Owens' grand slam propels Bulldogs to victory over 14th-ranked Mustangs

By on Apr. 9, 2016 in Softball

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – The Concordia softball team split with 14th-ranked Morningside College Saturday afternoon. The Bulldogs won the second game 13-3 in five innings while the Mustangs took the first, 10-8. The Concordia win was aided by a 12 run lead off inning in which Autumn Owens hit a grand slam to left field.

The Bulldogs move to 25-8 overall and 6-4 in the GPAC. The Mustangs’ 15-game win streak comes to an end and the team is now 28-6 and 9-1 in the conference.

Head coach Todd LaVelle said, ““Definitely a good win today. Anytime we play Morningside, we’re going to bring out the best in each other. I think everyone got to see our best today.”

Right out of the gates of the second game, the Bulldogs held nothing back and scored 12 runs in the first inning. Michaela Woodward batted in the clean-up position and smoked a double to right field, scoring Julia Tyree and Kylie Harpst. After Megan Ruppert was hit by a pitch, Owens came to the plate with the bases full and sent the ball over the left field fence. The Bulldogs found themselves up 6-0 with no outs. After scoring two more runs off a double from Harpst, the Mustangs switched pitchers. Sixteen batters came to the plate in the inning. A total of 12 runs were scored on eight hits.

The third inning saw the remainder of scoring from each team. In the top half of the frame, Ruppert sent a single to center field to score Huff. Morningside scored all three of its runs in the inning off a three-run home run.

Morningside was threatening Concordia’s 10-run lead in the fourth inning with bases full and no outs. A ball from a Mustang was hit to third baseman, Owens who stepped on her bag and then threw it in to get the runner at home for the first and second outs. The next batter up flied out to right field to end the inning. Each team had four batters come to the plate in the final stanza and no runs were scored to give Woodward her ninth win of the season.

“I’ve been coaching softball for 22 years and I’ve never seen a team explode with their bats the way we did the first inning of that game. That was just flat out hitting the ball. They’ve had it in them all year, so it was nice to see Morningside bring it out in them. We got to knock off the 14th-ranked team in the country, so that was exciting,” LaVelle said.

In the first half of the twin bill, the Bulldogs faced a heart breaking 10-8 loss. After being down 6-2 heading into the fourth inning, Concordia came back and scored six runs to Morningside’s zero in the next two and a half innings to take an 8-6 lead. Then in the bottom half of the sixth, Morningside loaded the bases with one out and hit a grand slam to center field. The Mustangs had a 10-8 lead going into the final frame and Concordia couldn’t get a run across the plate.

“Obviously the first one was a heart breaker,” LaVelle said. “We came back to work really hard and then tie it up and take an 8-6 lead. To give up a grand slam was definitely hard but the girls didn’t dwell on it.”

The Bulldogs will wrap up their six day, five double-header span tomorrow, traveling to No. 23 Grand View University. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m. in Des Moines, Iowa.