BALDWIN CITY, Kan. – After letting game 1 slip away, the Concordia University softball team leaned upon the pitching arm of Michaela Woodward and a solid offensive display to salvage a doubleheader split at Baker University in Baldwin City, Kan., on Sunday afternoon. The host Wildcats won game 1, 4-3. The Bulldogs took the second game, 5-3.
Fourth-year head coach Todd LaVelle’s squad is now 6-3 after splitting its four road games this weekend. Concordia also split a doubleheader at the University of Saint Mary (Kan.) on Saturday.
“I felt we played a lot better than we did yesterday,” LaVelle said. “The girls competed. Defensively we were solid. Kylie (Harpst) pitched well in the first game and we had our chances. We’re still in a phase where we’re tinkering with the lineup and moving people around in the field. We’re using 12 to 13 girls every game. I was pleased with the total team effort. We had a lot more energy today.”
Sophomore Maddie Fousek homered in the opening game and junior Autumn Owens did the same in game 2. In the circle, Woodward has improved to 3-1 with her second complete game of the weekend. She allowed three runs (two earned) on three hits and four walks. She struck out seven. Woodward put out a fire in the bottom of the seventh by inducing two pop outs with runners at first and second.
The three-run sixth inning proved crucial in game 2. It got kick started by a Woodward single. She and Audrey Quandt later scored on Jamie Lefebure’s two-run base hit to center. Another run came in when Leah Kalkwarf was hit by the pitch with the bases loaded. Owens’ homer led off the fourth inning.
Harpst (2-for-4, RBI), Owens (2-for-4, RBI, run) and Megan Ruppert (2-for-2, run, walk) all had two hits to lead the offensive attack in game 2. Fousek was 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored in addition to her home run the first game. Making her first start of the weekend as a pitcher, Harpst went all six innings of game 1 and was charged with four runs on nine hits and two walks.
For Baker (3-5), a member of the Heart of America Athletic Conference, No. 2 hitter Caitlin Hardgrove enjoyed a 4-for-8 day at the plate. She had three hits in game 1. The winning pitcher for the Wildcats was Olivia Brees, who fanned seven Bulldogs in a complete game performance.
Concordia will return to action next Sunday at the Tucson Invitational in Arizona. The Bulldogs are scheduled to play nine games in Tucson from March 5 – 10. On the opening day, Concordia will play both Hiram College (Ohio) and Madonna University (Mich.).