have been led by Rylee Scholl, who is batting .471 (16-for-34) with 10 RBIs. In the circle, Emma Schnell (3-5, 3.78 ERA) has been the team’s top pitcher.
Picked eighth in the GPAC preseason poll, Dordt is slated to play doubleheaders against Briar Cliff and Jamestown before traveling to Seward on Saturday. The Defenders made some waves during spring break with quality wins over No. 8 Indiana Wesleyan University and over a Saint Xavier University (Ill.) team that is receiving votes in the national poll. Head Coach Jeff Zomer has presided over the program since 2010 and has won more than 200 games. From an individual perspective, Dordt’s most important asset has been pitcher Abby Kramer, who is 6-3 with a 1.33 ERA and 76 strikeouts in 63.1 innings.
The Bulldogs are slated to host Doane for a doubleheader on March 29 before heading to Orange City, Iowa, for a twin bill on April 2. The doubleheader scheduled for this Monday (March 21) at Nebraska Wesleyan has been moved to April 6. That matchup will take place in Lincoln.