By Taylor Muller, Sports Information Assistant
In day two of their spring break tour across the Golden State, the women’s softball team fell short twice to Menlo College, losing 4-3 and 3-0. The losses move the Bulldogs to 2-5 on the season.
Coming off an upset victory of ninth-ranked Oregon Tech a week ago, Menlo continued its hot hitting in the bottom of the first inning after two solo-shots put the Bulldogs in an early 2-0 hole.
Junior pitcher Amanda Beeson kept the Oaks quiet for the next 3.2 innings until a Jessica Soliai double knocked in two runs to put the Oaks up 4-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning.
The Bulldogs struggled offensively, earning only one hit through the first five innings against a solid pitching performance from Justine Roscoe (7-2).
The Bulldogs answered in the top of the sixth with some runs of their own. Senior Natalie Svoboda got things started with a two-out double. Freshman Danielle Harstad followed by reaching base on a Menlo fielding error. That brought up Freshman Julia Tyree, who took full advantage of the two base runners when she sent a homerun over the left field fence, bringing Concordia to within one run at 4-3.
The Bulldogs held the Oaks in the bottom of the sixth, but went down one-two-three to end the game.
Beeson (0-3) finished her complete game allowing eight hits and three walks against 23 batters, while fanning three Oaks.
Tyree led the offensive charge going 2-3 from the plate with three RBI’s.
The Oaks controlled game from the beginning. Menlo’s hitting and aggressive base-running helped score two runs off a double to put the Bulldogs behind 2-0.
Freshman Julia Tyree regained her composure and showed her versatility as she pitched three and 2/3 shutout innings before a sacrifice bunt brought in another Menlo run to put the Bulldogs behind 3-0.
Tyree wasn’t done yet, and with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, she doubled to deep right-center, advancing senior outfielder Nicole Mapes into scoring position. A pop-fly out ended the game, however, as the Bulldogs were handed their fourth straight loss of their California tour.
"Julia Tyree, played lights out for us, particularly in the second game,” head coach Frank Greene said. “She pitched very well. She hit a home run in the first game and almost had one in the second game. She's playing very well for us."
Tyree finished her day’s work surrendering five hits through six innings and walking just one batter while striking out four Oaks. Tyree stayed hot from the plate, going 2-3.
Greene explained what the Bulldogs need to do to perform better and credited Menlo with a solid defensive effort.
"We're not scoring enough runs with the opportunities we're getting,” Greene said. “We get runners on, we're just not getting them in. The upside is that we hit the ball hard today. They made some fabulous plays. Their shortstop was outstanding. We're not blessed with a huge amount of speed so it's difficult to manufacture runs. We've got to make runs happen, and the way we do that is by hitting the ball well."
Greene believes his team has a lot of upside, and is confident they will improve.
"Going forward I think we're going to be an outstanding team,” Greene said. “We've just got to rid ourselves of some of the mistakes. We're hitting the ball hard. We're close."
Next up will be a trip to Redding, Calif., where the Bulldogs will take on Simpson College in more doubleheader action on Tuesday, March 12.