Much to be decided during softball stretch run

By Jacob Knabel on Apr. 16, 2018 in Softball

SEWARD, Neb. – The majority of GPAC softball squads still have at least half of their conference schedules left to be played during a spring that has featured unforgiving weather throughout the league’s footprint. The Concordia University softball team postponed a home doubleheader that had been scheduled for this past weekend. Fifth-year head coach Todd LaVelle’s squad enters the week with six doubleheaders, including one outside the conference, left on the regular-season slate.

This week’s schedule
Tuesday, April 17 vs. Midland, 5 p.m. DH
Saturday, April 21 at Mount Marty, 1 p.m. DH

LaVelle’s team last took the diamond on April 12 at Doane in the completion of a suspended game that began on March 22. The Bulldogs (16-14, 5-5 GPAC) hung on for an 11-10 nail-biting win after nearly seeing an 11-6 lead melt away. With the bases loaded, Brittany Woolridge got Tiger star Jordan Van Roy to ground back to the circle for the game’s final out. Earlier in the week, Concordia swept a home doubleheader from Briar Cliff and then got swept by No. 25 Morningside in Sioux City, Iowa. The Bulldogs had won four in a row until being cooled off by the GPAC co-leading Mustangs.

Despite a 1-for-5 doubleheader versus Briar Cliff and a 1-for-5 performance at Doane that is now officially in the books, Hhana Haro remains in the thick of the race for the GPAC batting title (second behind Van Roy). She is 55-for-110 (.500) in her freshman campaign. Haro has been the team’s most reliable source of power, sporting a .764 slugging percentage and 84 total bases. With 15 doubles, Haro needs only three more to break the program’s single-season record shared by Clarissa Eloge (2011), Melissa Morrison (2005) and Meredith Peters (2003). Haro has been a standout for an offense that ranks second in the GPAC in runs per game (6.6).

Midland (20-11, 7-3 GPAC) is enjoying a resurgent season after tying for eighth place in the GPAC last season. The Warriors have gotten a big shot in the arm from University of Nebraska-Omaha transfer Jaylee Hinrichs, who is 12-6 with a 2.37 ERA and 152 strikeouts in 109.1 innings. Hinrichs is the ace of a staff that ranks second in the GPAC in ERA (3.03). Midland has gone toe-to-toe with the GPAC leaders in recent action. The Warriors split twin bills last week with Northwestern and Morningside.

Mount Marty (9-15, 5-5 GPAC) sits in a tie with Concordia for fifth place in the GPAC standings. Among conference teams, the Lancers rank eighth in both ERA (5.41) and in runs scored per game (4.42). Mount Marty’s top hitters have been Jennifer Mitera (.411 batting average, two home runs, .671 slugging) and Amber Writer (.375 batting average, five home runs, .694 slugging). In their most recent time out, the Lancers swept a doubleheader from Hastings.

Four doubleheaders are slated for next week with Dakota Wesleyan (April 23), York (April 26) and Dordt (April 28) all visiting Plum Creek Park. Concordia will be at College of Saint Mary on April 25. Home varsity games can be streamed live via the Concordia Sports Network.