|March 1: All games at Oklahoma Baptist University|
|March 1||(16) St. Gregory's University (Okla.) (1x7)||Shawnee, Okla.||L, 0-12|
|March 1||Dordt College (1x7)||Shawnee, Okla.||W, 11-5|
|March 1||(23) Bethany College (Kan.) (1x7)||Shawnee, Okla.||W, 6-5|
|March 5||York College (2)||York, Neb.||Postponed|
|Spring Break Trip|
|March 8-13||(Times listed are PST)|
|March 8||Holy Names University (2)||Oakland, Calif.||L, 4-5
L, 4-12 (6 inn.)
|March 9||Menlo College (2)||Atherton, Calif.||L, 3-4
|March 12||Simpson University (2)||Redding, Calif.||L, 2-4
L, 0-8 (6 inn.)
|March 13||William Jessup (2)||Rocklin, Calif.||L, 1-7
|March 20||Central Christian College (2)||McPherson, Kan.||W, 8-0
W, 17-4 (5 inn.)
|March 21||Kansas Wesleyan (2)||Salina, Kan.||Canceled|
|March 27||Doane College* (2)||Crete, Neb.||W, 7-0
|Morningside Tournament (March 28-29)|
|March 28||Dickinson State (1x7)||Sioux City, Iowa||Canceled|
|March 28||Jamestown College (1x7)||Sioux City, Iowa||Canceled|
|March 29||Dakota State University (S.D.) (1x7)||Sioux City, Iowa||W, 3-1|
|March 29||Mayville State University (N.D.) (1x7)||Sioux City, Iowa||W, 10-1 (5 inn.)|
|April 2||Dordt College* (2)||Seward, Neb.||W, 9-1 (5 inn.)
|April 4||Peru State (2)||Seward, Neb.||L, 1-6
|April 6||Northwestern College* (2)||Seward, Neb.||L, 0-9 (5 inn.)
|April 10||College of Saint Mary (2)||Seward, Neb.||Canceled|
|April 14||Morningside College* (2)||Sioux City, Iowa||L, 0-5
|April 16||Bellevue University (2)||Seward, Neb.||L, 2-19
|April 20||Mount Marty College* (2)||Seward, Neb.||W, 4-1
|April 21||Briar Cliff University* (2)||Seward, Neb.||L, 4-5
|April 24||Hastings College* (2)||Hastings, Neb.||W, 4-3
L, 2-3 (9 inn.)
|April 25||Midland University* (2)||Fremont, Neb.||L, 2-8
|April 27||Dakota Wesleyan* (2)||Mitchell, S.D.||L, 2-5
W, 4-3 (10 inn.)
|April 30||Nebraska Wesleyan University* (2)||Seward, Neb.||W, 5-1
|May 2-4||Brackets TBA||Sioux City, Iowa||TBA|
*Indicates Great Plains Athletic Conference Games
%Indicates Great Plains Athletic Conference Tournament Games
All Home Games in BOLD
|R/R||OF||5-2||Fr.||Beaver Crossing, Neb.|
Head Coach: Frank Greene
29 JAN 2013
Head coach Frank Greene’s Bulldog softball squad has been placed at No. 5 in the GPAC softball preseason coaches’ poll, the league announced Tuesday.
Last season the Bulldogs were picked to finish third in the GPAC and went on to claim that exact spot with a 13-7 league mark. Only Northwestern (16-2) and Doane (13-5) finished higher than Concordia, which posted a 20-19 overall mark in 2012.
The Bulldogs must replace last season’s top pitcher Nicole Sempek, a first team all-conference selection. However, second team All-GPAC performers in third baseman Molly Madsen and outfielder Natalie Svoboda are back to form the nucleus of a solid lineup.
Morninside is this season’s preseason favorite to make the jump from fourth last year to the top of the conference in 2013. The Mustangs took seven of the 11 first-place votes for 95 points in the poll. Northwestern, Doane and Midland hold down spots two through four, just ahead of the Bulldogs.
Concordia will open its season on March 1 at the Friends Tournament in Wichita, Kan. Conference play gets underway March 23 when Dordt visits Seward for a doubleheader.
2013 GPAC softball preseason coaches’ poll:
*First-place votes in parentheses
1. Morningside – 95 (7)
2. Northwestern – 91 (2)
3. Doane – 76 (1)
4. Midland – 70 (1)
5. Concordia – 61
6. Dordt – 59
7. Hastings – 44
8. Dakota Wesleyan – 40
9. Nebraska Wesleyan – 38
10. Briar Cliff – 17
11. Mount Marty – 14
27 FEB 2013
Updated Feb. 27 at 10:35 a.m.
Due to the heavy snowfall expected in Wichita, Kan., this week, the Friends University (Kan.) softball tournament scheduled for Friday and Saturday has been canceled. Instead of traveling to Friends, head coach Frank Greene will take his squad to Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Okla., for three games on Friday (see schedule below).
The Bulldog softball team will depart Thursday afternoon and arrive in Shawnee, Okla., late Thursday night. Several teams originally scheduled to compete at the Friends Tournament will take part in the newly formed event at Oklahoma Baptist. Concordia will face St. Gregory's (Okla.), GPAC rival Dordt and Bethany (Kan.) as part of Friday's tripleheader.
Schedule for Friday, March 1:
-Game 1: 10 a.m. vs. St. Gregory's University (Okla.)
-Game 2: 12 p.m. vs. Dordt College
-Game 3: 4 p.m. vs. Bethany College (Kan.)
28 FEB 2013
At a glance
2012 Record: 20-19 overall; 13-7 GPAC (3rd)
Head Coach: Frank Greene (12th year)
Record at School: 289-164 overall
Returning Starters: Amanda Baldwin (RF), Amanda Beeson (P), Angela Harstad (DH), Molly Madsen (3B), Nicole Mapes (LF), Shelby Morose (2B), Natalie Svoboda (CF), Amber Topil (C)
Key Losses: Nicole Sempek (P), Alyssa Bauwens (1B)
Key Newcomers: Shelby Pollington-Houska (P), Audrey Sundene (P/OF), Julia Tyree (P/2B)
2012 GPAC All-Conference: Nicole Sempek (first team); Molly Madsen (second team); Natalie Svoboda (second team)
The Concordia softball team begins its 2013 season on Friday, determined to remain a major player in the GPAC title race. Led by 12th-year head coach Frank Greene, the program has grown accustomed to hovering near the top of the league, with the Bulldogs’ last regular-season GPAC title coming in 2008. If Concordia wants to re-live that glory in 2013, it will have to quickly fill the void left by the graduation of star pitcher Nicole Sempek (14-8, 2.33 ERA).
“You never make up for it,” Greene says of losing Sempek. “You just start anew. I think we have excellent pitching.”
That pitching staff will be headlined by junior Amanda Beeson (6-11, 2.80 ERA), who put up solid numbers as a sophomore despite playing with a torn bicep. The Waverly, Neb., native underwent surgery over the summer and is ready to assume the role of staff ace. Her continued development eases the blow of Sempek’s departure.
As does the arrival of freshman Julia Tyree by way of Benicia, Calif. She turned heads with her performance in the fall and has quickly gained the confidence of her coaches and teammates.
“Julia comes with great credentials. She pitched in a very good program in California,” Greene said. “In the fall she pitched extremely well. As a matter of fact, I heard a lot of comments and rumbling from other coaches and other teams about, ‘oh, wow, where did they get her?’ kind of thing.”
Joining Beeson and Tyree on the staff are sophomore Hayley Carstens and freshman Naomi Greder. While Beeson and Tyree figure to get the bulk of the starts in the circle, Greene plans to put all four of his pitchers to use.
They will be backed by a solid group of returners throughout the lineup, including a particularly stacked outfield that includes senior leader Natalie Svoboda. The centerfielder from Lincoln broke out in 2012 with a second team All-GPAC season in which she hit a career best .348 while providing steady defensive play.
“I found my comfort zone. That’s all it was,” Svoboda said. “I went through a really bad slump my sophomore year. Last year I found my comfort zone and really watched the ball.”
Svoboda will be flanked in the lineup by talented holdovers such as sophomore third baseman Molly Madsen, junior shortstop Shelby Morose and senior left fielder Nicole Mapes. Madsen, who hails from Thornton, Colo., could serve as the team’s most dependable power bat after hitting .365 while starting 37 of 39 games in 2012.
“She hit a monster home run in the fall that I think is just kind of an omen of things to come because she has that kind of skill,” Greene said. “But I don’t expect her to hit home runs, I want her to hit consistently. From what I saw in the fall I think she’ll be one of our most consistent hitters.”
Morose’s move from second base last season to shortstop in 2013 represents another key storyline heading into the new season. Greene believes her athleticism will allow her to make the transition a seamless one. Morose hit .273 last season and posted a .978 fielding percentage in 134 total chances.
Mapes and right fielder Amanda Baldwin team with Svoboda as part of an outfield long on experience. The trio combined to make 97 starts in 2012 and could top that number with a season of good health in 2013. Svoboda missed last year’s conference tournament after a late-season collision with Baldwin resulted in a knee injury. Both Baldwin and Mapes hope to duplicate the kind of improvement at the plate that Svoboda made last season.
“They work really hard,” Svoboda said of this group of returnees. “That’s the first thing that comes to mind. Mapes is always putting in the extra time, the extra sprint, doing everything she can do. I can tell that Molly has really been pushing herself as well.”
Senior Angela Harstad (.242) should also figure into the outfield rotation after starting 28 games while serving primarily as a designated hitter in 2012. She will again see time in the DH role as well and provides flexibility in the lineup for Greene.
The right side of the infield will have a new look with the graduation of first baseman Alyssa Bauwens (.292, 5 HR, 17 RBI) and Morose’s move to shortstop. Those two positions have been up for grabs over the offseason, but Greene says that sophomore Liz Maxwell is one of the frontrunners at first base. The Fullerton, Calif., native could see a considerable increase in playing time after appearing in 10 games in 2012.
Second base appears to be a battle among several players, including freshman Danielle Harstad, junior Allyson Porath and Tyree, when she’s not pitching. All three have limited experience in game action.
Catching duties are likely to primarily be handled by junior Amber Topil once again. The Seward native posted a .967 fielding percentage while seeing action in 36 games (35 starts).
Collectively, it’s a Bulldog bunch focused on putting behind the rash of close losses they suffered last season as it learns how to shut the door on their opponents late in games.
“There are a lot of emotions going on (this offseason),” Svoboda said. “People are upset with the way we ended last year. We just want to get back and do better. We’re definitely not just a .500 team. I think Coach said we lost maybe 10 games by one run, so we definitely want to get those 10 games this year.”
Greene oversees a confident program used to competing for top-three finishes in the formidable GPAC. The prospect of finishing fifth – the spot the Bulldogs were placed in the preseason poll by league coaches – does not sit well with Greene or anyone close to the program.
“The reason we were picked fifth is because we lost Nicole Sempek,” Greene said. “So they don’t know about our pitching at this point in time. Everybody says, ‘OK, let’s pick them fifth.’ I’m going, ‘that’s fine.’ It really doesn’t matter. They could have picked us 13th or 11th or whatever there are in the conference. It wouldn’t have made any difference. It’s what you do on the field.”
The Bulldogs are chomping at the bit to get the 2013 season underway. The long offseason finally comes to an end Friday when Concordia plays a tripleheader of games at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Okla. Concordia will play No. 16 St. Gregory’s (Okla.), Dordt and No. 23 Bethany (Kan.) while in Shawnee. The non-conference schedule also provides Concordia the opportunity to travel to the San Francisco area over spring break to take on several Golden State squads.
The GPAC slate begins March 23 when Dordt visits Seward for a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m.
01 MAR 2013
SHAWNEE, Okla. – Head coach Frank Greene’s softball squad began the 2013 campaign with a tripleheader of challenging games at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Okla., on Friday. After getting thumped 12-0 by No. 16 St. Gregory’s (Okla.) in their first game, the Bulldogs responded with an 11-5 win over Dordt and then a 6-5 confidence-boosting upset of No. 23 Bethany to close the season’s first day.
“Everybody played well at every position for us,” Greene said. “Danielle (Harstad) was very steady in her first start at shortstop with good, consistent play. I’ve got great things to say about all of them. We really saw the type of spirit we want to have in Bulldog softball.”
A Concordia offensive attack that scratched out just a single infield single in the opener against St. Gregory’s, came alive against GPAC rival Dordt in the 11-5 victory. The Bulldogs connected for a flurry of home runs on the day, including one by star senior outfielder Natalie Svoboda.
Greene was just as pleased with his team’s ability to execute its bunt attempts, something he pointed out as an area in need of improvement heading into the season.
“I’m really happy with the win over Bethany and how we beat them at their own game,” Greene said. “We got down three bunts in a row. That was something we had to work on coming into this season. That changed the whole perspective of the game.”
Greene also cited the solid work of his pitching staff on Friday. Senior Amanda Beeson, sophomore Hayley Carstens and freshman Julia Tyree all saw action in the circle on the day. With veteran catcher Amber Topil behind the plate, the trio of hurlers put together a nice effort for the first time out.
“Bethany got a grand slam to go ahead of us 5-3 and we just kept on fighting and got the result we wanted,” Greene said. “It was very much a team game. Everyone contributed. We played good defense and our pitchers threw well.”
With the Concordia’s expected arrival time back in Seward set at about 2 a.m. Saturday, Greene said his team’s play made it all worth it.
The Oklahoma Baptist softball festival took the place of the Friends University Tournament, which had originally been scheduled for March 1-2. That event was wiped out by snow and cold weather.
Next up for the Bulldogs is a doubleheader at York College on Tuesday. First pitch is set for 4:30 p.m. It will be Concordia’s final tune up before heading to California for eight games in the San Francisco area over spring break.
04 MAR 2013
Tuesday's (March 5) scheduled softball doubleheader at York College has been postponed due to cold temperatures and unplayable conditions caused by unfavorable winter weather. The games are expected to be made up at a later date. Check the softball schedule page for the most up-to-date information.
Head coach Frank Greene's Bulldogs now look forward to their spring break trip to California. They will begin play in The Golden State on Friday with a doubleheader at Holy Names University.
08 MAR 2013
Head coach Frank Greene’s Bulldog softball squad began its spring break tour of California with a pair of losses at Holy Names University on Friday. The host Hawks won by scores of 5-4 and 12-4 over Concordia in Hayward, Calif. The Bulldogs (2-3) will play three more doubleheaders between now and March 13 before leaving the Golden State.
In game one, Concordia took a 2-0 lead after two innings and held a 3-2 lead as late as the bottom of the sixth. That’s when Holy Names struck for three runs with the big blow being a two-run triple by the Hawks’ Alexis Moctezuma that gave them the lead.
The Bulldogs made some noise in the top of the seventh when Angela Harstad singled in Natalie Svoboda, who had tripled to lead off the inning. However, Harstad never moved from first base as the next three hitters were retired in order.
Junior right-hander Amanda Beeson took the game one loss, her second of the season in three starts, after tossing a six-inning complete game. She allowed four earned runs on nine hits and two walks while striking out six.
At the plate, both Svoboda (3-for-4) and Molly Madsen (2-for-4) struck for multiple hits as part of a 10-hit attack in game one. Svoboda scored two of the team’s four runs.
Game two was won decisively by the Hawks (5-21), who added a run in the bottom half of the sixth to invoke the eight-run rule. Holy Names tagged freshman starting pitcher Julie Tyree for 13 hits in 3.2 innings. Her record dropped to 2-1.
Freshman Danielle Harstad shined at the plate in game two with a 3-for-3 day that included an RBI. Nicole Mapes went 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI.
Svoboda ended up 4-for-7 on the day, continuing her red-hot start to the season. She is batting .471 (8-for-17) with a home run in five games in 2013.
Concordia will continue action in California on Saturday with a doubleheader at Menlo College (9-13) beginning at 1 p.m. CST. Both games will be played at Wunderlich Field in Atherton, Calif. The Oaks are 5-3 so far this season at home.
09 MAR 2013
By Taylor Muller, Sports Information Assistant
In day two of their spring break tour across the Golden State, the women’s softball team fell short twice to Menlo College, losing 4-3 and 3-0. The losses move the Bulldogs to 2-5 on the season.
Coming off an upset victory of ninth-ranked Oregon Tech a week ago, Menlo continued its hot hitting in the bottom of the first inning after two solo-shots put the Bulldogs in an early 2-0 hole.
Junior pitcher Amanda Beeson kept the Oaks quiet for the next 3.2 innings until a Jessica Soliai double knocked in two runs to put the Oaks up 4-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning.
The Bulldogs struggled offensively, earning only one hit through the first five innings against a solid pitching performance from Justine Roscoe (7-2).
The Bulldogs answered in the top of the sixth with some runs of their own. Senior Natalie Svoboda got things started with a two-out double. Freshman Danielle Harstad followed by reaching base on a Menlo fielding error. That brought up Freshman Julia Tyree, who took full advantage of the two base runners when she sent a homerun over the left field fence, bringing Concordia to within one run at 4-3.
The Bulldogs held the Oaks in the bottom of the sixth, but went down one-two-three to end the game.
Beeson (0-3) finished her complete game allowing eight hits and three walks against 23 batters, while fanning three Oaks.
Tyree led the offensive charge going 2-3 from the plate with three RBI’s.
The Oaks controlled game from the beginning. Menlo’s hitting and aggressive base-running helped score two runs off a double to put the Bulldogs behind 2-0.
Freshman Julia Tyree regained her composure and showed her versatility as she pitched three and 2/3 shutout innings before a sacrifice bunt brought in another Menlo run to put the Bulldogs behind 3-0.
Tyree wasn’t done yet, and with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, she doubled to deep right-center, advancing senior outfielder Nicole Mapes into scoring position. A pop-fly out ended the game, however, as the Bulldogs were handed their fourth straight loss of their California tour.
"Julia Tyree, played lights out for us, particularly in the second game,” head coach Frank Greene said. “She pitched very well. She hit a home run in the first game and almost had one in the second game. She's playing very well for us."
Tyree finished her day’s work surrendering five hits through six innings and walking just one batter while striking out four Oaks. Tyree stayed hot from the plate, going 2-3.
Greene explained what the Bulldogs need to do to perform better and credited Menlo with a solid defensive effort.
"We're not scoring enough runs with the opportunities we're getting,” Greene said. “We get runners on, we're just not getting them in. The upside is that we hit the ball hard today. They made some fabulous plays. Their shortstop was outstanding. We're not blessed with a huge amount of speed so it's difficult to manufacture runs. We've got to make runs happen, and the way we do that is by hitting the ball well."
Greene believes his team has a lot of upside, and is confident they will improve.
"Going forward I think we're going to be an outstanding team,” Greene said. “We've just got to rid ourselves of some of the mistakes. We're hitting the ball hard. We're close."
Next up will be a trip to Redding, Calif., where the Bulldogs will take on Simpson College in more doubleheader action on Tuesday, March 12.
12 MAR 2013
The Bulldog bats went cold as they were swept in a doubleheader at Simpson University in Redding, Calif., on Tuesday afternoon. The host Red Hawks won by scores of 4-2 and 8-0 to improve their record to 13-8 on the season. Concordia softball fell to 2-7 overall and remains winless in The Golden State after completing six of its first eight games in the San Francisco area.
“We didn’t hit the ball well,” head coach Frank Greene said. “We had runners on in the first game, but not so much in the second game. We were in both games – the first one for sure. We let them get three runs in the fifth.
“We’ve got enough hitters that we should be scoring more runs. We have to put the bat on the ball. It’s as simple as that. At times we made good contact, but it didn’t go anywhere.”
Junior right-hander Amanda Beeson made her fifth start in the circle in game one and kept the Bulldogs in it. She struck out seven and allowed seven hits in a six-inning complete-game performance. It was her third complete game already this season.
“It was a real strong outing for Amanda,” Greene said. “She pitched a good game. I just don’t think we gave her the run support she needed.”
Concordia trailed just 1-0 in a pitcher’s dual heading into the fifth inning. Simpson extended its lead to 4-0 by adding three runs in the bottom of the fifth.
The Bulldogs then tallied their only two runs of the day in the sixth inning to cut the deficit in half. With two outs and no one on base, sophomore Molly Madsen doubled. Sophomore Liz Maxwell reached on an error to put runners on the corners. Sophomore Clarissa Beving and junior Amber Topil followed with an RBI double each.
However, Concordia went down quietly in the seventh and could not overcome 12 strikeouts in the opening game of the day. In the two games, the Bulldogs mustered only six combined hits.
Freshman Julia Tyree got her fourth start as a pitcher in game two. The Red Hawks managed to catch on to the young right-hander from Benicia, Calif., and ended up winning by the eight-run rule by tacking on three runs in the sixth.
Concordia will complete its eight-game California tour on Wednesday with a doubleheader at William Jessup. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. CST/2 p.m. PST in Rocklin, Calif. Both games can be heard live online via theConcordia Sports Network with Mike Meyer calling the action.
13 MAR 2013
Head coach Frank Greene’s Bulldog softball team looked to salvage its spring break trip on Wednesday by capping the eight-game road trip with a strong performance at William Jessup University. However, the Warrior pitchers dominated the Concordia hitters and swept the doubleheader by scores of 7-1 and 5-0 in Rocklin, Calif.
The Bulldogs combined for only four hits in the two games after struggling on Tuesday at Simpson University. Concordia did not manage a run in game one until the seventh and final inning when junior Amanda Baldwin tripled and then scored on Amber Topil’s groundout to second.
Concordia (2-9) again went with junior Amanda Beeson in the circle for game one and freshman Julia Tyree in game two. Tyree held up well through two innings as she kept William Jessup (18-8) off the scoreboard until a five-run outburst in the third inning. Tyree hurled all six innings in game two.
Beeson fired a six-inning complete game and gave up seven runs (four earned) on 10 hits and two walks to go along with three strikeouts. Once again she got little support from the Concordia hitters.
Hits were even more difficult to come by in game two. Warrior starter Andrea Lutz tossed a seven-inning perfect game as she set down all 21 batters she faced. Lutz struck out nine while recording the rest of the dozen outs on the ground.
In addition to Baldwin’s triple in game one, Liz Maxwell, Natalie Svoboda and Topil notched one hit apiece.
Junior Shelby Morose played in her first game of 2013 as she got the start at shortstop in game two. An injury had sidelined her for the first 10 contests.
Greene now hopes Concordia can regroup after a frustrating trip offensively. He believes the difficult nonconference slate will have it ready for GPAC play, which begins later this month.
The Bulldogs’ spring break California trip is now complete. They will return to action on March 20 when they travel to McPherson, Kan., to take on Central Christian College in a doubleheader set to begin at 2 p.m. Concordia will also challenge Kansas Wesleyan the next day in Salina, Kan. The home opener at Plum Creek Park is slated for Saturday, March 23 versus Dordt in a GPAC doubleheader.
The Concordia softball team will first enjoy a relaxing day of sight-seeing in California on Thursday before returning home on Friday.
19 MAR 2013
Thursday's scheduled softball doubleheader at Kansas Wesleyan has been canceled. Head coach Frank Greene's Bulldogs are still scheduled to play Central Christian College (Kan.) in McPherson, Kan., in a 2 p.m. doubleheader on Wednesday.
Concordia is also set to host Dordt at for a doubleheader at 1 p.m. at Plum Creek Park on Saturday. Make sure to check back on ConcordiaBulldogs.com for any possible weather canceleations throughout the season.
20 MAR 2013
Saturday's scheduled softball doubleheader versus Dordt has been postponed due to cold forecasted temperatures. Instead, the games will be played Tuesday, April 2 at 4 p.m. at Plum Creek Park in Seward.
Please check the softball schedule page for the most updated information.
20 MAR 2013
McPHERSON, Kan. – Junior right-hander Amanda Beeson could do no wrong in Concordia’s doubleheader sweep at Central Christian College on Wednesday afternoon. The native of Waverly, Neb., did it with both her pitching arm and her bat in leading the Bulldogs to 8-0 and 17-4 wins over the host Tigers. Concordia improved to 4-9 on the young season.
Beeson was nearly untouchable in her game one performance. She fired a seven-inning, three-hit shutout that included a career-high 13 strikeouts. That number topped her previous career best of 11 strikeouts her freshman year against Sioux Falls (S.D.). She now has 46 punch outs in 43.1 innings this season.
“Amanda’s pitched good games, but we haven’t won because we haven’t given her enough support,” head coach Frank Greene said. “I think she’s pitched great this season. We just got her more runs today.”
Beeson followed that masterful effort in the circle with a 3-for-3 day at the plate in game two to power Concordia to a five-inning, eight-run rule win. She added four RBIs and two runs in the 17-4 whipping of Central Christian (4-12). She got the outburst going with a run-scoring single as part of a nine-run first inning.
Eight of nine Bulldogs in the game two starting lineup recorded at least one hit with five tallying two or more hits. Angela Harstad (3-for-4, three runs, two RBIs) and Liz Maxwell (3-for-4, one RBI) joined Beeson in the three-hit club. As a team, Concordia pounded out 16 hits – four for extra bases.
“We didn’t do anything magical,” Greene said. “We ran the bases well and we hit the ball. We got a couple wins that we needed before conference play.”
Molly Madsen, who started both games at first base on Wednesday, went a combined 3-for-6 with four runs and three RBIs on the day. Centerfielder Natalie Svoboda rebounded from an 0-for-4 game one with a 2-for-4 game two. Greene notes the importance of getting both standouts going with the bat.
Julia Tyree picked up her third win of the season by throwing a solid game of her own in the final contest of the day. She picked up a five-inning complete game and gave up only one earned run on five hits and a walk while striking out six.
Like game two, the Bulldogs pounced on top of the Tigers early and pushed across five runs in the first inning. Other highlights in the opening contest included catcher Amber Topil’s two-run double and third baseman Hayley Carsten’s two hits in three at bats.
Concordia, not known as a speed team, swiped a combined eight bases in the two games. Each of the eight stolen bases were recorded by different individuals.
With doubleheaders on Thursday and Saturday already canceled because of unseasonably cold weather forecasts, Concordia’s next scheduled games are set for Tuesday, March 26 at Doane (2 p.m.).
Wednesday’s offensive surge gives the Bulldogs added confidence with the GPAC slate looming.
“It’s a boost,” Greene said. “The fact is that the games (in California) are over and we’re moving forward. This will certainly help. I still have high expectations. I think this team could win the conference, but we have to play like it. When it’s time to step up, we will.”
25 MAR 2013
The Concordia softball team will play a doubleheader at Doane on Wednesday at 2 p.m. The games were originally scheduled for Tuesday. The change was made based on a more favorable weather forecast for Wednesday.
The Bulldogs, 4-9 overall, will challenge the Tigers in what will be the conference-opening doubleheader for both teams. Doane holds a record of 5-13.
25 MAR 2013
UPDATED: March 25 at 11:15 a.m.
Concordia's scheduled games for Thursday at the Morningside Tournament have been canceled due to unfavorable weather conditions. The Bulldogs' two Friday games at the Morningside Tournament will be played as scheduled.
Alterations will also made to Friday's schedule. Concordia will now take on Dakota State University (S.D.) at 11 a.m. on Friday and then conclude the day against Mayville State University (N.D.) at 1 p.m. Both games will be played in Sioux City, Iowa.
26 MAR 2013
Concordia junior right-handed pitcher Amanda Beeson has earned GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Pitcher of the Week honors, the conference announced on Tuesday.
Beeson collects the weekly honor after racking up a career best 13 strikeouts as part of a seven-inning, three-hit shutout at Central Christian College (Kan.) in the Bulldogs’ 8-0 victory in game one of a doubleheader on March 20. With those 13 punch outs, Beeson took over the GPAC lead with 46 in 43.2 innings
The Waverly, Neb., native then went 3-for-3 at the plate in the second game of the doubleheader – a 17-4 thrashing of Central Christian. She also drove in four runs and scored twice.
As Concordia’s ace pitcher, Beeson leads the team in innings and has fired five complete games in seven starts. She carries and ERA of 4.52 on the season.
27 MAR 2013
CRETE, Neb. – For first time this season, Concordia softball took the diamond in the state of Nebraska in a GPAC-opening doubleheader at Doane (6-14, 1-1 GPAC). The Bulldogs used another strong performance from junior right-handed pitcher Amanda Beeson to ride to a 7-0 game one victory prior to a 4-3 loss in game two. The Bulldogs moved to 5-10 overall and began conference play at 1-1.
Beeson threw her second-straight shutout to extend her scoreless streak to 14.2 innings (including 1/3 inning of relief in game two). On Wednesday she scattered eight Doane hits and two walks and struck out six. On several occasions she tightened the screws with runners on base to keep the Tigers off the scoreboard.
“The biggest thing is that I’ve changed a lot of my mechanics,” Beeson said. “You go in knowing you have to adjust on the mound. That’s the biggest thing, and my teammates help me know when to adjust. They say, ‘hey, amp it up or tone it back.’ So it was really a team effort today.”
The day’s first game saw a scoreless pitcher’s duel through three innings until the Bulldogs broke the ice in a big way in the top half of the fourth. Concordia brought eight batters to the plate as part of a five-run, six-hit inning. Nicole Mapes topped it off with a two-run single down the right field line two batters after three-consecutive RBI singles delivered by Molly Madsen, Amber Topil and Angela Harstad.
Beeson, the reigning GPAC Pitcher of the Week, worked her way out of a jam like Houdini in the bottom of the fourth inning when the Tigers loaded the bases with no out. Beeson then induced a pop up to short from Alyssa Maraia that resulted in a double play as the runner from third strayed too far off the base. After a hit by pitch, Beeson struck out Amber Alvarez to end the threat.
“She did a great job in the circle, but it takes the whole team to win,” Concordia head coach Frank Greene said. “But she does a great job for us out there. Topil did a great job calling pitches for that game. That combination is what really makes a difference. I thought they did a good job working together.”
Concordia added some insurance in the seventh with Madsen’s RBI single and Topil’s RBI double that launched over the left fielder’s head to cap the game’s scoring. Madsen and Topil each went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a run in game one. Two of Topil’s hits were doubles.
The night cap ended in controversy as Doane walked off a winner with a run on a squeeze bunt in the bottom of the seventh. The Tiger’s Kelsey Huenink bunted back to Beeson, who relieved starter Julia Tyree. Beeson flipped the ball to Topil at the plate, but the umpire ruled that Whitney Hinn got under the tag safely, ending the game.
Concordia tied the game, 3-3, in the top of the seventh when Tyree’s grounder to short was misplayed, allowing Danielle Harstad to charge home from third with two outs. Down to their final out and no one on base, the Bulldogs loaded them up with a walk, a hit batter and a Topil infield hit.
The Bulldogs got on top right away in game two with third baseman Danielle Harstad’s laser of a double to left center to score the first run. Madsen then cracked yet another RBI single to provide Tyree a two-run cushion.
Doane got one run in the bottom of the first and then one in the third to tie the score. The Tigers took the lead when Kelsey Huenink drew a bases-loaded walk with two outs in the fifth.
Madsen and Topil, Concordia’s Nos. 5 and 6 hitters in the lineup, starred at the plate. Madsen went 4-for-7 on the day with three RBIs and a run. Topil turned in a 4-for-8 performance with two RBIs and a run.
“It was nice to get a win to open the conference,” Greene said. “We should have had two. Last one we had plenty of opportunities, we just didn’t cash. We left a lot of runners on base. We left three on in the last inning. That’s just something you don’t want to do very often.”
The game time temperature hovered around 50 degrees with a steady wind from the south that blew out to left field in Crete.
Concordia will close the weekend with a pair of games at the Morningside Invitational Softball Tournament on Friday. The Bulldogs play Dakota State University (S.D) (8-6) at 11 a.m. and then Mayville State University (N.D.) (2-8) at 1 p.m. Both games will take place in Sioux City, Iowa.
29 MAR 2013
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Junior right-handed pitcher Amanda Beeson continued her dominance in the circle as the Bulldogs won twice at the Morningside Softball Invitational Tournament in Sioux City, Iowa, on Friday. Head coach Frank Greene’s squad defeated Dakota State University (S.D.) 3-1 prior to clobbering Mayville State University (N.D.) 10-1 in the final game of the day.
The Bulldogs, winners of five of their last six, boosted their record to 7-10.
“We’re playing with a little more consistency,” head coach Frank Greene said. “We still have work to do and everyone knows that, but we are progressing. We had a couple communication plays that worked out well because everyone talked. It’s not as easy as you think. That communication is very important.”
Once again Beeson (3-5) stole the show with a masterful performance, falling one strike short of a third-straight shutout on the way to recording the game one win. Beeson’s scoreless streak was finally snapped at 21.1 innings when she surrendered a run to Dakota State (8-7) with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. She struck out 12 to give her 64 punch outs in 57.2 innings this season.
“She feels more comfortable and she looks more comfortable,” Greene said. “And (catcher Amber) Topil calls a good game. They work well together. Amanda was very calm in the circle and that usually leads to doing well.”
Freshman Danielle Harstad provided much of the offense in game one with a sacrifice fly and a booming home run to left field in the sixth to give Beeson more breathing room. Her sister Angela also added a run-scoring single as part of a two-run third.
Concordia then slugged its way to a 10-1 victory in game two behind 13 hits. Four Bulldogs mustered two or more hits in the blowout win over Mayville State (2-9): Angela Harstad (3-for-4, double), Topil (2-for-3, double, triple), Liz Maxwell (2-for-3) and Danielle Harstad (2-for-4).
Freshman Julia Tyree (4-5) tossed a complete game and allowed only two hits and one earned run against Mayville State. Beeson and Tyree have thrown all but 2.2 innings through the first 17 games of the season.
Over her last three starts, Beeson has given up just a single run in 21 innings of work. She has won all three games and struck out 30 during that stretch.
Concordia returns home for a busy week of action against GPAC foes at Plum Creek Park. The Bulldogs will host four GPAC doubleheaders between Tuesday and Sunday. Up next is a pair of games versus Dordt at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.
02 APR 2013
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.
04 APR 2013
SEWARD, Neb. – Concordia struggled at the plate all afternoon as visiting Peru State swept the nonconference twin bill at Plum Creek Park on Thursday. The Bobcats (9-17) held the Bulldogs to just six combined hits in the doubleheader sweep as Concordia fell to 1-3 on the homestand. The Bulldogs dropped to 8-13 overall.
“We hit some sharp balls in the last game – didn’t get through, but we showed signs of making good contact,” Bulldog head coach Frank Greene said. “We were down and out the first game. It was 6-0 but the kids didn’t quit.
“There were some things that were positive, and you’ve got to build on those things.”
Seward native Lauren Johnson pitched a gem in game one against the Bulldogs, holding them to one unearned run on three hits. Concordia got its only run with the help of a Bobcat error that extended the bottom of the seventh. Shelby Morose’s RBI single drove in the lone run of the day, but it was too little too late.
The Bulldogs got another solid outing from right-handed pitcher Amanda Beeson, whose four-game winning streak was snapped on Thursday. The Waverly, Neb., native scattered nine hits and allowed only two earned runs in a seven-inning complete game. Beeson now has nine complete games on the season.
Freshman Julia Tyree pitched the second game and held up well until Peru State struck for three runs in the fifth and then four in the seventh to put the contest out of reach. The Bobcats tallied 11 hits in game two, led by the 3-for-4 effort from leadoff hitter Traci Bohlmeyer (5-for-7 in the doubleheader).
Peru State also held down Concordia junior catcher Amber Topil, who had entered the day 11-for-20 over her last seven games. Topil had just one hit in the doubleheader.
Greene hopes the Bulldogs can regroup for an important weekend full of GPAC action. He knows things can turn quickly if his team can regain the form that saw them win five of six games and bat .366 during that stretch prior to the current homestand.
“I love the effort they give me,” Greene said of his student-athletes. “They’re not trying to lose. Things are a little frustrating right now, but that’s the game of softball. You go through ups and downs.
“We’ll try to pick it back up and see what we can do. Three or four wins this weekend would change a lot of things.”
The Bulldogs, in the middle of an eight-game homestand, welcome Northwestern on Saturday for a 1 p.m. doubleheader. Concordia will then host Briar Cliff on Sunday for a twin bill that begins at 2 p.m. All of this weekend’s games will be viewable online via theConcordia Sports Network.
06 APR 2013
SEWARD, Neb. – Concordia’s struggles continued on Saturday afternoon as visiting Northwestern swept the Bulldogs in a GPAC doubleheader at Plum Creek Park. The Red Raiders (14-15, 4-2 GPAC) won by scores of 9-0 in the five-inning first game and then 12-3 to close the twin bill. Concordia fell to 8-15 overall, 2-4 in league play and 1-5 on the homestand.
“It’s frustrating right now, but hopefully we can find a way to overcome,” Bulldog head coach Frank Greene said. “We talked a little about it when we went out there and met (after the games). It comes down to somewhere out of here we’ve got to break out of this thing.”
Game one featured a great pitcher’s duel between Concordia’s Amanda Beeson and Northwestern’s Keely Bracelin. That is until the Red Raiders figured Beeson out in the fifth and exploded for nine runs to break a scoreless tie. Northwestern batted around and pounded out nine hits in the inning after being held to just a single hit through the first four innings.
Beeson, a native of Waverly, Neb., still managed to strike out seven and pushed her GPAC-leading total to 80 punch outs on the season. She was lifted with two outs in the fifth inning with Northwestern leading 7-0.
Concordia finally broke a 15-inning scoreless drought with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth of game two. Left fielder Nicole Mapes, who cracked the Bulldogs’ only hit in game one, got Concordia on the board with an RBI single. Pitcher Julia Tyree followed with an RBI single of her own.
The Bulldogs got one more in the sixth when Tyree’s ground out to third scored Amanda Baldwin, who had reached base via an error on the Red Raider pitcher.
Game two marked an improvement offensively with Concordia tallying eight hits after only one in the opening contest on Saturday. However, the Bulldogs committed six errors that led to five unearned runs charged to Tyree.
Offense was not an issue for Northwestern from the fifth inning of game one through the rest of the day. The Red Raiders, pegged for second in the GPAC by the preseason coaches’ poll, recorded a combined 22 hits on the day. They were led by their top two hitters in the order – Jill Kleinhesselink (4-for-8, four runs, one RBI) and Clarissa Ipema (4-for-7, three runs, two RBIs). No. 3 hitter Alex Price drove in six runs on the day.
Bulldog shortstop Danielle Harstad went 3-for-3 with a trio of singles in game two. She boosted her team team-leading batting average to .353.
Despite recent struggles, Greene still believes his team can be competitive in the conference. The Bulldogs know they still have plenty of season left with seven GPAC doubleheaders remaining on the slate.
“I’m not going to quit,” Greene said. “I’m not going to quit on them and I’m hoping they’re not going to quit either. You just don’t quit on each other. You get after it. That’s about the only choice that you have. Hopefully we can find the right attitude to come through this.”
With Sunday’s games postponed, the Bulldogs’ next scheduled doubleheader will take place on Tuesday at Hastings College. First pitch is set for 5 p.m.
08 APR 2013
Sunday's postponed home softball doubleheader between Concordia and Briar Cliff has been rescheduled for Friday, April 19. First pitch for game one is slated for 4 p.m.
The schedule adjustment means the the Bulldogs will play five home doubleheaders in a six-day stretch from April 16 - 21.
09 APR 2013
Cold and rainy weather has caused a couple of changes to this week's softball schedule. Tuesday's games at Hastings have been rescheduled for Wednesday, April 24 (5 p.m.) and this Wednesday's home doubleheader against College of Saint Mary has been canceled.
The next scheduled games for the Bulldogs are Sunday when they take on Morningside in Sioux City, Iowa, for a 1 p.m. twin bill.
14 APR 2013
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Game one of Sunday’s doubleheader saw a recent theme continue as the Concordia bats struggled in a 5-0 shutout loss at Morningside. That’s when the Bulldogs came alive and seized a confidence-building 6-3 game two victory to send the host Mustangs (16-9, 5-1 GPAC) to defeat for the first time in conference play. Head coach Frank Greene’s squad moved to 9-16 overall and 3-5 in GPAC action.
“We beat a very good team in the second game,” Greene said. “We took it to them. We hit the ball well and (Amanda) Beeson pitched very well. I’m impressed by the play of all our kids in that second game.”
Concordia center fielder Natalie Svoboda broke out of a recent slump and served as the catalyst in game two. Svoboda, who had the team’s only two hits in opening game on Sunday, singled in the first run and scored the second as the Bulldogs quickly jumped on top 2-0.
After batting seventh in the game one lineup, Svoboda vaulted up to third for the second game.
“I moved Natalie to the three spot and she tore it up,” Greene said. “She really helped us. It’s so huge just to get on top early. It helps everybody play better and lifts everyone’s spirits.”
After Amanda Baldwin’s fifth-inning homer put Concordia up 3-0, Morningside fought back with two runs of its own in the bottom half of the frame. The Bulldogs got a key run in the sixth when Clarissa Beving singled and wound up scoring on error and then two more wound up coming in to score in the seventh. Baldwin came up big again with a single and a run before Shelby Morose made it 6-2 with an RBI single.
The Mustangs mounted a rally in the seventh with Jordan Johnson’s sac fly that left runners on second and third with two outs. Beeson then recorded the final out with Mackenzie Neely’s deep fly out to left field that the Bulldogs’ Nicole Mapes tracked down just in front of the fence.
Beeson bounced back from her loss last weekend to Northwestern by limiting the Mustang hitters to six hits and three walks while striking out six. Her 87 strikeouts (in 81.1 innings) top the GPAC leaderboard. She also picked up her 10th complete game on Sunday.
Svoboda went a combined 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI to lead the Bulldogs. Baldwin (2-for-3, two runs, one RBI) and second baseman Danielle Harstad (2-for-4) both notched two hits in game two as part of a 10-hit attack.
Morningside’s Johnson out-dueled Concordia starting pitcher Julia Tyree in game one. Johnson limited the Bulldogs to just three base runners. Tyree only gave up three earned runs in a quality outing herself.
The victory over the Mustangs in game two gives Greene and his team confidence that it can be a major player in the GPAC following a frustrating performance last week.
“There’s no reason to think we can’t win the conference tournament,” Greene said. “We’ve played good teams but I don’t see anyone taking charge. You tell me who’s going to win. We may not win the regular season, but I really think we’ll be a threat in the postseason.”
The Bulldogs return to Seward for a busy week of home games at Plum Creek Park. The action begins Tuesday with a doubleheader against in-state foe Bellevue University. First pitch is set for 5 p.m.
16 APR 2013
SEWARD, Neb. – Bellevue showed why it is receiving votes in the national poll as it rolled over Concordia 19-2 and 12-0 in run-ruled shortened games on a chilly Tuesday night. An 11-run first inning for the Bruins in game one set the tone for a rough day for the host Bulldogs in non-conference action. Concordia slumped to 9-18 overall.
Bellevue pounded out 32 combined hits in the doubleheader to run its mark to 26-7. The Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference leader slugged 16 extra base hits, including four home runs on the day. Shortstop Amanda Neumann cleaned up, going 6-for-7 with two home runs, eight RBIs and five runs in the doubleheader.
The Bulldogs got their only two runs on the evening in the third inning of game one on Angela Harstad’s single to right that brought home Liz Maxwell and Clarissa Beving. Starting pitcher Julia Tyree notched Concordia’s only other hit in the game.
The Bulldogs managed four hits in the second game, but never more than one in a single inning as Bellevue’s Shelby Kindelin fired a five-inning shutout.
The Bulldogs continue a busy week at home with doubleheaders at Plum Creek Park on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday – all against GPAC foes. These games will all be webcast live via the Concordia Sports Network.
17 APR 2013
Inclement weather has resulted in a postponement of Wednesday evening's scheduled home softball doubleheader between the Bulldogs and Nebraska Wesleyan. The games will be made up on April 30 with first pitch at 5 p.m. from Plum Creek Park.
Head coach Frank Greene's squad is scheduled to take on Briar Cliff in a doubleheader at Plum Creek Park on Friday. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.
18 APR 2013
Inclement weather has forced Concordia to move Friday's scheduled softball doubleheader with Briar Cliff to Sunday at 12 p.m. The Bulldogs will also play Mount Marty at 12 p.m. on Saturday, making for a busy weekend at Plum Creek Park.
20 APR 2013
SEWARD, Neb. – Head coach Frank Greene’s Bulldogs rebounded from a rough outing on Tuesday and navigated muddy Plum Creek Park on the way to 4-1 and 6-2 victories over visiting Mount Marty on Saturday afternoon. All three Bulldog seniors honored as part of Senior Day on Saturday stepped up in a big way to help even the team’s GPAC record at 5-5. Concordia sits at 11-18 overall.
“I couldn’t have asked for more from our three seniors than what they did today,” Greene said.
Left fielder Natalie Svoboda, a Lincoln, Neb., native, combined to go 4-for-6 with four RBIs and three runs in the doubleheader as she winds down her career as a Bulldog. Svoboda helped set the tone for the day by driving in the first run of game one with a bunt base hit down the third base line.
Fellow seniors Angela Harstad and Nicole Mapes also put forth some fine efforts on the diamond. Harstad collected a triple in each game and Mapes went 2-for-4 in game two. However, it was Mapes’ play at shortstop that had Greene raving afterwards. Mapes just recently moved back to the infield after playing mostly outfield the past two seasons.
“Nicole Mapes rolled two double plays. She hadn’t played shortstop for two years,” Greene said. “That was pretty impressive. And they came in situations where we needed big plays at the time.”
The Bulldogs also got great work from their starting pitchers as both freshman Julia Tyree (game one) and junior Amanda Beeson (game two) went the distance in seven-inning outings. Tyree, a native of Benecia, Calif., worked around six walks and did not give up a single earned run. Meanwhile, Beeson continued her torrid strikeout pace by fanning 11 Lancers in game two.
While Mount Marty (1-17, 1-9 GPAC) came into play with just a single victory on the season, Greene came away pleased with how his team responded against a Lancer club with more talent than the record indicates.
“Considering the weather and the field conditions, these were excellent wins,” Greene said. “Mount Marty is a team that has a lot of potential. I know their record is poor, but they’re not short on talent. They have played good teams very close. They’ve got talented kids. We just out-played them.”
The Bulldogs got a run each in the first and second innings and then two in the third to coast to a 4-1 triumph in game one. Svoboda singled in Harstad and catcher Amber Topil knocked in Svoboda with a base hit as part of the two-run third.
Concordia two runs apiece in the first, third and fifth innings of game two. Svoboda plated another pair of runs in the capper, while Mapes and designated hitter Danielle Harstad each recorded one RBI.
Saturday’s games were moved to field 3 at the Plum Creek Park complex because of excessively muddy conditions on the Bulldogs’ usual home diamond across the street. All fields in the area were saturated over the last week with rain and light snow.
Concordia hopes to string together a lengthy winning streak as it returns to Plum Creek Park to take on Briar Cliff (7-13, 3-7 GPAC) on Sunday. First pitch has been moved up to 11:30 a.m.
“Our issues are with how we play defense and how we hit,” Greene said. “If we aren’t playing good defense and we’re not hitting, then we’re not winning. Our pitching has been fine. We’ve got to play defense and we’ve got to score runs if we want to win.”
21 APR 2013
SEWARD, Neb. – Head coach Frank Greene’s Bulldogs were unable to carry over momentum from their Saturday doubleheader sweep of Mount Marty as Briar Cliff eked out a pair of tight games over Concordia on Sunday afternoon. The Charges, who won by scores of 5-4 and 2-0, triumphed by a combined three runs in the twin bill. The Bulldogs fell to 11-20 overall and 5-7 in GPAC games.
Concordia appeared in good shape for a third-straight victory when it took a 3-1 lead after four innings in Sunday’s game one. Pitcher Julia Tyree got the bottom of the fourth started with a leadoff double. She then scored on third baseman Allyson Porath’s RBI ground out. Nicole Mapes then widened the lead to two runs with an RBI single to score Amanda Baldwin, who tripled immediately prior.
Unfortunately, Tyree, who fired a complete game, couldn’t hold the lead as the Chargers tallied two runs each in the fifth and sixth innings to go in front 5-3. Emma Verge delivered the big blow with a two-run single to left that proved to be the game winner for Briar Cliff.
The seventh inning began promisingly with Mapes tripling and then scoring on Angela Harstad’s RBI single to pull Concordia within a run. Briar Cliff’s Jennifer Belluscio relieved starter Elizabeth Bye and recorded the final three outs to shut the door and earn the save. Belluscio retired all three hitters she faced, getting catcher Amber Topil to ground out to end the game.
Belluscio was the story of game two as she turned around and tossed a three-hit shutout to headline the Chargers’ 2-0 victory in game two. The Bulldogs had a runner in scoring position only three times and never even reached third base as Belluscio dominated.
Concordia’s Amanda Beeson pitched a fine game herself in the capper. She allowed only two runs on eight hits and no walks. Beeson and Tyree combined to surrender only four earned runs in 14 innings of work on Sunday.
Mapes had a big game one with a 3-for-4 game that included an RBI and a run. Designated hitter Molly Madsen and Tyree also notched two hits in the opening contest. The Harstad sisters – Angela and Danielle – cracked the Bulldogs’ only two hits in the second game.
Catcher Deann Ayala (5-for-7, three RBIs) and right fielder Emma Verge (4-for-6, three RBIs, one run) starred at the plate for Briar Cliff, who ran its record to 9-13 overall and 5-7 in GPAC play.
The Bulldogs have four GPAC doubleheaders remaining on the regular-season schedule, including three on the road this week. Concordia returns to play on Tuesday when it travels to Fremont, Neb., to take on Midland (14-19, 8-6 GPAC) in a twin bill set to begin at 5 p.m.
23 APR 2013
SEWARD, Neb. – Concordia head softball coach Frank Greene picked up win No. 300 for his career with the Bulldogs’ doubleheader sweep of Mount Marty on April 20. The Bulldog skipper is now 300-184 (.620) in 11 seasons at Concordia. Greene has served two different stints as head coach having been at the helm of the program from 2000 to 2008 and from 2010 to the present.
Greene, the winningest coach in Bulldog softball history, guided Concordia to GPAC regular-season championships in 2005 and 2008 and a GPAC tournament title in 2007. In 2005 he was named the NAIA Region IV Coach of the Year and the GPAC Co-Coach of the Year. The 2005 Bulldogs went 36-19 overall and 20-4 in conference play.
24 APR 2013
HASTINGS, Neb. – The Bulldogs fell just six outs short of sweeping first-place Hastings (20-8, 10-2 GPAC) on the road on Wednesday night. Concordia rallied for a 4-3 game one victory before relinquishing a two-run lead in a 3-2 loss in the night cap. Concordia moved to 12-21 overall and 6-8 in GPAC action.
With just a bit more run support or one less mistake, the Bulldogs would have pulled off a surprising sweep of the conference leader.
“The kids played their hearts out,” head coach Frank Greene said. “I’m real proud of them. They played real well. I knew sooner or later we’d get the train rolling and it looks like it’s rolling now. Our goal is to make the GPAC playoffs and we’ve got a real shot now.”
Game one provided for plenty of tension as Concordia starting pitcher Julia Tyree got three big outs with the potential tying run standing on third base in the bottom of the seventh. After Hastings led off the inning with a double and a triple to leave the Bulldogs clinging to a one-run lead, Tyree got a pair of pop outs to second and then a ground out back to the mound to preserve Concordia’s 12th win of the season.
Victory looked improbable for Greene’s squad after it trailed 2-0 after five innings. That’s when the Bulldog offense finally came to life – with the help of some Hastings gaffes in the infield.
An error by both defenders on the left side of the Bronco infield aided three unearned Bulldog runs that pushed Concordia into the lead, 3-2, in the sixth inning of game one. First baseman Liz Maxwell made sure Concordia cashed in on those mistakes when she delivered a two-run single with the bases loaded to put the Bulldogs in front. Maxwell’s clutch hit proved to be the game winner.
Concordia got a crucial insurance run in the top of the seventh when Nicole Mapes singled and later scored on Danielle Harstad’s RBI base hit to left. Mapes led the way in game one with three hits in four at bats.
Game one starter Julia Tyree (7 IP, 6 H, 3 ER) pulled a rabbit out of her hat by escaping a second and third no-out situation without allowing a run in the bottom of the third. Hastings got its only runs by taking advantage of an error in the fourth, tallying the game’s first two runs on center fielder Felicia Graff’s two-run double.
In game two, the Bulldogs rode the right arm of starting pitcher Amanda Beeson, who stifled the Broncos to the tune of only seven hits and three runs in 8.2 innings. However, Concordia could not get her enough offensive support and Hastings ultimately walked off a winner on Graff’s RBI single to left field in the ninth.
Concordia led 2-0 at the end of five innings in its bid for the sweep. The Broncos pushed across two runs in the sixth to knot the game and eventually force extra innings. That allowed Hastings ace Taylor Erlenbusch to get off the hook and run her record to 12-1.
“Those were two great games,” Greene said. “Hastings is a very good squad. There’s a reason they are 10-2 in the conference.”
The Bulldogs are back on the road Thursday and Saturday for GPAC doubleheaders both days. Concordia will take on Midland at 5 p.m. on Thursday prior to challenging Dakota Wesleyan in a 1 p.m. matinee on Saturday. An audio-only webcast of these games can be heard live via the Concordia Sports Network. Mike Meyer will call the action.
25 APR 2013
SEWARD, Neb. – Eleven-year Concordia head softball coach Frank Greene officially announced Thursday morning that he is resigning his position with the university, effective at the conclusion of the 2013 season. Greene has compiled a record of 301-185 (.619) during his time at the helm of Bulldog softball.
“It’s been a labor of love,” Greene said. “I want to remain close to the university. Anything I can do to help Concordia I will do it. It will always be near and dear to my heart. It was simply time for me to move on. I pray and wish the very best for everyone and hope that the university continues to grow and prosper. I want to thank President (Brian) Friedrich and Devin Smith for the opportunity they have given me.”
Director of Athletics Devin Smith added, “We are extremely grateful for Frank’s contributions to the Bulldog softball program and university over his 11 years here. Frank brought great passion to the program and truly cared about his student-athletes while consistently placing his teams at or near the top of the GPAC. He will be missed greatly.”
Greene, the winningest coach in Bulldog softball history, guided Concordia to GPAC regular-season championships in 2005 and 2008 and a GPAC tournament title in 2007. In 2005 he was named the NAIA Region IV Coach of the Year and the GPAC Co-Coach of the Year. The 2005 Bulldogs went 36-19 overall and 20-4 in conference play.
Greene has served two different stints as head coach having been at the helm of the program from 2000 to 2008 and from 2010 to the present and will assist the next coach in the transition to the new role. His wife Cindy continues to work in placement and counseling at Concordia.
Concordia has begun a national search to find a replacement for Greene.
Concordia University, Nebraska, founded in 1894, is a fully accredited, coeducational university located in Seward, Neb. that currently serves over 2,200 students. Concordia offers more than 50 professional and liberal arts programs in an excellent academic and Christ-centered community that equips men and women for lives of learning, service and leadership in the church and world. For more information, visit cune.edu.
26 APR 2013
FREMONT, Neb. – Midland pitchers Sammy Hislop and Sarah Leimser combined to limit Concordia to just two runs in 14 innings as the host Warriors earned the doubleheader sweep on Thursday. Midland boosted its conference record to 10-6 with wins by scores of 8-2 and 2-0. The Bulldogs, which fell to 12-23 overall and 6-10 in GPAC action, managed only 11 combined hits in the twin bill.
Head coach Frank Greene’s Bulldogs never did lead at any point on Thursday as the Warriors jumped on top with a huge seven-run first inning in game one. Midland pounded out seven hits and sent 12 hitters to the plate off of Concordia’s Julia Tyree. The Bulldog hurler settled in and only gave up one run over the last five innings, but Concordia could not recover.
The Bulldogs got their game one runs on an error in the third inning and then on a Natalie Svoboda RBI single in the fifth.
Concordia senior Nicole Mapes, who recently converted to shortstop, continued her run of hot hitting with a 3-for-7 day. She has at least one hit in four-straight contests and in six of her last seven games. She is 12-for-26 (.462) over her last seven games, raising her season average from .267 to .317 during that time.
The Bulldogs got another quality outing from Amanda Beeson, who fired all six innings of game two and struck out seven. She now has 120 strikeouts in 115 innings of work this season.
Thursday’s games were the first since Greene announced he will resign at the conclusion of the 2013 season. The Bulldog skipper is the program’s all-time wins leader with 301.
Concordia sits in eighth place and remains in good shape to reach the GPAC tournament, which includes the standings’ top eight teams. Green’s club has four regular-season games remaining.
The Bulldogs return to action on Saturday when they travel to Dakota Wesleyan for another road GPAC doubleheader. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. from Mitchell, S.D. Live audio will be available via the Concordia Sports Network with Mike Meyer on the call.
27 APR 2013
MITCHELL, S.D. – Senior outfielder Natalie Svoboda capped a great day by cracking the game-winning, 10th-inning RBI double in game two of Saturday’s doubleheader at Dakota Wesleyan. Svoboda’s clutch hit allowed the Bulldogs to salvage a split. After dropping game one, 5-2, Concordia came back to win 4-3 in the 10-inning game two affair.
The Bulldogs now sit at 13-24 overall and 7-11 in GPAC games, leaving them tied for eighth in the standings with only two regular-season contests remaining.
Svoboda, who provided Concordia’s only two runs in game one via a long ball, went 4-for-7 on the day with a homer, a double, three RBIs and three runs. With Nicole Mapes on third and one out in the 10th, Svoboda notched her third hit of the game by lacing a double to score Mapes.
Extra innings would not have possible without Molly Madsen’s key RBI double to score Svoboda in the sixth to knot things up at 3-3.
After trailing nearly all of game one, the Bulldogs grabbed their first lead of the day on Angela Harstad’s solo homer with two outs in the top of the third of game two. The Bulldogs led 2-0 in the middle of the fourth after adding a run in the fourth.
Concordia game one starting pitcher Amanda Beeson (7-11) put forth anther terrific outing as she went all 10 innings, allowing three runs on five hits while striking out eight. She retired the first 10 Dakota Wesleyan hitters of the game until walking Lindy Snook in the fourth. Later that inning Hailey Unger struck for a three-run homer that gave the Tigers a 3-2 lead.
In game one, Dakota Wesleyan quickly seized momentum with a three-run first highlighted by Katie Anderus’ two-run blast off of Concordia starter Julia Tyree. The Tigers made it 5-0 with two runs in the fourth thanks mostly to a sloppy Bulldog defense that committed three errors in the frame.
Concordia never mounted a serious rally and did not get on the board until the top of the fifth. That’s when Svoboda launched her second home run of the season that got Concordia within 5-2. However, Tiger pitcher Jil Dickson threw up zeroes in the sixth and seventh innings to complete the game and send the Bulldogs to a fifth-straight defeat.
Concordia senior Nicole Mapes extended her hitting streak to six games with one hit in each game on Saturday. The Greeley, Colo., native is 14-for-35 (.400) over her last nine games.
The Bulldogs’ 10 hits in game two marked the ninth time this season the team has recorded 10 hits or more in a game. Concordia’s season high of 16 hits came on March 20 in a 17-4 at Central Christian (Kan.).
The Bulldogs finish up the regular season on Tuesday, April 30 when Nebraska Wesleyan (14-15, 8-8 GPAC) visits Plum Creek Park for a doubleheader set to begin at 5 p.m.
30 APR 2013
SEWARD, Neb. – With a berth in the conference tournament hanging in the balance, Concordia softball fell just a single run short in its late rally in the second game of a twin bill at Plum Creek Park on Tuesday evening. On a night when Frank Greene was honored before the games for reaching 300 career victories, the Bulldogs defeated Nebraska Wesleyan 5-1 in game one prior to being pushed just outside of a top-eight seed necessary to keep the season alive with a 7-6 game two loss.
Concordia finished its season at 14-25 overall and 8-12 in GPAC play as Greene said his goodbyes to a program that he built into a consistent winner.
“I can’t even begin to start to tell you the emotion that’s inside me right now,” Greene said. “You love the kids. You love the sport. You love the school. You love everything involved with it. You give your heart and your soul to it. It’s hard to see the kids go down the way they did tonight.”
A spirited seventh inning rally in game two resulted in the bases loaded for Concordia with just one out and the Prairie Wolves clinging to a 7-6 advantage. That’s when Nebraska Wesleyan head coach Butch McLaren turned to ace Megan Cottier out of the bullpen. Cottier got Nicole Mapes on a called third strike and Amber Topil on a pop out to short to put out the fire and close the Bulldogs’ season.
Concordia had entered the seventh trailing 7-4 and in need of a significant comeback. Senior Angela Harstad, not wanting her career to end, blasted a two-run homer to left center with none out in the bottom half to set the stage for the heart-stopping finish.
While the result left a bad taste in their mouths, Harstad will leave the program proud of her teammates and honored to have been part of Bulldog softball.
“Although it’s really sad and unfortunate to be done – everyone wants to keep going on – those girls gave it their all,” Harstad said. “I was really proud. I told them after the game, ‘Hey, if I had to go out, I want to go out in a game where everyone gave it their all and everyone’s hearts were in it all the way.’”
Bulldog junior ace pitcher Amanda Beeson attempted to lead the team to two wins by holding down the circle in both contests. After firing a complete game gem in which she allowed only one run on three hits in game one, Beeson got the call in the second game as Greene tried to pull out all the stops in a must-win game. Beeson eventually gave way to Tyree in the third after tiring out.
The Concordia offense came alive on the day with a three-run bulge in the fourth inning of game one to grab a 4-1 lead. The Bulldogs got an RBI single each from first baseman Liz Maxwell, Mapes and Topil in the frame. Seven different Bulldogs notched at least one hit in game one with Maxwell leading the way with a 2-for-2 performance. Maxwell drove in a run and scored a run.
The game-two loss capped a season in which the Bulldogs never could seem to stay in a rhythm for a long period of time. Greene called Tuesday’s intense roller-coaster ride a “microcosm of our season.”
No matter, Concordia’s 11-year head coach, who compiled a record of 303-189 at Concordia, will look back fondly at his Bulldog career.
“I appreciate all that Concordia has done for me and all that the kids have done for me,” Greene said. “Someday it’s got to end and I think now is a good time for me. I will move on, but my heart will still be here.”
It’s also a time for three seniors – Harstad, Mapes and Natalie Svoboda – to move on.
“They’re fantastic. I love them,” Harstad said. “I’m so glad we’ve all stuck it out these last four years together. They are amazing women. They’re going to change the world. They’re both great, just true friends, true teammates. I’m going to miss them.”
Mapes, who played shortstop in each of the final 16 games, collected one hit in both contests on Tuesday and ends her career with an eight-game hitting streak.
09 MAY 2013
Senior shortstop/outfielder Nicole Mapes and junior catcher Amber Topil have been named second team all-GPAC honorees, as announced by the conference on Wednesday. In addition, junior pitcher Amanda Beeson received honorable mention accolades. All three Bulldog softball student-athletes are first-time all-conference recipients.
Mapes caught fire in the second half of the season and finished with a batting average of .305. The Greeley, Colo., native ended her career with an eight-game hitting streak as she went 11-for-32 (.344) during that stretch. Mapes split time between the outfield and shortstop and batted .357 during conference games. She also added a home run and 12 RBIs.
Topil batted .290 while starting 38 of the team’s 39 games behind the plate. The Seward native notched five doubles and drove in 14 runs. Topil did not commit a single error in 234 chances as a catcher.
Beeson, who hails from Waverly, Neb., emerged as one of the GPAC’s toughest pitchers to hit as she piled up 141 strikeouts (second in the conference) in 134.2 innings of work. She went 8-12 with an ERA of 3.69.
29 MAY 2013
Five Concordia softball student-athletes have earned the prestigious distinction as 2013 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes, as announced by the NAIA on Wednesday. Both seniors Angela Harstad and Nicole Mapes have received the honor for the second-straight year. Juniors Amanda Baldwin, Amanda Beeson and Allyson Porath are first-time honorees.
2013 Concordia softball Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes:
With the five softball Scholar-Athletes, Concordia ends the 2012-13 season with a total of 71 Scholar-Athletes. Bulldog athletics holds the NAIA record for most Scholar-Athletes all-time.
In order to be nominated by an institution's head coach, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status to qualify for this honor. A total of 286 NAIA softball players nationally were named 2013 Scholar-Athletes.
13 JUN 2013
SEWARD, Neb. – Lincoln North Star High School coach and teacher Todd LaVelle will step into the role previously held by 11-year head softball coach Frank Greene, Concordia University announced on Thursday (June 13). LaVelle brings more than 20 years of head coaching experience to the Bulldog softball program. Greene resigned his position after concluding the 2013 season as the program’s all-time winningest coach with a record of 303-189.
LaValle expects to continue the winning tradition.
"I am truly blessed to be appointed the next head softball coach at Concordia University,” LaVelle said. “Growing up in Seward I've always had the utmost respect for the athletes, professors and coaches that made up Bulldog nation.
“To think I'm now a part of such an elite group makes me realize the importance of my position, thus knowing how hard my coaching staff and I will need to work to lead our young ladies to be better athletes, spiritual leaders, and most important, successful adults as they leave this university. I'm very excited to be able to put on the Bulldog coaching shirt and continue to build on an already solid softball program!”
LaVelle, a Seward native and Wayne State College (Neb.) graduate, caught the attention of Director of Athletics Devin Smith with an impressive track record of excellence on the Nebraska prep scene. As head softball coach at Lincoln North Star from 2005 to the present, LaVelle amassed a mark of 171-91 with three state tournament appearances, including a runner-up finish in 2009.
“Beyond the obvious successes Todd has guided his teams to on the field, his demonstrated abilities as a motivator and high-character educator make him an excellent choice,” Smith said. “Furthermore, Todd’s deeply-rooted connections to Nebraska high school softball and the Seward community will be invaluable. We are confident he will uphold a program with Christian character and talented student-athletes serving as a foundation.”
The Seward High School graduate began his coaching career in 1993 when he started as a summer select softball coach, a role he continued to hold until accepting the offer to become head coach at Concordia. LaVelle has coached more than 50 summer select teams over the last 20 years, producing more than 1,500 wins and 12 Amateur Softball Association softball state championship appearances.
An experienced educator, LaVelle has also served as either a head or assistant coach in the sports of baseball, basketball, football, track and field and wrestling while spending time at Humphrey Public School, Seward Public School, Humphrey Saint Francis School and Pender Public School, in addition to Lincoln North Star.
LaVelle’s expertise at the high school level was recognized when he was chosen to be the head coach of the 2008 Nebraska high school softball all-star game.
LaVelle has spent the past 17 years as an area teacher, alongside his coaching roles. He has worked in the field of physical education, having taught all levels from kindergarten through 12th grade.
Lavelle received his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Wayne State (1994).
He resides in Seward with his wife Mindy. They have a son Pat, 28, daughter Whitney, 18, and a son Broc, 13.
Officially, LaVelle will begin his duties as head softball coach on July 8.
01 JUL 2013
Second team all-conference choice Amber Topil earned another prestigious honor on Friday when the Omaha World-Herald named the senior-to-be catcher to its All-Nebraska NAIA team. The Seward native batted .290 with 14 RBIs while playing errorless ball in 38 games behind the plate.
In addition to Topil, Concordia was represented with four honorable mention choices on the All-Nebraska squad: Amanda Beeson, Molly Madsen, Nicole Mapes and Julia Tyree. Mapes starred as the team’s most consistent hitter while Beeson piled up 141 strikeouts while serving as the Bulldogs’ ace pitcher. Mapes joined Topil on the GPAC’s second team.