SEWARD, Neb. – In the final home date of the 2015 regular season for five seniors, the Concordia University softball team took care of business against an opponent that entered play with a six-game losing streak. The Bulldogs defeated vising Mount Marty by scores of 8-2 and 7-2 at Plum Creek Park on Wednesday evening.
Behind another big doubleheader from junior Julia Tyree at the plate, second-year head coach Todd LaVelle’s squad moved to 21-18 overall and 8-8 in conference action. Concordia finished with a home record of 13-5.
“We have five wonderful seniors who played their last games here at Plum Creek Park,” LaVelle said. “You always want to send them out on top and I think the underclassmen worked really hard to make that happen today. Mount Marty is a good team. They’re a lot better than their record shows. They’ve beaten some quality opponents like Nebraska Wesleyan. We knew we had to come and get things done.”
The Bulldogs never trailed at any point on Wednesday against the last-place Lancers (10-23, 3-15 GPAC). Concordia got two runs in the first inning of both contests while seeing production from its mainstays in the middle of the order. Tyree went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs in game 1 before teeing off with her team-leading seventh homer of the season in the first inning of game 2.
In the circle, Concordia freshman Michaela Woodward took care of all 14 innings and earned two wins to bump her overall record to 12-9. On the day she allowed three earned runs on 12 hits and three walks while striking out eight Lancer hitters.
In what’s been a roller coaster of a season, the Bulldogs trended back up on Wednesday.
“It was big to go out with these two wins because we’ve been kind of up and down,” senior Becca Walker said. “We had two losses yesterday but came out strong today. Hopefully it keeps getting better and springboards us into that next game.”
Walker played a hand in a three-run bottom of the sixth in game 2 that pushed a two-run lead to a five-run cushion. Woodward tripled and scored to get things started. Walker then singled through the left side and scored on fellow senior Molly Madsen’s double to the right center gap. Madsen came around on Autumn Owens’ ensuing RBI single.
Tyree went 3-for-6 with a home run and four RBIs on the day. Sophomore MaKenna Tracy turned in a 3-for-5 (two RBIs) performance, Woodward went 3-for-6 with three runs driven in and catcher Shelby Schacher plated one run in both ends of the twin bill.
Designated player Cassidy Janicek did the most damage for the Lancers. She enjoyed a 4-for-7 evening out of the cleanup spot.
All five Bulldog seniors saw action on Wednesday, including Clarissa Beving, Naomi Greder and Liz Maxwell, who started game 1 at catcher.
The Bulldogs will close the regular season this weekend with a road trip within the GPAC. They get it started with a 1 p.m. doubleheader at Dakota Wesleyan (9-31, 4-12 GPAC) on Saturday and a 2 p.m. twin bill at Morningside (20-17, 8-8 GPAC) on Sunday.
“These past four years spent with amazing young ladies, both past and present, has been a wonderful on and off the field. Thank you so much for this opportunity! God has truly blessed my life and time here at Concordia University by surrounding me with such wonderful, God-fearing and Christ-loving people.”
“The few short years here have been an amazing journey! I owe a huge thank you to all of the incredible people that have touched my life and helped make my college career unforgettable! I have been blessed to receive so much more than just a degree from this institution. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to call my temporary home. I will always be proud to call myself a Bulldog!”
“I would like to thank Concordia for allowing me the opportunity to represent the university. I would also like to thank my family and friends for the love and support they have given me over the last four years and the coaching staff for always pushing me to be my best. I am grateful for the experiences I have gained and the lifelong friendships I have made during my time here.”
“Concordia has been an unexpected blessing to me. God works in mysterious ways and I sure am grateful He sent me here. The people that I’ve met have helped shaped me into the person that I am today. I’ll miss the team, the coaches, the road trips, and just getting to play the game that I love. I’m thankful for everyone and glad to know that I’ll always have a family here.”
“My Experience at Concordia has been one to remember. I am thankful for the friendships I have made and all of the unforgettable memories.”