Softball ready to host Hastings Thursday

By Jacob Knabel on Apr. 2, 2018 in Softball

SEWARD, Neb. – Here we go again. With the weather not cooperating, the Concordia University softball team still has yet to host a GPAC opponent at Plum Creek Park. The Bulldogs hope that will change on Thursday when they are scheduled to welcome Hastings (7-17, 1-1 GPAC) at 5 p.m. CT on Thursday. Head coach Todd LaVelle’s squad is also slated to travel to Morningside (13-8, 1-1 GPAC) on Saturday, but the weather forecast looks ominous as of the start of the week.

This week’s schedule
Thursday, April 5 vs. Hastings, 5 p.m. (DH)
Saturday, April 7 at No. 25 Morningside, 1 p.m. (DH)

Concordia (11-12, 0-3 GPAC) dropped below .500 overall after being swept in last week’s doubleheader at Northwestern (16-5, 3-1 GPAC). The Bulldogs simply need to figure out how to reverse their fortunes in close games. Each of their three conference defeats have been decided by margins of one or two runs with two ending in walk-off fashion. Overall this season, Concordia has suffered eight losses by one or two runs.

Most of those downers have not been a result of lack of offense. The Bulldogs enter the week ranked 15th nationally in runs per game (7.1) behind hot hitting freshman Hhana Haro. The native of Garden Grove, Calif., went 6-for-8 with a pair of home runs at Northwestern, boosting her GPAC best batting average to .540 (No. 2 among all NAIA players). Haro has averaged more than two hits per game and is slugging .828. Others such as Elanna Osthoff (.490), Leah Kalkwarf (.390), Mackinsey Schmidt (.368) and Jamie Lefebure (.344) have also put up impressive numbers.

Morningside has ruled the GPAC in recent seasons and carries a No. 25 national ranking into the week. The Mustangs opened up conference play on March 22 with a doubleheader split at Northwestern. Led by the likes of Hallie Misiaszek (3.52 ERA) and Alex Nelson (1.84 ERA), the Mustangs have a deep pitching staff that sports a 3.79 team ERA. Meanwhile, Hastings has ramped things up since an 0-9 start to the season. The Broncos have not had the same level of offensive firepower as they had last season. Their star is Corrin Ziepke, who is hitting .392 with six home runs.

Looking ahead to next week, the Bulldogs are scheduled to finish their suspended game at Doane (18-11, 2-1 GPAC) next Monday (April 9). Concordia owns an 11-6 lead heading to the bottom of the fifth. Play will resume at 3:30 p.m. Dakota Wesleyan (5-15, 1-1 GPAC) is also slated to be at Plum Creek Park for a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday, April 14.

Home varsity games can be streamed live via the Concordia Sports Network.