Two road doubleheaders are set in Sioux City and Yankton

By Chase Benton on Apr. 18, 2024 in Softball

SEWARD, Neb. – After an impressive homestand, the Bulldogs have put themselves in position to fight for a GPAC tournament spot but will need to sustain the success in the final two weeks of the regular season. Concordia will travel for the back to back doubleheaders this weekend, facing off against Briar Cliff on Friday (Apr. 19) and Mount Marty on Saturday. The Dawgs showed out at Plum Creek Park going 5-1 against the likes of Jamestown, Dakota Wesleyan and College of Saint Mary. The improving softball team is 17-21 overall, 7-7 in conference play and are 8-2 at home.

This Week

Friday, April 19 at Briar Cliff (17-16, 5-7 GPAC), 3 p.m. DH
--Live Webcast | Live Stats | Location: Bishop Mueller Complex (Sioux City, Iowa)

Saturday, April 20 at Mount Marty (17-17, 8-6 GPAC), 1 p.m. DH
--Live Webcast | Live Stats | Location: North-East Seratoma Field (Yankton, S.D.)

By the numbers

·       Concordia churned out five wins in four day span and it started with a shutout of Jamestown in games that finished with a 4-3, 11-3 (5 inn.) finals. The Bulldog offense swarmed the Jimmies for 15 runs, 17 hits and 12 RBIs in the two contests combined. Megan Eurich pitched her best game of the weekend in game one, hurling all seven innings (8 H, 3 R, 5 Ks).

·       On senior day, the Dawgs' offense roughed out nine runs in the last two regulation frames to force extra innings with an 11-11 tie. In the bottom of the 10th, Madison Cushing put the ball in play for Kylie Shottenkirk to skip across the plate to seal the comeback. The Bulldogs were able to defeat the Tigers in game two (8-5) of the series in the long-winded night. Many Dawgs had monster days offensively, including Katz (3 H, 4 RBIs, 2 R, SB), Voshell (3 H, 3 RBIs, 2 R, 2 SB), Laycee Josoff (3 H, 3 R, BB) and Van Wey (4 H, 4 R, SB).

·       The bats continued to connect in the series versus College of Saint Mary as the Bulldogs took game one (10-5) and fell in a 9-5 outing that was cut short to five-and-a-half innings due to lightning. The Flames couldn’t overtake Shottenkirk in any at-bat as the Lincoln North Star product was undefeated 4-for-4 with two solo home runs, a two-run double off the back fence, an RBI single, plus three walks. The suddenly red-hot Bulldog lineup notched 15 hits in the first contest, with two apiece coming from Jennifer Katz (2-for-3), Laycee Josoff (2-for-3), Aubriana Krieser (2-for-4), Julia Van Wey (2-for-4) and Aubrey Bruning (2-for-5).

·       Going into the homestand, the Bulldogs had a low batting average (.257) but in the recent 6-game stretch they have churned out .365 as a team. While Shottenkirk provided the thunder on Monday, there were four Bulldogs who hit .400 or better during the six-game home stretch: Van Wey (10-for-21), Krieser (10-for-22), Josoff (7-for-16) and Voshell (8-for-20). In the first 32 games, these four hit for a .249 average but in the mentioned homestand they combined for .443. Coach Culler asked for the big hitters to hit big and for the past six games, they have.

·       Over the 4-0 win streak of Jamestown and Dakota Wesleyan, Van Wey batted .500 (7-for-14) with six runs, a triple, three RBIs and two stolen bases. The Cathedral Catholic, product had a .643 slugging percentage and a .533 on-base percentage. She is batting .316 on the season. Defensively, the third baseman collected six putouts with 15 assists and a .955 fielding percentage. She has a career batting average of .295 and an on-base percentage of .323. She has collected 116 career hits as a Bulldog. 

·       With most teams 14 games into conference play, the standings shake out to a tie at the top between Northwestern (13-1) and Midland (13-1). Two games separate three through eight in the conference totals. Dordt (9-5) and Morningside (9-5) sit tied for third with Mount Marty (8-6) in fifth. Concordia (7-7), Jamestown (7-7), and Briar Cliff (5-7) remain in the top eight and currently have a spot in the GPAC championships.

·       Brock Culler was announced as the 12th head softball coach of Concordia on Jun. 30, 2022. In his first season, it was rough sledding as with most new head coaches in their first year. The second year leader has already surpassed last season with seven wins in the conference and 17 overall with eight games left in the regular season. Missing the conference tournament the previous year, Culler will look to rally his squad to post-season play.

Briar Cliff

The Chargers come into the upcoming contests with a 17-16 overall record and 5-7 in the conference. Briar Cliff recently dropped its two games versus Morningside (8-7, 5-4) in two close outings. The home team averages 5.27 runs per game and has only played four games at home with a .500 (2-2) record. Their batting average is .308 and on-base percentage is .379. Kylee Lukes paces the team in hitting numbers (.436 AVG/.508OBP/.845 SLG) and Karina Cupples is in second (.369 AVG). Georgia Krohn has 14 starts in the pitchers’ circle and an 8-5 record on a 3.97 ERA.

Mount Marty

The Lancers are an even .500 with a 17-17 overall record and an 8-6 conference showing. Mount Marty has won three in a row and seven out of its last eight games. The Lancers are scheduled to take on Midland prior to Saturday. The team hits a .271 batting average, .365 on-base percentage and a .394 slugging percentage. Averaging 4.91 runs per game, Mount Mary’s hitting leader is Autumn Porter with a .394 batting average and .663 slugging percentage. Olivia Valdez has a .438 on-base percentage, a team high with 25-plus at-bats. McKenzie Gray is the majority pitcher and has a 9-10 record on the season.

Next Week

Concordia will travel to Morningside for its last road two-gamer and then return to Plum Creek Park for the final regular season series against Dordt. The Bulldogs will face the Mustangs on Apr. 23 and the Defenders on Apr. 27.