SEWARD, Neb. – Chilly and rainy weather has made it difficult from a scheduling perspective over recent weeks, but the Concordia University softball team hopes to play at least one doubleheader before breaking for Easter weekend. The Bulldogs (11-10, 0-1 GPAC) are getting set for Wednesday's trip to Orange City, Iowa, for a 2 p.m. CT twin bill at Northwestern (14-5, 1-1 GPAC). The Red Raiders will have a live webcast HERE. (The doubleheader has twice been rescheduled).
Wet conditions forced fifth-year head coach Todd LaVelle’s squad to postpone the doubleheader that had been scheduled for March 24 at Plum Creek Park. The only action that took place last week occurred in Crete, where Concordia dropped an 8-6, eight-inning decision in game one. The Bulldogs held an 11-6 lead in the middle of the fifth inning when play was suspended. The contest will be picked up at a later date.
Concordia’s offense kept on humming with the start of conference play. In 13 innings of action at Doane, the Bulldogs collected a combined 21 hits. Five apiece came from Crete natives Jamie Lefebure and Mackinsey Schmidt. Before the suspension of play, Schmidt had gone 5-for-7 with two doubles, four runs, four RBIs and one walk. Lefebure also went 5-for-7 while adding three runs and three RBIs.
Lefebure and Schmidt have been two of the constants for an offense that ranks 15th nationally in runs per game (7.3). On the NAIA leaderboard, Concordia also ranks eighth in hits per game (10.7), 14th in batting average (.352), 15th in doubles per game (2.0) and 20th in slugging percentage. Elanna Osthoff (.524), Hhana Haro (.519) and Leah Kalkwarf (.408) all possess batting averages above .400. Haro leads the GPAC in batting average (Osthoff has not played in the required 75 percent of the team’s games to qualify). Osthoff went 15-for-21 (.714) at the plate during the team’s stay at the Tucson Invitational.
Northwestern opened the conference season with a showdown versus 22nd-ranked Morningside, the GPAC preseason favorite. The Red Raiders split the doubleheader which featured two one-run decisions. In the victory, Emma Schnell allowed only one unearned run and four hits in a seven-inning complete game. Pitching has been the strength of the team. Schnell is 7-1 with 1.30 ERA while Kayla Tindall is 6-3 with a 2.20 ERA. Northwestern ranks 12th nationally in ERA (1.83). Currently receiving votes in the national poll, the Red Raiders’ pitching will provide another measuring stick for the potent Bulldog offense.
Concordia will be idle this weekend for Easter break. Coming up next week will be a home doubleheader versus Hastings (5-15, 0-0 GPAC) at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 3, and then a trip to Morningside (13-8, 1-1 GPAC) for a 1 p.m. twin bill at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 7.