Offense stifled on Day 2 in Kansas City

By Chase Benton on Feb. 19, 2024 in Softball

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Bulldogs completed their four game stretch inside the Home Field Complex on Monday afternoon (Feb. 19). Missed opportunities on the offensive end defined game two against Avila University (Mo.) as Concordia had runners in scoring position but couldn’t capitalize in the 1-0 loss to the Eagles. In game one, No. 11 Baker University (Kan.) got ahead early and ended the game (11-1) with two home runs in the 6th inning. Kylie Shottenkirk and Taylor Glause had three-hit performances in the two games in Kansas City.

CUNE drops to 1-5 through six games and will look to rebound next weekend. Head Coach Brock Culler commented on the two games and the improved pitching from Kalei Denison.

“I thought we played pretty well against Baker, despite what the score was. They scored a lot of runs this weekend and are a really hot team right now. It was a good softball game (Avila). We out played them and outhit them. We did leave the bases loaded twice and tried to execute a squeeze bunt. It went off the bat wrong and couldn’t get the run in. It’s really unfortunate because Kalei Denison threw an outstanding game today and it was a big thing to see. I like where our team is, we have just run into 5 national tournament teams in the first six games.”

The freshman Denison stepped into the starting circle against Avila and rotated through the first two innings surrendering no hits. The Waverly, Neb., native continued until the fifth before the Eagles squeezed in their first and only run. Rewind nine days before, and she was taken out of the circle after six walks, two runs in 1.1 innings for her college debut. Fast forward to a freshman pitcher soaring, only two games later, allowing only four hits through six innings.

Coach Culler said, “Denison is getting more confident and starting to play like the kid we recruited. She was really nervous her first game. It was her first college start. I get it. She is executing her pitches and starting to move around really well.”

The Bulldogs had seven hits to Avila’s four and no errors to their three. Still, with bases loaded twice, the Eagles were able to get out of the jams. Concordia left six runners in scoring position and 10 on base but were unable to take advantage of the separate occasions. Any time the Eagles began to get something going, the stellar defense and pitching kept them in the game. Jayden Fernau and Glause were able to catch one base runner stealing apiece. The seven hits came from six players, including a two-hit performance from Glause, Laycee Josoff, Shottenkirk, Julia Van Wey, Aubrey Bruning and Fernau.

Facing an extremely talented Baker squad that made it to the NAIA World Series last year, the Wildcats scored a run apiece in the first three innings. The Bulldogs were able to answer following a Delanie Voshell single, and Taylor Glause hit an RBI, giving room for Voshell to score. Down 6-1, Baker put the game out of reach in the sixth with two homers and a base hit to score another. Megan Eurich started in the circle for 3.2 innings and allowed five runs on eight base hits. Taryn Ganstrom (1.1 IP) and Jordan Head (1.0 IP) came in relief and permitted six runs, and eight hits total in their showing. Delanie Voshell had two hits against the Wildcats and the Shenandoah, Iowa, native scored the only run of the day.

Concordia (1-5) will take on University of Saint Mary (2-4) in a doubleheader this weekend. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. CT on Saturday in Leavenworth, Kan.