SEWARD, Neb. – Returning to action for the first time in a week, the Concordia University softball team got a five-inning no-hitter from freshman Jordana Goncalves as part of a doubleheader sweep of visiting Central Christian College on Tuesday evening. The Bulldogs won by scores of 6-3 and 12-0 over the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference foe.
Second-year head coach Todd LaVelle’s squad has won three-straight games and sports record of 19-14 overall and 11-3 at home.
“The first game we did not play well and the girls and the coaching staff knew it. It was nice to regroup the second game,” LaVelle said. “We saw Jordana pitched well. She had a no-hitter and really gave us five quality innings. That was impressive and that’s kind of what we expected out of her. Hopefully she can ride that momentum through the end of the year.”
Goncalves, a native of Mission, British Columbia, had plenty of run support to work with. Concordia pounded out 12 game 2 hits and put up three runs in the first, four in the second and five in the third. In continuing her torrid offensive season, junior Julia Tyree went a combined 4-for-5 with two doubles and three RBIs in powering the offensive attack.
But the most promising performance came via Goncalves. With Concordia still trying to develop depth behind ace pitcher Michaela Woodward, Goncalves held the Tigers without a hit. She walked three and struck out four in showing a glimpse of what she’s capable of moving forward.
“I felt confident and more relaxed tonight,” Goncalves said. “I knew my defense was behind me and they did a really good job backing me up.
“We don’t want it to be Woodward doing it all by herself. That was good.”
Four different Bulldogs backed Goncalves with two hits apiece in game 2: Regan Doiel (2-for-3), Diana Mendoza (2-for-2, three RBIs), MaKenna Tracy (2-for-3, three RBIs) and Becca Walker (2-for-3, two RBIs).
Tyree worked five innings in game 1 to move her record to 5-5. She allowed two runs (both earned) on six hits and one walk. Justine Hansen then recorded one out in her first varsity pitching appearance. She was followed by Woodward, who collected her third save while notching strikeouts for four of her five outs.
Central Christian, now 8-28 overall, actually outhit Concordia, 10-9, in game 1. Kristen Hall went 3-for-4 with an RBI to pace the Tigers in the opening contest.
LaVelle hopes his team is set to peak down the stretch.
“It’s going to come down to them wanting to play and wanting to finish well in the conference,” LaVelle said. “There’s no doubt they have the talent. We have a few losses, but I felt a lot of those losses were Concordia beating Concordia.”
A busy week at home continues on Wednesday when the Bulldogs host Nebraska Wesleyan (15-15, 8-4 GPAC) for a 5 p.m. doubleheader. The Prairie Wolves entered the week tied for third in the conference standings. They are the only team to defeat Doane in GPAC action.