CRETE, Neb. – Jamie Lefebure and Mackinsey Schmidt both raked while starring in their hometown of Crete, Neb., on Thursday (March 22). After an 8-6 eight-inning loss in the first game of the doubleheader, the Concordia University softball team held an 11-6 lead when play was suspended in game two at Doane. The contest will be resumed in the bottom of the fifth at a later date.
Both teams opened conference play on Thursday. Fifth-year head coach Todd LaVelle’s squad now stands at 11-10 overall after dropping a game that it had led in the bottom of the seventh.
“I thought we battled all game long,” LaVelle said. “Their top hitters are as good as we’ve seen. We had a chance to win it and we walked in a run. That was pretty hard to take but these girls regroup really quick. That second game we get down four-zip and we come back in the third inning and score eight runs.”
Lefebure and Schmidt wore out Tiger pitching. Both Crete High School products collected five hits before the suspension of play that resulted from a bizarre play and due to darkness. Schmidt boomed a two-run double that tied game one, 5-5, in the top of the seventh. A pair of groundouts then brought Schmidt home for the go-ahead run.
In the bottom half, righty pitcher Brittany Woolridge came within one pitch of sewing up a Bulldog win. After a bases loaded walk evened up the game, Woolridge got a fly out to left to necessitate an eighth inning. Doane (17-10, 1-0 GPAC) won the game in the bottom of the eighth on Jordan Van Roy’s two-run homer just over the center field fence. Van Roy burned Concordia with an 8-for-8 day.
The Bulldogs appeared to stand a strong chance of winning the second game after piling up eight runs in the fourth and then three in the fifth. Holding down the 1-2 spots in the lineup, Schmidt and Lefebure both doubled as part of the fourth-inning onslaught. Elanna Osthoff also delivered a two-run single, helping knock starting pitcher Josie Schnakenberg out of the game.
Schmidt is now batting nearly .400 after her big day on Thursday. She looked comfortable once again in a town in which she’s drilled many hits.
“Just going up with that mentality that I’m going to rip it, I think, always helps me as a person,” Schmidt said. “I think we all went up with that attitude. The second game we really picked it up.”
Hhana Haro, Lefebure and Schmidt all recorded three hits in the defeat. Leah Kalkwarf registered a hit in both games while driving in three runs. Should the score hold up upon completion of the suspended game, Baily Clear would be in line for a pitching win. Four the six runs she allowed were unearned.
Lefebure and Schmidt looked so good with the bat in the first game that LaVelle bumped them up in the order for the latter contest. The Crete connection, which will also funnel all-state pitcher Camry Moore to Seward this fall, has been good to the Bulldogs.
“Jamie and Mackinsey played really well,” LaVelle said. “We know they have that kind of ability and they played well in their hometown. I’m happy for them. That’s the level that we want to play at. We need to get one through nine stroking that ball like that.”
The second game came to a halt in the bottom of the fifth when Doane’s Brittney Amezquita went down with an injury after being struck at second base by Haro while attempting to turn a double play. An ambulance was required in order to tend to Amezquita. Both teams gathered in prayer as she rested on the infield.
Concordia is scheduled to be back at home on Saturday to host Briar Cliff (3-12, 0-0 GPAC) in a 1 p.m. CT doubleheader. The Chargers placed 11th in the GPAC last season.