Topil, Beeson shine in home-opening twin bill

By on Apr. 2, 2013 in Softball

Topil, Beeson shine in home-opening twin bill

SEWARD, Neb. – Tuesday’s home-opening doubleheader saw game two play out very differently from game one as Concordia split another GPAC doubleheader. The Bulldogs defeated visiting Dordt 9-1 in five innings in the opener prior to a mistake-prone 8-3 loss to complete the twin bill. Head coach Frank Greene’s squad now sits at 8-11 overall and 2-2 in GPAC play.

Concordia entered the game hitting .366 in its previous six games, but struggled until busting loose with a three-run fourth that gave it a 4-1 game one lead. Centerfielder Natalie Svoboda highlighted the inning with a two-run triple down the right field line. Svoboda then came home on a wild pitch.

In the circle, Amanda Beeson won her fourth-straight start by pitching all five innings of the eight-run rule shorted game one. She pushed her GPAC-leading strikeout total to 69 while holding Dordt to one run on four hits and a walk to go with her five punch outs. Beeson and catcher Amber Topil appeared beautifully in sync once again.

“It was pretty impressive how she came out and took care of her business,” Topil said.

Topil, now 11-for-20 over her last seven games after going 3-for-4 on Tuesday, singled and scored as part of a five-run fifth that ended the contest early. The junior catcher from Seward downplayed her current hot streak.

“Definitely lucky,” Topil said. “I sing songs in my head so that works I guess.”

Left fielder Nicole Mapes had the only other base hit in the fifth inning in which Concordia benefited from two walks, two Dordt errors and a hit batter. The Bulldogs needed only four hits in the entire game to mount nine runs.

“The first game – naturally very happy with it to walk out and beat them handily in five innings,” Greene said. “Really felt like we played pretty good softball the first game. We did not hit particularly well – just got away with the four hits that we had. They were timely.”

Concordia, which had won seven of eight games at that point, could not carry over its solid defensive play from game one. The Bulldogs committed three errors and appeared to lose energy late as Dordt continued to tack on runs.

A key turnaround came in the bottom of the third in game two. Concordia got one run when Molly Madsen singled in Danielle Harstad, who had doubled to leadoff the inning. The Bulldogs then loaded the bases with no outs against Dordt starting pitcher Sidney Larson. The Defender right-hander got Svoboda to bounce back to the circle for a 1-2-3 double play and then struck out Allyson Porath to put out the fire and keep the score tied at 3-3.

The Defenders added to that momentum with a single run each in the fourth and fifth innings and then two in the sixth and one in the seventh to dash the Bulldogs’ hopes of a doubleheader sweep.

Just like last week’s GPAC-opening doubleheader at Doane, Concordia could not figure out how to win game two.

“We did not play well (in the second game),” Greene said. “The pitching was fine. Both games pitching was not an issue. Amanda pitched another great game in the first game. Julia (Tyree) pitched a very good game in the second game. It had nothing to do with our pitching today. It had to do with the fact we didn’t play good defense behind Julia.”

Mapes also had a fine day at the plate, going 3-for-8 with two RBIs and a run as she continues to get comfortable in the lead-off role. Svoboda drove in three runs and scored twice in game one.

The Bulldogs step away from conference play on Thursday with another home doubleheader. In-state Peru State (6-16) will serve as the opponent. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. from Plum Creek Park. Both games will be webcast online via the Concordia Sports Network.