TUCSON, Ariz. – Michaela Woodward did not surrender a single run while pulling overtime duty over a pair of victories for the Concordia University softball team on Friday. The Bulldogs concluded their run at the Tucson Invitational by defeating Lawrence Technological University (Mich.), 1-0, and then the University of Jamestown (N.D.), 6-4 (eight innings).
Fourth-year head coach Todd LaVelle has his team off to a promising 13-5 start. Concordia went 7-2 during its stay in Tucson, where Woodward put forth some of the finest work of her career.
“I would say that was one of her best outings as a Bulldog,” LaVelle said of Woodward’s effort in the shutout of Lawrence Tech. “You could argue it was better than when she threw those five games at the GPAC tournament as a freshman. She had total control of her pitches today and it was fun to watch.
“Lawrence Tech has been playing everybody tough and they’re pitcher was real good today. We had to be on our ‘A’ game to beat them. It was nice win another close one.”
Officially, Woodward struck out eight Blue Devils (8-13) hitters while surrendering five hits over her seven-inning complete game shutout. It marked Woodward’s second shutout of the season, but she wasn’t finished yet. She also took the ball in relief and earned the win over Jamestown (13-10). She threw 2.1 additional scoreless frames as Concordia outlasted the Jimmies in extra innings.
The Bulldogs found a way to finish off the road trip with a win despite giving back what had been a 4-0 lead. Starting pitcher AJ Wygant left the game after 4.1 innings of work and a four-run lead. Baily Clear and Delaney Nance also saw action in the circle before Woodward went back to the rubber.
In the top of the eighth, Megan Ruppert gave Concordia a 5-4 lead with a base hit to score Jamie Lefebure. Ruppert then came around to score on a hit by Kylie Harpst. Woodward shut the door in the bottom half and the Bulldogs wrapped up a successful trip.
“I was proud of the girls today,” LaVelle said. “In that last game, I played 17 girls. That’s a total team effort.
“We really felt like it was a good trip that will help springboard us into conference play. We went 7-2 and were in every game. We got to see a lot of pitchers and see a lot of at bats for different girls. There were a lot of good things. We’re excited to come home and begin conference play.”
Also in the day’s second game, Janey Pasold and Ronee Watson both went 2-for-3.
The Bulldogs are scheduled to play their next 10 games at Plum Creek Park (March 14, 15, 18, 21, 23). Concordia is slated to host Kansas Wesleyan University in a doubleheader at 3 p.m. CT on Tuesday (March 14), the next date listed on the schedule.