Softball splits two on final day in The Lone Star State

By Jacob Knabel on Feb. 13, 2016 in Softball

FORT WORTH, Texas – The Concordia University softball team’s stay at the Cowtown Classic came to a conclusion on Saturday with a split of two morning contests. After a 6-4 loss to Tabor College (Kan.) to begin the day, the Bulldogs responded with a 4-3 win over William Penn University (Iowa) in rounding out a weekend that included three wins in five tries.

Third-year head coach Todd LaVelle’s squad’s only other loss at the event came in Friday’s season opener versus No. 6 Oklahoma City University. The Bulldogs followed that up with blowout wins over Bethel College, 8-1, and Baker University, 14-3, as part of a solid two-day stretch in The Lone Star State.

Tabor capitalized on inopportune Bulldog errors to take the early-morning affair. The Bluejays took an early 2-0 lead on Concordia pitcher Kylie Harpst, who worked out of multiple jams to keep her team close. But the Bulldog bats were held to just four hits.

LaVelle’s squad bounced back in the weekend capper by knocking off a Statesmen team that had won its previous two games in Texas by counts of 11-2 and 11-1. Third baseman Autumn Owens starred at the plate with a home run and a double to fuel the Concordia attack. Owens began the bottom of the seventh with a two bagger that sparked a three-run rally from two runs down.

“The girls really competed well in that situation,” LaVelle said. “It was a good weekend overall. I was happy to be in 70 degree weather and playing on dirt. We’ll bring it back to the snowy grounds of Concordia and try to fix the problems we witnessed over the weekend.”

LaVelle was encouraged by how his team meshed with a large number of new starters, including freshmen in the middle of the infield in shortstop Jamie Lefebure and second baseman Leah Kalkwarf.

“The freshmen started all five games in the middle infield. I think that was a strength,” LaVelle said. “You just never know how they’re going to react when they jump up a level. They played extremely well. We had the question mark of who was going to start in right field and we tried three or four people there. I think they all played well. A strength of ours was our defense.”

Last year’s workhorse Michaela Woodward got the victory in the circle in game 2. The sophomore from Cortland, Neb., whirled a complete game.

The Bulldogs will wait until March 6 to return to game action. They are scheduled to play 10 games in Tucson, Ariz., from March 6 – 11.