Seniors get Concordia back on track

By on Apr. 20, 2013 in Softball

Seniors get Concordia back on track

SEWARD, Neb. – Head coach Frank Greene’s Bulldogs rebounded from a rough outing on Tuesday and navigated muddy Plum Creek Park on the way to 4-1 and 6-2 victories over visiting Mount Marty on Saturday afternoon. All three Bulldog seniors honored as part of Senior Day on Saturday stepped up in a big way to help even the team’s GPAC record at 5-5. Concordia sits at 11-18 overall.

“I couldn’t have asked for more from our three seniors than what they did today,” Greene said.

Left fielder Natalie Svoboda, a Lincoln, Neb., native, combined to go 4-for-6 with four RBIs and three runs in the doubleheader as she winds down her career as a Bulldog. Svoboda helped set the tone for the day by driving in the first run of game one with a bunt base hit down the third base line.

Fellow seniors Angela Harstad and Nicole Mapes also put forth some fine efforts on the diamond. Harstad collected a triple in each game and Mapes went 2-for-4 in game two. However, it was Mapes’ play at shortstop that had Greene raving afterwards. Mapes just recently moved back to the infield after playing mostly outfield the past two seasons.

“Nicole Mapes rolled two double plays. She hadn’t played shortstop for two years,” Greene said. “That was pretty impressive. And they came in situations where we needed big plays at the time.”

The Bulldogs also got great work from their starting pitchers as both freshman Julia Tyree (game one) and junior Amanda Beeson (game two) went the distance in seven-inning outings. Tyree, a native of Benecia, Calif., worked around six walks and did not give up a single earned run. Meanwhile, Beeson continued her torrid strikeout pace by fanning 11 Lancers in game two.

While Mount Marty (1-17, 1-9 GPAC) came into play with just a single victory on the season, Greene came away pleased with how his team responded against a Lancer club with more talent than the record indicates.

“Considering the weather and the field conditions, these were excellent wins,” Greene said. “Mount Marty is a team that has a lot of potential. I know their record is poor, but they’re not short on talent. They have played good teams very close. They’ve got talented kids. We just out-played them.”

The Bulldogs got a run each in the first and second innings and then two in the third to coast to a 4-1 triumph in game one. Svoboda singled in Harstad and catcher Amber Topil knocked in Svoboda with a base hit as part of the two-run third.

Concordia two runs apiece in the first, third and fifth innings of game two. Svoboda plated another pair of runs in the capper, while Mapes and designated hitter Danielle Harstad each recorded one RBI.

Saturday’s games were moved to field 3 at the Plum Creek Park complex because of excessively muddy conditions on the Bulldogs’ usual home diamond across the street. All fields in the area were saturated over the last week with rain and light snow.

Concordia hopes to string together a lengthy winning streak as it returns to Plum Creek Park to take on Briar Cliff (7-13, 3-7 GPAC) on Sunday. First pitch has been moved up to 11:30 a.m.

“Our issues are with how we play defense and how we hit,” Greene said. “If we aren’t playing good defense and we’re not hitting, then we’re not winning. Our pitching has been fine. We’ve got to play defense and we’ve got to score runs if we want to win.”