Owens, Tyree slug Concordia to pair of wins over York

By on Apr. 6, 2015 in Softball

Owens, Tyree slug Concordia to pair of wins over York

SEWARD, Neb. – Three different Bulldogs homered as the Concordia University softball team swept a doubleheader from visiting York College at Plum Creek Park on Monday evening. The tandem of Julia Tyree and Autumn Owens went a combined 7-for-8 at the plate to power wins by scores of 6-3 and 8-6.

Second-year head coach Todd LaVelle’s squad jumped to 16-13 overall and 9-3 at home. The latest outing helped put behind two conference losses at Doane three days earlier.

“The girls played with some heart tonight,” LaVelle said. “They battled back. Every time York scored we seemed to answer. Our pitchers are tired. We have a couple banged up and we were trying to save Michaela (Woodward) for (Tuesday). It was really a good team effort tonight in both games.”

Tyree launched her team-leading fourth home run as part of a two-hit, four-RBI performance in game 1. Her blast in the top of the first knotted the score after the Panthers (4-21) had pushed across a pair of runs to open the evening. Then in the second, catcher Shelby Schacher drove the ball over the center field fence to put Concordia in front for good.

The Bulldogs tacked on two more in the second courtesy of a Tyree walk with the bases loaded and a Woodward sacrifice fly. Tyree also singled in a run in the fourth to provide insurance for game 1 starting pitcher Jordana Goncalves.

The freshman right-hander from British Columbia, Canada, went 6.1 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits and five walks. She gave way in the seventh for Tyree, who nailed down the final two outs for her second save of the season.

Owens emerged as the star of game 2. The rocket-armed third baseman drilled a booming solo homer to left in the bottom of the second and later chipped in an RBI single in both the fourth and fifth innings in her 3-for-3 effort.

“Coach put me in the game to get a job done. It’s my job to get that done,” said Owens, a Henderson, Nev., native. “I just had a clear mind and did what I needed to do for my team.”

With Owens and Tyree slugging away, Concordia built an 8-2 advantage in the night cap.  But York roared back with four runs in the top of the sixth. Both Brittany Rayls and Courtney Lovelace cracked two-run hits to make it a tense affair.

With the Panthers angling for the come-from-behind win, LaVelle turned to Woodward with one out in the top of the sixth. She promptly struck out the first two hitters she faced. After then allowing a leadoff single in the seventh, Woodward set down the next three hitters to notch her second save. Tyree (4-5), who went five innings, picked up the win despite allowing six earned runs on seven hits and two walks.

Concordia finished with a total of 19 hits on the day. Standouts other than Owens and Tyree included Schacher (2-for-3 in game 1) and outfielder MaKenna Tracy (1-for-2 with three runs in the opener).

The red-hot Tyree (team best .438 batting average) is 12-for-20 with two home runs and eight RBIs over her last eight games.

A stretch of three doubleheaders in as many days continues on Tuesday when the Bulldogs return to GPAC action with a twin bill at Hastings (17-11, 5-1 GPAC). First pitch is set for 5 p.m. from the Smith Softball Complex in Hastings. The doubleheader will provide another measuring stick against one of the league’s top teams.

“I’d say Doane right now is the favorite in the conference and Hastings is right behind them,” LaVelle said. “We have a chance to see where we stack up and we’ll give them everything we can.”