Svoboda, Bulldogs hand Morningside first GPAC loss

By on Apr. 14, 2013 in Softball

Svoboda, Bulldogs hand Morningside first GPAC loss

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Game one of Sunday’s doubleheader saw a recent theme continue as the Concordia bats struggled in a 5-0 shutout loss at Morningside. That’s when the Bulldogs came alive and seized a confidence-building 6-3 game two victory to send the host Mustangs (16-9, 5-1 GPAC) to defeat for the first time in conference play. Head coach Frank Greene’s squad moved to 9-16 overall and 3-5 in GPAC action.

“We beat a very good team in the second game,” Greene said. “We took it to them. We hit the ball well and (Amanda) Beeson pitched very well. I’m impressed by the play of all our kids in that second game.”

Concordia center fielder Natalie Svoboda broke out of a recent slump and served as the catalyst in game two. Svoboda, who had the team’s only two hits in opening game on Sunday, singled in the first run and scored the second as the Bulldogs quickly jumped on top 2-0.

After batting seventh in the game one lineup, Svoboda vaulted up to third for the second game.

“I moved Natalie to the three spot and she tore it up,” Greene said. “She really helped us. It’s so huge just to get on top early. It helps everybody play better and lifts everyone’s spirits.”

After Amanda Baldwin’s fifth-inning homer put Concordia up 3-0, Morningside fought back with two runs of its own in the bottom half of the frame. The Bulldogs got a key run in the sixth when Clarissa Beving singled and wound up scoring on error and then two more wound up coming in to score in the seventh. Baldwin came up big again with a single and a run before Shelby Morose made it 6-2 with an RBI single.

The Mustangs mounted a rally in the seventh with Jordan Johnson’s sac fly that left runners on second and third with two outs. Beeson then recorded the final out with Mackenzie Neely’s deep fly out to left field that the Bulldogs’ Nicole Mapes tracked down just in front of the fence.

Beeson bounced back from her loss last weekend to Northwestern by limiting the Mustang hitters to six hits and three walks while striking out six. Her 87 strikeouts (in 81.1 innings) top the GPAC leaderboard. She also picked up her 10th complete game on Sunday.

Svoboda went a combined 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI to lead the Bulldogs. Baldwin (2-for-3, two runs, one RBI) and second baseman Danielle Harstad (2-for-4) both notched two hits in game two as part of a 10-hit attack.

Morningside’s Johnson out-dueled Concordia starting pitcher Julia Tyree in game one. Johnson limited the Bulldogs to just three base runners. Tyree only gave up three earned runs in a quality outing herself.

The victory over the Mustangs in game two gives Greene and his team confidence that it can be a major player in the GPAC following a frustrating performance last week.

“There’s no reason to think we can’t win the conference tournament,” Greene said. “We’ve played good teams but I don’t see anyone taking charge. You tell me who’s going to win. We may not win the regular season, but I really think we’ll be a threat in the postseason.”

The Bulldogs return to Seward for a busy week of home games at Plum Creek Park. The action begins Tuesday with a doubleheader against in-state foe Bellevue University. First pitch is set for 5 p.m.