Red Raiders slug past Bulldogs

By on Apr. 6, 2013 in Softball

Red Raiders slug past Bulldogs

Sunday’s games postponed: Due to a forecast that calls for potentially significant rain on Sunday, Concordia’s scheduled home doubleheader versus Briar Cliff has been postponed. The games are likely to be rescheduled for next week.

SEWARD, Neb. – Concordia’s struggles continued on Saturday afternoon as visiting Northwestern swept the Bulldogs in a GPAC doubleheader at Plum Creek Park. The Red Raiders (14-15, 4-2 GPAC) won by scores of 9-0 in the five-inning first game and then 12-3 to close the twin bill. Concordia fell to 8-15 overall, 2-4 in league play and 1-5 on the homestand.

“It’s frustrating right now, but hopefully we can find a way to overcome,” Bulldog head coach Frank Greene said. “We talked a little about it when we went out there and met (after the games). It comes down to somewhere out of here we’ve got to break out of this thing.”

Game one featured a great pitcher’s duel between Concordia’s Amanda Beeson and Northwestern’s Keely Bracelin. That is until the Red Raiders figured Beeson out in the fifth and exploded for nine runs to break a scoreless tie. Northwestern batted around and pounded out nine hits in the inning after being held to just a single hit through the first four innings.

Beeson, a native of Waverly, Neb., still managed to strike out seven and pushed her GPAC-leading total to 80 punch outs on the season. She was lifted with two outs in the fifth inning with Northwestern leading 7-0.

Concordia finally broke a 15-inning scoreless drought with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth of game two. Left fielder Nicole Mapes, who cracked the Bulldogs’ only hit in game one, got Concordia on the board with an RBI single. Pitcher Julia Tyree followed with an RBI single of her own.

The Bulldogs got one more in the sixth when Tyree’s ground out to third scored Amanda Baldwin, who had reached base via an error on the Red Raider pitcher.

Game two marked an improvement offensively with Concordia tallying eight hits after only one in the opening contest on Saturday. However, the Bulldogs committed six errors that led to five unearned runs charged to Tyree.

Offense was not an issue for Northwestern from the fifth inning of game one through the rest of the day. The Red Raiders, pegged for second in the GPAC by the preseason coaches’ poll, recorded a combined 22 hits on the day. They were led by their top two hitters in the order – Jill Kleinhesselink (4-for-8, four runs, one RBI) and Clarissa Ipema (4-for-7, three runs, two RBIs). No. 3 hitter Alex Price drove in six runs on the day.

Bulldog shortstop Danielle Harstad went 3-for-3 with a trio of singles in game two. She boosted her team team-leading batting average to .353.

Despite recent struggles, Greene still believes his team can be competitive in the conference. The Bulldogs know they still have plenty of season left with seven GPAC doubleheaders remaining on the slate.

“I’m not going to quit,” Greene said. “I’m not going to quit on them and I’m hoping they’re not going to quit either. You just don’t quit on each other. You get after it. That’s about the only choice that you have. Hopefully we can find the right attitude to come through this.”

With Sunday’s games postponed, the Bulldogs’ next scheduled doubleheader will take place on Tuesday at Hastings College. First pitch is set for 5 p.m.