A run to the 2021 national tournament preceded a 2022 season of ups and downs for Concordia Softball. The program knew it wouldn’t be easy to replace Bulldog all-time greats like Hhana Haro and Tori Homolka while also transitioning under the direction of a new head coach. The highlights included a run-rule victory of 19th-ranked Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) and GPAC doubleheader sweeps of Doane and Briar Cliff. Ultimately, the campaign ended in GPAC tournament pod play at the Northwestern Bracket.
In her first experience as a head coach, former Nebraska Cornhusker All-American and Big Ten Pitcher of the Year Tatum Edwards guided the Bulldogs in 2022. She had begun her tenure in August of 2021. On June 8, it was announced that Edwards had taken on the role of Associate Head Coach at NCAA Division I Valparaiso University.
Replied Edwards in response to a tweet from @CUNEathletics, “Thanks so much for taking a chance on me! So lucky and fortunate to have been a Bulldog.”
The next head coach of the program will inherit a team that just went 23-24 overall this spring. The campaign saw impact-seniors Camry Moore and Kylee Nixon finish up their Concordia careers. Moore and Nixon were part of squads that went a combined 95-51 since the start of the 2019 season. The program has plenty of potential moving forward having been to the national tournament three times since 2014. The ’22 squad tied for sixth in the GPAC as the program qualified for the conference tournament for the 20th time out of a possible 21 years.
The Bulldogs celebrated their senior day on April 9. The program used that day to honor not only Moore and Nixon, but also two-year graduate assistant coach Bre Hamilton and student manager Kaetlyn Todd.
As Moore wrote in reflection, “My time here at Concordia has blessed me with my best friends and I will forever be grateful for that! I want to thank my parents, sister and family for being my biggest supporters through it all!”
Nixon wrote, “I appreciate Concordia for its community of people and the memories I have been able to make here. I love my friends and I'm happy softball is what brought us together. I wish the coaches and girls good luck in the years to come!”
One of the program’s best players of all-time, Moore earned Second Team All-GPAC honors in 2022. Her final season with the Bulldogs featured a no-hitter against Graceland University (Iowa) on March 4. Moore was especially dominant in the circle from March 29 through April 8 when she fired five-straight seven-inning complete games (35 total innings) and allowed a combined grand total of one earned run. Moore concluded her career with program all-time offensive rankings of second in RBIs (127), fifth in runs scored (122), sixth in batting average (.386), seventh in home runs (15), eighth in hits (172) and 10th in doubles (32). As a pitcher, Moore’s program career rankings are second in ERA (2.06), third in wins (52), sixth in strikeouts (341) and sixth in innings pitched (489).
Additional all-conference honors went to Caitlyn McGarvie (first team), Zoie Isom (honorable mention) and Nixon (honorable mention). A Lincoln North Star High School alum, McGarvie put together a white-hot month of April and batted .390 (48-for-123) on the season. She totaled seven doubles, four triples, 13 RBIs and a team high 16 stolen bases. McGarvie was also a first team all-conference selection in 2021.
Freshmen in Isom and Kylie Shottenkirk figure to be a big part of the future of the program. Isom displayed potential for a powerful bat that produced six doubles and a team high four homers in 2022. Meanwhile, Shottenkirk came on especially strong at the close of the season. Another Lincoln North Star product, Shottenkirk went a perfect 8-for-8 during GPAC tournament play and batted .314 for the season.
Said Edwards immediately following the season, “Being young and being able to play in the postseason was a big deal. It should help them grow pretty quick. We’ll have to fill some spots in the lineup. Going into next year, we know we can play in big situations. Everyone has to figure out their role and do it the best they can. It takes everyone on the roster to be successful.”
The pitching staff will have a different look next season as Moore moves on. Sophomore Jerzi Rowe has gained valuable experience over the past two years. Rowe posted a 4.90 ERA in 98.2 innings of work in 2022. Megan Eurich and Brooke Townsend also saw action in the circle.
Other noteworthy performances were put forward in 2022 by the likes of Grace Boganowski, Aubrey Bruning and Julia Van Wey, among others. Boganowski supplied a nice spark in the middle of the season when she was inserted into the lineup at shortstop. Meanwhile, Van Wey batted .292 in her second collegiate season and the slap-hitting Bruning started 36 games as a freshman. In addition, transfer Taylor Glause came in and took ownership of the catching role.
Once finalized, the new head coach of Concordia Softball will be announced via a release and will be promoted through Concordia Athletics social media channels.