SEWARD, Neb. – Due to postponements this week, Saturday will end a stretch of six-straight days without a game for the Concordia University softball team. Head coach Todd LaVelle’s squad welcomes Northwestern (10-12, 3-1 GPAC) for a twin bill set to begin at 1 p.m. from Plum Creek Park. Both games can be seen live online via the Concordia Sports Network.
In last week’s action, the Bulldogs (9-10, 1-1 GPAC) split four games as part of their home-opening schedule. Freshman Michaela Woodward, a product of Norris High School, continued her hot hitting, going 6-for-11 in the pair of doubleheaders. She leads Concordia in batting average (.429), hits (24), doubles (nine), RBIs (17) and slugging percentage (.714). In addition, sophomore MaKenna Tracy, a transfer from Peru State College, sparkled with a 5-for-7 day that included a home run in the March 21 twin bill with Dordt.
With Woodward sizzling, Concordia has pushed its team batting average from .305 last season to .317 in 2015. The Bulldogs are averaging 6.1 runs per game compared to their clip of 5.4 a year ago. Among GPAC teams, Concordia ranks third in both batting average and runs per game. On the flip side, the Bulldogs’ team ERA of 5.67 checks in at No. 9 among the 11 GPAC squads.
Head coach Chris Nachtigall’s Red Raiders are fresh off a doubleheader sweep of Dakota Wesleyan on Monday. Northwestern boasts five regulars with batting averages north of .300: Brianna Petrauskas (.419), Kourtni Robinson (.375), Monserrat Figueroa (.372), Clare Ipema (.343) and Laura Hurley (.333). In the circle, the combination of Morgan Means (3-8, 4.85 ERA) and Kayla Tindall (5-3, 3.50 ERA) has covered the bulk of the innings.
Among GPAC squads, Northwestern ranks second in fielding percentage (.959), fourth in batting average (.307), fifth in ERA (4.28) and seventh in runs per game (5.3). The Red Raiders are 1-3 in true road games.
Concordia and Northwestern last met on May 1, 2014, in an elimination game as part of the GPAC tournament. Julia Tyree connected for two home runs to boost the Bulldogs to an 8-4 win on their way to reaching the GPAC tournament championship game and qualifying for the program’s first-ever national tournament.
LaVelle’s squad is also scheduled to host doubleheaders with Briar Cliff on Monday (4 p.m.) and Presentation College on Tuesday (2 p.m.).