|March 3||(15) University of St. Francis (Ill.)||Tucson, Ariz.||L, 1-2||0-1|
|March 3||Madonna University (Mich.)||Tucson, Ariz.||L, 1-9 (6 inn.)||0-2|
|March 4||Missouri Valley College||Tucson, Ariz.||W, 13-3||1-2|
|March 4||(7) Indiana Wesleyan University||Tucson, Ariz.||L, 2-4 (8 inn.)||1-3|
|March 5||Bethel College (Ind.)||Tucson, Ariz.||W, 5-1||2-3|
|March 5||Benedictine College (Kan.)||Tucson, Ariz.||W, 6-4||3-3|
|March 7||Presentation College (S.D.)||Tucson, Ariz.||W, 4-0||4-3|
|March 7||Waldorf University (Iowa)||Tucson, Ariz.||W, 15-1 (5 inn.)||5-3|
|March 8||(25) Valley City State University (N.D.)||Tucson, Ariz.||W, 6-1||6-3|
|March 8||Dakota State University (S.D.)||Tucson, Ariz.||W, 7-6||7-3|
|March 9||Park University (Mo.)||Tucson, Ariz.||W, 10-2 (6 inn.)||8-3|
|March 9||Roosevelt University (Ill.)||Tucson, Ariz.||W, 15-3 (5 inn.)||9-3|
|March 22||Ottawa University (Kan.)||Ottawa, Kan.||W, 10-5 (8 inn.)||10-3|
|March 22||Ottawa University (Kan.)||Ottawa, Kan.||W, 5-3||11-3|
|March 27||Doane University (DH)||Crete, Neb. (Crete HS)||W, 6-4||12-3, 1-0|
|March 27||Doane University (DH)||Crete, Neb. (Crete HS)||W, 5-0||13-3, 2-0|
|April 5||University of Jamestown||Seward, Neb.||L, 1-11 (6 inn.)||13-4, 2-1|
|April 5||University of Jamestown||Seward, Neb.||W, 12-7||14-4, 3-1|
|April 6||Dakota Wesleyan University||Seward, Neb.||W, 8-0 (5 inn.)||15-4, 4-1|
|April 6||Dakota Wesleyan University||Seward, Neb.||W, 10-2 (5 inn.)||16-4, 5-1|
|April 9||Morningside College||Sioux City, Iowa||L, 2-4||16-5, 5-2|
|April 9||Morningside College||Sioux City, Iowa||L, 1-4||16-6, 5-3|
|April 13||Briar Cliff University||Sioux City, Iowa||W, 11-4||17-6, 6-3|
|April 13||Briar Cliff University||Sioux City, Iowa||W, 10-0 (5 inn.)||18-6, 7-3|
|April 14||Mount Marty College||Sioux City, Iowa||W, 5-1 (8 inn.)||19-6, 8-3|
|April 14||Mount Marty College||Sioux City, Iowa||W, 11-7||20-6, 9-3|
|April 16||Midland University||Fremont, Neb.||W, 1-0 (9 inn.)||21-6, 10-3|
|April 16||Midland University||Fremont, Neb.||L, 3-4||21-7, 10-4|
|April 20||Hastings College||Hastings, Neb.||L, 0-1||21-8, 10-5|
|April 20||Hastings College||Hastings, Neb.||W, 1-0||22-8, 11-5|
|April 23||Northwestern College||Orange City, Iowa||W, 10-2||23-8, 12-5|
|April 23||Northwestern College||Orange City, Iowa||L, 1-2||23-9, 12-6|
|April 24||College of Saint Mary||Seward, Neb.||L, 2-10 (6 inn.)||23-10, 12-7|
|April 24||College of Saint Mary||Seward, Neb.||W, 9-1 (5 inn.)||24-10, 13-7|
|April 27||Dordt College||Seward, Neb.||W, 7-0||25-10, 14-7|
|April 27||Dordt College||Seward, Neb.||W, 5-4||26-10, 15-7|
|May 2||Mount Marty College||Sioux City, Iowa||W, 6-4||27-10|
|May 2||Morningside College||Sioux City, Iowa||L, 1-9 (6 inn.)||27-11|
|May 3||Mount Marty College||Sioux City, Iowa||W, 6-5||28-11|
|May 3||Morningside College||Sioux City, Iowa||L, 0-2||28-12|
|1||Jamie Lefebure||INF||5-2||Sr.||R/R||Crete, Neb.||Crete HS|
|2||Leah Kalkwarf||INF||5-2||Sr.||R/R||Omaha, Neb.||Millard South HS|
|4||Brittany Woolridge||P||5-4||Sr.||L/R||Tucson, Ariz.||Empire HS|
|5||Sydney Brown||INF||5-8||Jr.||R/R||Raymond, Neb.||Raymond Central HS|
|6||Baily Clear||P||5-10||Sr.||L/L||Alliance, Neb.||Platte Valley|
|7||Mackinsey Schmidt||OF||5-4||So.||R/R||Crete, Neb.||Crete HS|
|8||Maddie Fousek||IF||5-4||Sr.||R/R||St. Paul, Neb.||St. Paul HS|
|9||Dalaney Nance||INF/P||5-8||Jr.||R/R||Gilbert, Ariz.||Williams Field HS|
|10||Michaela Regier||INF||5-3||So.||R/R||Newton, Kan.||Newton HS|
|11||Taylor Zehendner||INF||5-5||Fr.||R/R||Pleasanton, Neb.||Heathland Lutheran|
|12||Savannah Robertson||INF||5-5||Jr.||R/L||Columbus, Neb.||Northeast Community College|
|13||Megan Klenke||INF||5-11||So.||R/R||Friend, Neb.||Friend HS|
|14||Tricia Tripp||C/OF||5-5||Sr.||R/R||Simi Valley, Calif.||Simi Valley|
|16||Elanna Osthoff||OF||5-3||Sr.||R/R||Labadie, Mo.||Washington HS|
|17||Allysia Thayer||C||5-2||So.||R/R||Etiwanda, Calif.||Etiwanda HS|
|19||Jordan Metzger||OF||5-6||So.||R/R||Grand Island, Neb.||Aurora HS|
|20||Kelsey Baer||P||5-6||Fr.||R/R||Brainard, Neb.||Aquinas Catholic|
|21||Kamryn Horner||INF||5-6||So.||L/L||Gretna, Neb.||Gretna HS|
|23||Hhano Haro||INF||5-4||So.||R/R||Garden Grove, Calif.||Pacifica HS|
|24||Camry Moore||INF/P||5-11||Fr.||R/R||Crete, Neb.||Crete HS|
|25||Grace Bernhardt||P||5-4||So.||R/R||St. Charles, Mo.||Lutheran HS|
|26||Kylee Nixon||INF/C||5-2||Fr.||R/R||York, Neb.||York|
|29||Karina Nomi||OF||5-5||Fr.||R/R||Sa'o Paulo, Brazil|
|31||Dawn Pettyjohn||UTIL||5-4||Fr.||R/R||Green Bay, Wisc.||Mesquite HS|
|32||Devin Brammeier||INF||5-7||Fr.||R/R||Walnut Hill, Ill.||Christ Our Rock Lutheran|
|33||Tori Homolka||INF||5-4||So.||R/R||Swanton, Neb.||Wilber-Clatonia HS|
|34||Jenessa Jarvis||OF||5-5||So.||R/R||Vail, Ariz.||Cienega|
|35||Emily Sherstone||OF||5-3||Jr.||R/R||British Columbia, Canada||Northeast Community College|
|36||Alina Cook||INF/P||5-4||Fr.||R/R||Jber, Ark.||Eagle River|
|38||Bailee Muxlow-Volk||INF||5-7||Jr.||L/L||British Columbia, Canada||Garden City CC|
|39||Kaetlyn Todd||C||5-10||Fr.||R/R||Gering, Neb.||Gering|
|40||Jadyn Lindgren||OF||5-3||So.||R/R||Hickman, Neb.||Norris|
Shawn Semler, Head Coach (1st Year)
Liz Barkel, Graduate Assistant Coach
Oct. 11, 2018
SEWARD, Neb. – A solid run through this past fall exhibition season should provide momentum for the Concordia University softball team as it looks ahead to the spring of 2019. The program has now announced a 2019 schedule complete with 18 doubleheaders and another trip to the Tucson Invitational over spring break. The softball program is now under the direction of head coach Shawn Semler, who was most recently the head coach at Waverly High School.
The official Concordia coaching debut for Semler is scheduled for Feb. 15 when the Bulldogs will be at MidAmerica Nazarene University (Kan.) for a doubleheader. Six nonconference twin bills are on the slate for the month of February. Then in early March, Semler will take his squad to Tucson, Ariz., for games on March 4-5, 7-9. Complete opponents and times have not yet been finalized for the Tucson Invitational.
Conference play is set to begin March 27 when Doane makes a visit to Plum Creek Park. The Bulldogs are scheduled to play seven home doubleheaders this coming spring. If the weather allows, Concordia will make its first home appearance on Feb. 27 versus Presentation College (S.D.). One of the home twin bills will also match the Bulldogs up against former GPAC member Nebraska Wesleyan (March 20).
The newest GPAC member, Jamestown, will be in Seward on April 5 for a doubleheader. With the addition of Jamestown, the league schedule moves from 20 to 22 games in 2019. The GPAC slate is balanced with Concordia set to play each of the other 11 GPAC softball teams twice. The only imbalance is that the Bulldogs will play six of their 11 conference doubleheaders on the road.
Concordia will have nearly every key player back from the 2018 squad that finished 21-21 overall (seventh in the GPAC), but showed flashes of brilliance. The headlining returner is sophomore third baseman Hhana Haro, the 2018 GPAC Player of the Year. Outfielder MacKinsey Schmidt also earned first team all-conference accolades last season as a freshman. Senior second baseman Leah Kalkwarf garnered first team All-GPAC recognition in 2017.
Semler has plentiful experience as a collegiate head softball coach. He spent eight seasons as the head coach at NCAA Division II Southwest Minnesota State University and six at NAIA College of Saint Mary. He is the winningest softball coach in Southwest Minnesota State history. He won a combined 10 conference championships between those two stops.
Oct. 14, 2018
There is always a period of adjustment when a new head coach walks through the door. Such is life for members of the Concordia University softball program. Shawn Semler, most recently the head softball coach at Waverly High School, has stepped into the role of head coach, which had been filled for the previous five years by Todd LaVelle.
Judging by the fall, the Bulldogs probably won’t shy away from talking about high hopes for 2019. The roster is flush with talent.
Says Semler, “It’s pretty exciting to walk into a program when you have the reigning GPAC Player of the Year (Hhana Haro) and you have incoming freshmen like Camry Moore. That’s an easy one to say, ‘You know what, I think I should go there.’”
Semler led his team to a perfect 7-0 record this fall while faced with an exhibition schedule that included GPAC rival Hastings. The events that took place at Plum Creek Park in recent weeks did nothing to stamp out high expectations. The 2018 squad wound up at 21-21 overall, but don’t let that record fool you. The ’18 team was not all that far off from having things click.
Almost every key player returns from the 2018 team, including Haro, who took the conference by storm as a rookie. Outfielder MacKinsey Schmidt and second baseman Leah Kalkwarf also have first team All-GPAC accolades to their credit. That’s really just a start. Competition for spots in the lineup will be fierce. That competition began this fall.
“It’s going to be difficult for Coach Semler to set a lineup,” Kalkwarf said. “There are countless girls on the roster that are ready to compete at the level it takes to win a championship. The key I have learned in this game is that for a team to actually be successful it takes more than hard work. It takes a team that is unified and that loves each other. Coach Semler is pushing for us to reach that.”
Semler was named head coach in late June and began meeting his players throughout the summer and as they arrived for this semester. Practice began with the second week of the semester. Despite a sometimes cool and sometimes rainy fall, the Bulldogs packed a lot of action into a short timeframe. It’s safe to say that Semler was not disappointed by what he saw.
Let’s start with Haro, who hit an incredible .494 as a freshman. It’s not supposed to be that easy. The third baseman from Garden Grove, Calif., just makes it look that way.
“She exceeded every expectation that I had,” said Semler of Haro. “She swings the bat really well, which is probably what made her the GPAC Player of the Year. But defensively everything is so routine for her. She just makes the plays. Every throw she makes to first is the exact same throw. Those are little things that I love about her. Plus she’s one of the most humble kids. She just goes about her business.”
It’s not exactly going out on a limb to say that the pitching staff will be improved in the spring of 2019. The top arms from last season are back in the form of Grace Bernhardt and Brittany Woolridge. Bernhardt was another of the standouts of a 2017-18 freshman class that made a big impact. Meanwhile, Woolridge has the physical tools to be even better in 2019.
The ace of the staff might just be Moore, who led Crete High School to a state championship as a prep senior. Few players have entered the program with more hoopla than Moore. Like Haro, she has the humility to handle success. She got her feet wet this fall and more than held her own in the circle.
“Camry is just as humble as Hhana,” Semler said. “I’ve seen Camry for a couple of years now as a high school coach. Last year we played her three times in one week. It’s one of those things where she’s the one you want to try to beat so bad, but she’s just so good.”
A strong pitching staff is part of the equation for a squad that Semler believes is stacked up the middle. The double play combo of seniors Kalkwarf at second and Jamie Lefebure at shortstop will be as experienced as any in the nation. Then there’s Schmidt in center field. She made her fair share of highlight reel grabs as a freshman.
That ‘middle’ that Semler speaks of is like a mini Crete High School reunion. Lefebure, Moore and Schmidt are all Crete graduates.
“If I was going to start a team from scratch, I would want to be strong up the middle,” Semler said. “You want to have strong defensive players at those spots. We have that for sure with Leah and Jamie. They are as good as advertised. I haven’t seen Allysia Thayer much yet, but Tricia Tripp came in and caught well. With MacKinsey Schmidt, she’s dynamic. She can do a lot of things and she’s fast. The one game she hit two home runs for us – and she can go get a ball.”
Semler went on to guess that few teams in the GPAC will have such stability and reliability up the middle. One thing this 2019 team will have more of than the 2018 squad had is experience. The current sophomore class will have a big say in where the journey ends this coming spring.
“We have an amazing sophomore class that has some experience with the competition of the GPAC,” Kalkwarf said. “We also have some key freshmen players that will have to step up to hold this team to the standards Coach Semler is setting. We are capable of winning a championship if we continue to work hard, keep each other accountable and grow as a team.”
This is a program with something to prove after an up-and-down 2018 season. No one is denying the talent that fills the dugout. It’s a matter of how it all meshes together under a new head coach. Some questions will begin to be answered in February when the season officially gets underway. Until then, the Bulldogs will get back to work and make use of some of the best indoor facilities Semler has had in any of his coaching stops.
“I’ve had some teams that have been very successful in the past,” Semler said. “It’s just human nature to look around and wonder how we would do against some of my old teams. I’m excited about this group. It’s a very, very talented group. We were playing games and we had seven or eight kids who couldn’t compete yet because of surgery and other circumstances. We didn’t have those kids and I still felt like our depth is going to be really, really good. To start on this team, you’re going to have to step to the plate and really do the job.”
Jan. 10, 2019
The Crete High School softball program is the gift that keeps on giving. In 2015 it gave Jamie Lefebure. Then MacKinsey Schmidt in 2017. It didn’t stop there. Camry Moore became the latest Cardinal-turned-Bulldog this past fall. With her she brings some of the most impressive credentials for any Concordia softball recruit in recent memory.
Moore follows the path worn by teammates who came before her, making the drive north of Interstate-80 while covering a distance of less than 30 miles. Close to home, but just far enough away has proven to be the sweet spot for a host of Crete alums.
Says Crete softball coach Shawn Carr, “As the years go, word of mouth has passed that it’s a good spot. It’s not just a great softball program, but it’s a great education at Concordia.”
New Bulldog softball coach Shawn Semler figures to put the talents of the Crete trio to use this spring. Opposing hitters will often be faced looking right up the middle at Moore in the circle, Lefebure at shortstop and Schmidt in center field. Schmidt earned first team all-conference accolades as just a freshman, Lefebure enjoyed her best collegiate season in 2018 despite missing time with injury and Moore is fresh off leading Crete to a state championship in the fall of 2017.
Lefebure first blazed the trail, then unwittingly opening up the pipeline. Her presence at Concordia certainly had an impact on the decision made by Schmidt, who played a stellar center field as a rookie.
“Having Jamie there was a big reason why I came because I know her work ethic and it just showed me what kind of team Concordia would be,” Schmidt said. “She is one of the hardest workers and it just reflected back on what the team would be like. I take a lot of pride in knowing that a lot of Crete people are here because it just comes to show how great this college is.”
Like Lefebure and Schmidt, Moore appears to be ready to make a significant impact as a freshman. Lefebure immediately impressed former Bulldog head coach Todd LaVelle with her strong arm in the middle of the infield. That bat has also come around for Lefebure, who hit better than .300 as both a sophomore and junior. She helped the 2017 team to a 34-14 overall record.
As noted by Carr, Lefebure is also a tremendous singer. Carr fondly remembers bus rides back from games when Lefebure would belt out the latest popular R&B or hip hop songs while everyone on the bus just took it in. Carr highly recommended Lefebure to LaVelle, and not just because of her singing. She quickly came to enjoy life as a Bulldog.
“It turned out the fit for her was amazing,” Carr said. “She loves the school and speaks highly about it. She came back to a couple of our practices and said that Concordia is awesome and that she was enjoying her experience. With MacKinsey Schmidt she was the next one to come down to Concordia. She asked what I thought of Concordia. I told her to go to Concordia for a visit and talk to Jamie. She came back and said it fit what she was looking for in a college experience.”
It seems fitting that Schmidt and Moore are again teammates. They started playing together at very young ages and spent hours and hours in the same vehicles on out-of-town trips as members of select softball teams. Those were fun times. Surely Moore has some good stories about Schmidt, whom Carr describes as a “riot.”
Moore’s recruiting story is a bit different from those of either Lefebure or Schmidt. Moore originally pledged a commitment to NCAA Division II University of Sioux Falls. However, the pull of home – and of her Crete teammates – was too much for her to ignore. It’s safe to say that Schmidt was overjoyed when Moore changed course.
“When Camry made her decision I was pumped,” Schmidt said. “I have been playing softball with her since I was seven so it was nice to get her back playing with me and not potentially against me. She was always the person I could trust to finish an inning pitching or even get that big hit.”
Moore became something of a local celebrity during a near impeccable 2017 high school season. She dominated both in the circle and in the batter’s box. Young girls of Crete look up to Moore. That’s certainly true of Carr’s daughters, who would often be over at the house of Al and Dede Moore, the parents of Camry.
Through it all, Camry remains humble and focused on the next big thing. Says Carr, “I’ve known Camry and her family basically since I got to Crete. I met her when she was a young age. She and her dad would be down at Tuxedo Park playing catch. When she was eight years old I could tell she was pretty good. I’d take my kids out to Al and Dede’s place and my kids would be missing. They would be in Camry’s room playing on an iPad or reading a book. All the kids in the area love Cam. They would come up to her and speak to her. She’s just such a great leader.”
In turn, Moore refers to the Crete softball program as “something special” and “one big happy family” while crediting the leadership of Carr for its success.
Moore should feel right at home as a Bulldog. Her community of support will only grow bigger and stronger.
“When I decided I wanted to come to Concordia, I think a lot of people were very excited for me,” Moore said. “The community is very supportive of the athletes at Crete High. I'm one of six athletes at Concordia who graduated from Crete last year, so I see a lot familiar faces. It was also a big deal for my family that I chose to only be 30 minutes from home. My grandparents and parents will be at every game they can get to.”
Carr’s support of the players he has coached does not end when they walk across the stage at their high school graduation. He plans to be a regular at Plum Creek Park this spring. His daughters will often tag along. Of course they will want to see Camry, Jamie and MacKinsey.
Says Carr, “Those kids all have a pretty special spot in my heart not just for what they’ve done on the field, but also what they do off the field. They’re great people and they will just continue to make those same types of memories at Concordia. They’re very fun and awesome people.”
The Crete trio made a lasting impact upon its community and high school. Now it continues to do the same while making Concordia its new home, just a few miles up the road.
Jan. 10, 2019
SEWARD, Neb. – The expectations are for the Concordia University softball program to make a jump forward this spring. On Thursday (Jan. 10), the Bulldogs appeared at No. 5 in the 2019 GPAC Softball Preseason Coaches’ Poll with 71 points. The team will have a new head coach in Shawn Semler, who enters his 15th year as a head softball coach at the collegiate level.
Concordia experienced an up-and-down season in 2018 that saw it go 21-21 overall (seventh place in the GPAC) in Todd LaVelle’s fifth and final season leading the program. Bulldog softball has experienced championship success in the GPAC era having won regular-season titles in 2005 and 2008 and tournament trophies in 2007 and 2015.
Semler’s first Bulldog squad will include the reigning GPAC Player of the Year in sophomore third baseman Hhana Haro and fellow first team all-conference performer in sophomore center fielder MacKinsey Schmidt. A wealth of additional key contributors return such as the senior middle infield combo of Leah Kalkwarf at second base and Jamie Lefebure at shortstop. Meanwhile, sophomore Grace Bernhardt and senior Brittany Woolridge logged a combined 197 innings in the circle in 2018.
The season will open up earlier than what has been the norm for the program. The new campaign is set to get underway on Feb. 15 with a doubleheader at MidAmerica Nazarene University (Kan.). The conference regular-season slate grows to 22 games this season with the addition of Jamestown (picked second in the GPAC). Concordia will also take another trip to Tucson, Ariz., over spring break. The complete schedule can be viewed HERE.
*First-place votes in parentheses
1. Midland – 119 (9)
2. Jamestown – 104 (2)
3. Morningside – 97 (1)
4. Northwestern – 88
5. Concordia – 71
T6. Doane – 66
T6. Dordt – 66
8. Dakota Wesleyan – 57
9. Mount Marty – 47
10. Hastings – 37
11. College of Saint Mary – 27
12. Briar Cliff – 13
Jan. 22, 2019
Head coach: Shawn Semler (1st year at Concordia; 411-258, 15th year as college head coach)
2018 record: 21-21, 10-10 GPAC (7th)
Key returners: Grace Bernhardt (P); Hhana Haro (3B); Tori Homolka (IF/OF); Leah Kalkwarf (2B); Jamie Lefebure (SS); Elanna Osthoff (OF); MacKinsey Schmidt (OF); Allysia Thayer (C); Brittany Woolridge (P).
Key losses: Kenna Heath (IF/OF).
Key newcomers: Jadyn Lindgren (OF); Camry Moore (P); Kylee Nixon (MI/C); Savannah Robertson (IF); Emily Sherstone (OF).
2018 GPAC all-conference: Hhana Haro (player of the year; first team); MacKinsey Schmidt (first team); Allysia Thayer (honorable mention).
Many positive indicators emerged throughout the fall exhibition season for a Concordia University softball program going through a transition. The change is not so much about personnel, but more about the leader now in charge of getting the most out of the 2019 team. Bellevue, Neb., native Shawn Semler enters the fray after most recently guiding the softball program at Waverly High School.
What Semler has found are that there are many pieces in place for potential immediate success. On the surface, that may not have been evident to those who looked only at the 2018 team’s 21-21 overall record and seventh place finish in the GPAC.
“We’ve got our work cut out for us, but I think with what we have we’re going to surprise some people,” Semler said. “I think some teams realized that we’re going to be a little bit better (based on being picked fifth in the GPAC preseason poll). I talked to a couple of the other coaches who thought we could be playing for something special. I agree with that. We’re just going to have to find out if we can learn how to win games against those teams that are traditional powers in our conference.”
A look around at the individual pieces reveals a considerable wealth of talent. Sophomores in third baseman Hhana Haro and center fielder MacKinsey Schmidt picked up first team all-conference accolades in 2018. Haro accomplished the rare feat of earning GPAC Player of the Year honors as a rookie. There’s also the veteran presence of seniors Leah Kalkwarf and Jamie Lefebure, a duo that should make the middle of the infield rock solid. Of course the collegiate debut of former Crete High School star Camry Moore is also highly anticipated.
Semler has recognized that talent and the need to bring everyone closer together. Some things just did not click in 2018 the way that they did in 2017 when the Bulldogs turned in a 34-14 overall record. Relationship building has been an offseason focus.
Says Lefebure, the team’s shortstop, “It’s been a really easy transition (with Coach Semler). Right out front he set a standard of hard work and dedication. From there we have a great group of girls and we all work together. We’ve become a lot stronger.”
Haro, who hails from Garden Grove, Calif., may have put together the best freshman season in the history of the program. She led all GPAC players with a .494 batting average that ranked eighth nationally. She also broke school single season records for both hits (76) and doubles (20) while slugging .747. She never stopped hitting all spring long while showing off a rocket arm from the hot corner. As much as Semler has been impressed with Haro’s physical talent, he appreciates her keen understanding of the game.
The return of Hharo, Kalkwarf and Lefebure leaves the infield pretty well stocked before even considering the class of newcomers. Several others return with starting experience, including senior outfielder Elanna Osthoff, who hit .356 in her first season at Concordia. The group also features the likes of the versatile Tori Homolka and catcher Allysia Thayer, two more members of the impact 2018 freshman class. Among position players, Maddie Fousek, Jenessa Jarvis, Dalaney Nance and Tricia Tripp each saw substantial action last spring.
“I’ve never had this kind of depth before,” Semler said. “There are kids who may not go to Tucson with us but come April might be huge impact players for us. That’s going to be one of those things we have to figure out. Along with depth, our leadership has been really, really good. We have some strong seniors who have taken hold of this and want to run with this. As a coach, that’s exciting to see. Our pitching should be strong. We have some philosophies and some ideas on how we want to use our pitching staff this year.”
Moore follows Hharo as the new freshman sensation. She becomes the third Crete High School alum on the roster after leading the Cardinals to a 2017 state title. The numbers her senior season were eye popping. In the circle, she went 28-8 with a 1.26 ERA and 253 strikeouts over 200 innings. At the plate, she batted .487 with eight home runs, 19 doubles and did not strike out a single time.
Says Lefebure, “I think she’ll be a tremendous help. She’s a very strong willed and hard working girl and she will do nothing but good things for our program.”
Moore will team up with the likes of senior Brittany Woolridge and sophomore Grace Bernhardt. Woolridge and Bernhardt combined to cover 197 of the team’s 280.2 innings pitched in 2018. Bernhardt came on strong towards the end of the season with the highlight of her campaign being a four-hit shutout of Briar Cliff. Woolridge is bit more of a swing-and-miss type of pitcher.
Moore is far from the lone impact newcomer. Another standout local talent in Kylee Nixon (York High School) looks ready for immediate playing time. Others who will have an opportunity to factor into the equation include three transfers in Jadyn Lindgren (Hickman, Neb.), Savannah Robertson (Columbus, Neb.) and Emily Sherstone (British Columbia, Canada). It all means that Semler will have a challenge in making out a lineup.
“One of the strengths with our lineup is we can put nine kids out who can hit,” Semler said. “As I’m scouting other teams and looking at other teams, most of them have a drop off at 7-8-9. I think people are going to be surprised at our 7-8-9 and how talented they are. It’s one of those things where if it’s between two people, I’m probably going to be comfortable with either one of them. It’ll be interesting to see who pushes themselves in front of the others over the next month-and-a-half.”
Semler certainly knows a good softball team when he sees one. In 14 years of head coaching experience at the collegiate level, Semler has totaled 411 wins and eight conference championships. He remains the winningest coach in the history of the softball program at NCAA Division II Southwest Minnesota State University.
No matter who ultimately earns the playing time and the accolades, this group seems focused on improving its team chemistry. The theme for 2019 reflects that aim.
Says Lefebure, “One of our slogans is the same rope. We’re trying to stick together. We’re all one unit wanting to make the best of this year.”
The Bulldogs will open up the 2019 season on Feb. 15 with a doubleheader at MidAmerica Nazarene University (Kan.). Concordia is scheduled to make its first home appearance on Feb. 27.
Feb. 15, 2019
SEWARD, Neb. – Shawn Semler’s debut as Concordia University’s head softball coach will have to wait a bit longer. Due to continued chilly temperatures and winter precipitation, scheduled doubleheaders at MidAmerican Nazarene University (Kan.) on Friday and at University of Saint Mary (Kan.) on Saturday have been wiped out.
No makeup has been announced for the MidAmerica Nazarene games, but the Bulldogs have rescheduled with Saint Mary for Wednesday, Feb. 27 with the time yet to be announced. Concordia was originally scheduled to be at home on Feb. 27 versus Presentation. That slated doubleheader has been canceled.
Semler’s squad will try again the weekend of Feb. 22-23 when they are hoping to be in action in Kansas once again. The Bulldogs are slated to play at Kansas Wesleyan on Friday, Feb. 22 (3 p.m. doubleheader) and at Tabor College on Saturday, Feb. 23 (1 p.m. doubleheader).
Feb. 20, 2019
Due to continued inclement weather, each of the Concordia University softball team's scheduled opponents for this Friday through Sunday (Feb. 22-24) have postponed weekend matchups. The doubleheaders listed below will not be played as scheduled. No makeup dates have been announced at this time. Next up on the slate is next Wednesday (Feb. 27)'s twin bill at the University of Saint Mary. Time of first pitch is to be announced.
Feb. 22 at Kansas Wesleyan University
Feb. 23 at Tabor College
Feb. 24 at Baker University
Feb. 27, 2019
SEWARD, Neb. – Had things gone according to plan, the Concordia University softball team would already been 10 games deep into the 2019 season. Unfortunately, cold and snowy weather has persisted throughout the Midwest. As a result, Shawn Semler’s debut as head coach of the Bulldogs will have to wait until the squad arrives in Tucson, Ariz. Concordia is slated to play 12 games at the Tucson Invitational between March 3 – 9.
All games at the Tucson Invite are played on fields located at Lincoln Park. More details about event can be found HERE. Due to the games being played at neutral sites, live coverage will be limited. For updates, follow @cunebulldogs and @cunesoftball on Twitter. Game recaps will be available on Concordia athletics website at the end of each day of action.
While in Arizona, the Bulldogs will take on three NAIA foes that were ranked nationally in the preseason poll: No. 7 Indiana Wesleyan University, No. 15 University of St. Francis (Ill.) and No. 25 Valley City State University (N.D.). All 12 opponents in Tucson are affiliated with the NAIA. Concordia has had success in recent seasons at the Tucson Invite. At the 2018 event, Concordia went 7-3 with all three defeats coming by margins of two runs or less.
The Bulldog roster includes three Arizona natives: sophomore Jenessa Jarvis (Vail), junior Dalaney Nance (Gilbert) and Brittany Woolridge (Tucson). Woolridge made five appearances in her hometown a year ago.
Once the Tucson Invite concludes, Concordia hopes to host a home doubleheader versus York College on Thursday, March 14 with first pitch set for 5 p.m. CST from Plum Creek Park.
Concordia Tucson Invitational Schedule
Sunday, March 3 vs. University of St. Francis (Ill.), 9 a.m. MT / 10 a.m. CT (Field 5)
Sunday, March 3 vs. Madonna University (Mich.), 11 a.m. MT / 12 p.m. CT (Field 6)
-Live stats: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/madonna/
Monday, March 4 vs. Missouri Valley College, 1:30 p.m. MT / 2:30 p.m. CT (Field 8)
Monday, March 4 vs. Indiana Wesleyan University, 3:30 p.m. MT / 4:30 p.m. CT (Field 8)
Tuesday, March 5 vs. Bethel College (Ind.), 11 a.m. MT / 12 p.m. CT (Field 7)
Tuesday, March 5 vs. Benedictine College (Kan.), 3:30 p.m. MT / 4:30 p.m. CT (Field 6)
Thursday, March 7 vs. Presentation College (S.D.), 9 a.m. MT / 10 a.m. CT (Field 6)
Thursday, March 7 vs. Waldorf University (Iowa), 11 a.m. MT / 12 p.m. CT (Field 6)
Friday, March 8 vs. Valley City State University (N.D.), 1:30 p.m. MT / 2:30 p.m. CT (Field 8)
Friday, March 8 vs. Dakota State University (S.D.), 3:30 p.m. MT / 4:30 p.m. CT (Field 8)
Saturday, March 9 vs. Park University (Mo.), 9 a.m. MT / 10 a.m. CT (Field 5)
Saturday, March 9 vs. Roosevelt University (Ill.), 11 a.m. MT / 12 p.m. CT (Field 8)
Mar. 3, 2019
TUCSON, Ariz. – It took some patience, but the Concordia University softball team finally had the opportunity to open up the 2019 season at the annual Tucson Invitational on Sunday (March 3). The Bulldogs came up short in contests against No. 15 University of St. Francis (Ill.), 2-1, and Madonna University (Mich.), 9-1 (six innings), in action at Lincoln Park in Tucson.
The games marked the official Concordia head coaching debut for Shawn Semler, who owns more than 400 career wins in previous collegiate head coaching stops at College of Saint Mary and Southwest Minnesota State. Semler spent a combined 14 seasons at those two schools.
“In a spring break type of situation you want to try to play quality opponents,” Semler said. “These games can help you at the end. We got two tough teams right off the bat. This is what we’re here for. We saw two good pitchers. We have to learn how to hit that if we are going to win the games we want to later in the year. It’s a learning experience and a learning day. The spring break environment is good for that.”
Semler certainly expects better days are ahead from an offensive standpoint. The Bulldogs were held to a combined six hits on the day. Concordia actually struck first with a first-inning run in both games. In the opener, sophomore MacKinsey Schmidt singled and later came around to score on a wild pitch. Then in the second outing, reigning GPAC Player of the Year Hhana Haro led the game off with a solo homer. Haro produced the team’s only two hits off of Madonna pitcher Madisen Henry.
Five Bulldog players also made their debuts in Concordia gray uniform tops complete with navy pants. Former Crete High School star Camry Moore worked in the circle in both games. She pitched solidly in her matchup with the nationally-ranked Saints. Moore allowed two runs (one earned) on seven hits (no walks) in 6.1 innings. St. Francis was a walk-off winner in the bottom of the seventh with the help of a throwing error.
Moore should only get better with more experience. Said Semler, “I don’t know if she had a whole lot of nerves. She threw amazingly well in game one. I don’t think she threw bad in game two. We kicked the ball around a little bit and didn’t help her out much. She showed us today that she’s the real deal. We just have to play defense behind her and we’re going to have to hit the ball.
Moore, Grace Bernhardt and Megan Klenke each pitched in the loss to the Crusaders. Madonna (8-3) run-ruled the Bulldogs by putting up one run in the second, two in the third, four in the fourth and two in the sixth.
In the morning game, Schmidt, Tori Homolka, Elanna Osthoff and Allysia Thayer recorded one hit apiece.
The 12-game run at the Tucson Invite will continue on Monday with two more games. Concordia will take on Missouri Valley College at 1:30 p.m. MT / 2:30 p.m. CT and then seventh-ranked Indiana Wesleyan University at 3:30 p.m. MT / 4:30 p.m. CT.
“It will be interesting to see how we bounce back,” Semler said. “I think before we leave Tucson we’re going to have a good idea where we are and what we need to work on.”
Mar. 4, 2019
TUCSON, Ariz. – On day two of the Tucson Invitational, the Concordia University softball team got on the board with its first victory of the 2019 campaign. Monday (March 4) saw the Bulldogs run away with a 13-3 win over Missouri Valley College and then drop a 4-2, extra-inning affair with seventh-ranked Indiana Wesleyan University. Concordia notched 10 hits and 10 walks in the triumph.
Head coach Shawn Semler emerged with his first win with the Bulldogs, which are 1-3 having also slipped in Sunday action against No. 15 University of St. Francis (Ill.) and Madonna University (Mich.).
“We made a couple changes to the lineup and moved some kids around,” Semler said. “We were trying to generate a little more offense. It was nice to see that work out. We’re really trying to hone in on a lineup that works best for us. Today was a nice day to put some pieces together.”
Concordia cashed in on the trail of baserunners it strung together while faced with Viking pitching. As part of a four-run third inning, Hhana Haro sparked the Bulldogs with a two-run double and Savannah Robertson later followed with a two-run triple. A bases clearing triple by MacKinsey Schmidt in the seventh put the game completely out of reach.
Haro went 2-for-3 with two runs, two RBIs and a pair of walks in the win. Other Bulldogs with two hits in the blowout were Tori Homolka, Leak Kalwarf and Elanna Osthoff. The top four hitters in the Concordia lineup each scored at least two runs. Seven Bulldogs notched at least one hit.
Playing in her hometown, senior Brittany Woolridge got the start in the circle versus Missouri Valley. She went 3.2 innings and allowed three runs before giving way to freshman Camry Moore. The Crete product tossed 3.1 scoreless innings to seal the win. Moore also hurled all eight innings of the second game against the nationally-ranked Wildcats. She helped her own cause with a two-run extra base hit that eventually forced an extra frame.
The offensive output has not been consistent through the opening four games of the season, but the Bulldogs have managed to hang right with two top 15 squads in the NAIA. Some squandered opportunities with runners on base was partly to blame for falling short in Monday’s capper.
“We can play at that level, but we lost both of those games,” Semler said. “It’s let us know that we’re in that realm and we have a good shot at doing some great things. We need to finish and work on the little things that probably caused us to lose those games. If we take away anything so far, it’s that we can be really good.”
Semler went with a lineup versus Mo Valley that featured Homolka, Schmidt, Haro and Osthoff one through four. Homolka has already started games at shortstop and at first base. Haro is a constant at third base while Osthoff and Schmidt are anchors in the outfield.
For the third day in a row, the Bulldogs will look forward to a pair of contests against NAIA foes. In Tuesday’s action at the Tucson Invite, Concordia will take on Bethel College (Ind.) at 11 a.m. MT / 12 p.m. CT before a clash with Benedictine College (Kan.) at 3:30 p.m. MT / 4:30 p.m. CT.
Mar. 5, 2019
TUCSON, Ariz. – Day three marked the first perfect day of the Concordia University softball team’s stay at the Tucson Invitational. In games played at Lincoln Park in Tucson on Tuesday (March 5), the Bulldogs handled Bethel College (Ind.), 5-1, and then rallied late for a 6-4 win over Benedictine College (Kan.) to cap the evening.
The latest win may have been the most satisfying so far this young season for head coach Shawn Semler. After holding the lead for most of the game versus Benedictine, Concordia (3-3) gave it up and then regained it in the bottom of the sixth.
“Today was a great day as a team,” Semler said. “Grace Bernhardt threw really well (in the first game) and then we started hitting the ball well. Then in the second game, Benedictine is a team that’s been doing well down here and returned a lot from last year. Brittany Woolridge was lights out. She and (catcher) Allysia (Thayer) were really in sync. We brought Woolridge back in for the seventh and she shut them down.
“These first three days we’ve faced really good teams. Our kids are not quitting. We have been in these tight situations already and today they stepped up. They are picking each other up.”
Down 4-3 in the bottom of the sixth against Benedictine. Leah Kalkwarf scored the tying run on a strange play in which a pop up ruled an infield fly was dropped. MacKinsey Schmidt soon followed with a clutch two-run single to put the Bulldogs up for good. Jayden Lindgren was another key contributor with a two-run double earlier in the contest. Woolridge sealed the win with a quick seventh frame.
It took a while for the Concordia attack to get rolling in the first game. The game was knotted, 1-1, after the first inning and stayed that way until the Bulldogs put up two runs in the fifth and two in the sixth. In a winning effort, Hhana Haro, Kalkwarf and Kylee Nixon each had two hits. The top three hitters in the lineup (Tori Homolka, Schmidt and Haro) drove in a run apiece.
Bernhardt picked up the win in game one. She allowed one run on three hits and two walks while striking out three. Woolridge earned a save by tossing three shutout frames without allowing a hit to the Pilots. Freshman Camry Moore also worked in the circle in the second game.
After three-straight days with two games each, the Bulldogs will enjoy a Wednesday off day in Tucson. Concordia will then go three a similar stretch with six games on the slate Thursday through Saturday to close out the road trip. In Thursday’s action, the Bulldogs will play Presentation College (S.D.) at 9 a.m. MT / 10 a.m. CT and then Waldorf University (Iowa) at 11 a.m. MT / 12 p.m. CT.
Mar. 7, 2019
TUCSON, Ariz. – The Concordia University softball team has found a groove in Tucson. The Bulldogs put all phases of the game together on Thursday (March 7) while recording a 4-0 shutout of Presentation College (S.D.) and then a 15-1 run-rule trouncing of Waldorf University (Iowa) to close the day. Fine pitching performances were turned in by both sophomore Grace Bernhardt and Brittany Woolridge.
Head coach Shawn Semler’s squad has improved to 5-3 while riding a four-game win streak at the Tucson Invitational. Concordia had a day off on Wednesday to recharge for the second half of the road trip in Arizona.
“Our girls are really playing well right now,” Semler said. “They’re in that mode right now and in that groove. I think we’ve found a front part of our lineup that we really like. We’re trying to get some consistency with that but yet get a lot of kids in and see a lot of them in different situations. We want to make sure that once we get to the GPAC season we’ve got some flow going.”
Bernhardt was the biggest star of Thursday’s first game. She covered all seven innings and allowed only two hits. The native of St. Charles, Mo., even wiggled out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the fourth inning. She did so by striking out two hitters and then by getting a fly out to center. Bernhardt struck out eight while notching the shutout of Presentation (1-15).
Bernhardt easily made the four runs stand up that Concordia put on the board over the first and second frames. Slugging third baseman Hhana Haro got things rolling with a two-run blast in the first inning. In that same frame, Jadyn Lindgren singled home Camry Moore, who reached on a double. Haro added a sacrifice fly in the second inning.
In continuing one of the themes of the day, the Bulldogs also struck early in the second game, piling up five runs in the first while up against Waldorf (3-4 entering the day). The big blow was a three-run triple clubbed by catcher Allysia Thayer. Haro (two hits in the second game) also knocked in another early tally, Moore brought home two with a base hit, Jamie Lefebure drove in three and Kylee Nixon sent in two more with a base hit in the fifth as part of the onslaught.
Pitching has been a big key to Concordia’s four-game win streak. During which, it has allowed a grand total of six runs. Like Bernhardt, Woolridge was nearly unhittable on this particular day. Of the two hits managed by the Warriors, one came on a bunt and another was a single up the middle. Woolridge worked a five-inning complete game.
“Grace and Brit really stepped up,” Semler said. “I think everyone knows what we’ve got with Camry, but if we’re going to do something really good in the GPAC we have to have depth. If they are able to throw like that, it would be amazing for us.”
Two games apiece are coming up Friday and Saturday for the Bulldogs. In Friday’s action at the Tucson Invite, Concordia will play 25th-ranked Valley City State University (N.D.) at 1:30 p.m. MT / 2:30 p.m. CT and then Dakota State University (S.D.) at 3:30 p.m. MT / 4:30 p.m. CT.
Mar. 8, 2019
TUCSON, Ariz. – The desert storm continues for the Concordia University softball team, which swept up another couple of victories while in action at the Tucson Invitational on Friday (March 8). Strong pitching performances from Camry Moore and Brittany Woolridge and great production from the bottom half of the lineup carried the Bulldogs to wins by scores of 6-1 over No. 25 Valley City State University (N.D.) and 7-6 over Dakota State University (S.D.).
Head coach Shawn Semler’s squad will carry a six-game win streak into the final day of the Tucson road trip. Concordia is now 7-3 overall (all games played in Tucson).
“I think we’re enjoying the game and having fun,” Semler said. “After they got a few games out of the way, they just have gone out and played. I don’t think they care if the opponent is ranked or anything. They’re having fun and obviously our confidence is sky high right now.”
Semler called it a “battle of aces” in the Concordia-Valley City State matchup. The Vikings came into the game with a spotless 15-0 mark. They were stopped in their tracks by Moore, a standout freshman from Crete High School. Moore worked all seven innings while allowing five hits and striking out six. She was given a 4-0 cushion before Valley City State finally got on the board in the sixth. Moore limited the damage by stranding two runners on base.
It was a fine day for another freshman in Kylee Nixon, who started both games at second base with Leah Kalkwarf nursing an injury. Nixon bunted for a hit on a play that turned into a three-ring circus act in the second inning. During which, Elanna Osthoff scored and Nixon came all the way around herself. A York High School product, Nixon had two hits in the first game. In that same contest, Osthoff went 2-for-4 with a pair of runs. One of her hits went for an RBI triple. Moore also singled in a run.
The second game got a lot more interesting than Concordia would have liked. Some defensive miscues aided the Trojans (2-7) in putting four runs on the board in the seventh. The development slashed a 7-2 Bulldog lead to 7-6 before Moore recorded the last out in the circle. Moore got the final five outs after Woolridge worked 5.1 solid innings.
At the plate, Tori Homolka doubled twice while driving in three runs. Hhana Haro and Dalaney Nance also added an RBI single apiece. Nixon scored the game’s first run after crossing home plate on a wild pitch.
Said Semler of the second game, “Woolridge threw really well and then we had kind of a lapse. We were able to make the plays when we needed to.
“Camry was lights out (in the first game). She was unbelievable. For most of the day the bottom of the lineup kind of carried us. You have to love when the bottom can manufacture a lot of runs for you.”
The Bulldogs will be back at in the morning. They will take on Park University (Mo.) at 9 a.m. MT / 10 a.m. CT and then Roosevelt University (Ill.) at 11 a.m. MT / 12 p.m. CT. Concordia is scheduled to fly back to Nebraska later in the day on Saturday.
Mar. 9, 2019
TUCSON, Ariz. – The Concordia University softball team will bring plenty of confidence back with it upon its return to Nebraska. The Bulldogs dominated the competition on the final day of their stay at the Tucson Invitational. They cruised to a pair of run-rule shortened wins on Saturday (March 9), taking decisions by scores of 10-2 over Park University (Mo.) (six innings) and 15-3 over Roosevelt University (Ill.) (five innings).
Head coach Shawn Semler’s squad put everything together after starting out 1-3 against tough competition in Arizona. Concordia is now 9-3 overall and is riding an eight-game win streak that includes a victory over 25th-ranked Valley City State University (N.D.).
In the latest day of action, the Bulldogs overwhelmed the opposition with 12 hits in both contests. In the game one rout, Tori Homolka and Kylee Nixon both went 3-for-3. Nixon emerged as another in a long line of great storylines coming out of Arizona. The York High School product has started her college career going 10-for-18 (.556) with a home run and nine RBIs at the plate. Nixon doubled and homered while helping Concordia pour it on the Pirates early on Saturday morning.
In that same game, fellow freshman Camry Moore notched a pair of hits and drove in four runs. Moore’s two run single in the bottom of the sixth versus Park enacted the eight-run rule. Seven different Bulldogs collected at least one hit in the first blowout of the day.
Concordia then finished the road trip strong by pushing across multiple runs in each of the five innings against Roosevelt. Center fielder MacKinsey Schmidt enjoyed an especially noteworthy game. She tripled three times and scored three times out of the No. 2 spot in the lineup. Moore also starred while getting the start at first base. Moore recorded a pair of RBI singles and a sac fly as part of her monster offensive day. She finished with seven RBIs on Saturday.
Additionally, Hhana Haro homered in the first game and Nixon knocked in three runs in the second game. In the No. 9 spot in the order, Jenessa Jarvis went 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI in the capper.
In the circle, Brittany Woolridge continued a nice week within her hometown of Tucson. She got the win versus Park by covering six innings. She allowed two runs on six hits and struck out two. In the second game, Woolridge threw an inning of scoreless relief. Grace Bernhardt started and tossed three innings. Megan Klenke also appeared for an inning.
Over the stretch of 12 games in Tucson, Concordia outscored its opponents by a combined total of 85-36. Haro belted three of the team’s four home runs and owns a team high 11 RBIs. The Bulldogs played three nationally ranked foes while in Arizona.
The next scheduled event on the slate is a home doubleheader with York College on March 14. Due to the weather this February and March in Nebraska, that twin bill is extremely unlikely to be played as scheduled. Updates to the slate will be announced on the web as postponements/cancelations are made.
Mar. 19, 2019
Due to poor field conditions at Plum Creek Park, the softball doubleheader scheduled for Wednesday (March 20) between Concordia and Nebraska Wesleyan University has been postponed. A makeup date is to be determined. Weather conditions have continued to prevent head coach Shawn Semler's squad from getting out on the home diamond. Currently, the next scheduled twin bill on the slate is coming up March 27 versus Doane. The Bulldogs are set to open up GPAC play at home.
Mar. 21, 2019
The Concordia University softball program has announced the addition of a doubleheader at Ottawa University (Kan.) to be played on Friday (March 22). First pitch is set for 2 p.m. CT from Dick Peters Sports Complex in Ottawa, Kan. Head coach Shawn Semler's squad hopes to open up conference play this coming Wednesday (March 27) when Doane is scheduled to be in Seward for a 5 p.m. twin bill.
Friday's games at Ottawa will be streamed live via Ottawa's Stretch Internet portal: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/ottawa/.
Mar. 22, 2019
OTTAWA, Kan. – It had been nearly two weeks since the Concordia University softball team had taken to the diamond in game action. In somewhat of an impromptu doubleheader, the Bulldogs took both games from Ottawa University (Kan.) on Friday afternoon (March 22). Concordia won by scores of 10-5 (eight innings) and 5-3 while extending its win streak that began in Tucson, Ariz.
Head coach Shawn Semler’s squad has moved to 11-3 overall. The Bulldogs have won 10 games in a row since a 1-3 start.
“The biggest thing was our ability to stick with it and work through some of the mistakes we made,” Semler said. “We still managed to get things done and came up with some big hits in the end when we needed them. We had some big defensive plays that really helped too.
“There were no complaints about being on the road today for eight hours. They were getting after it so I was pleased about that.”
Sophomore Tori Homolka has been swinging a hot bat no matter whether she’s been placed at shortstop or first base. She had four more hits in the opener on Friday while continuing to be a catalyst atop the lineup. Homolka belted a home run leading off game one in a four-hit performance. In that contest, Concordia was forced to rally from a 4-3 deficit in the sixth inning. That’s when Homolka doubled and run-scoring hits from Hhana Haro and Kylee Nixon edged the Bulldogs in front.
Concordia eventually had to respond when the Braves (10-10) pushed across a run in the seventh to necessitate an eighth inning. The Bulldogs exploded for five runs to pull away with it. Not only did Homolka go 4-for-5, Camry Moore equaled that performance with a 4-for-5 day of her own and Nixon and Savannah Robertson added three hits apiece. Moore earned the win in the circle while tossing all eight frames.
In the second game, Homolka got Concordia going again with a leadoff single. She eventually scored on Moore’s RBI single in the first. Then in the second inning, Haro delivered a two-run single and Moore drove in another run with a base hit. Behind pitcher Brittany Woolridge, the Bulldogs hung onto the lead and added an insurance run with an RBI single by Jenessa Jarvis in the sixth.
“She had quite a day,” Semler said of Homolka. “Camry hit the ball hard today too. Savannah hit the ball really well. They did a lot of our hitting damage.
“The biggest thing we wanted was to make sure we played at least one more time before conference play against Doane. They’re pretty good and we didn’t want to go into that with a two-and-a-half-week layoff.”
The hope is to open up conference play as scheduled on Wednesday (March 27) with a doubleheader versus Doane (8-10, 0-0 GPAC). First pitch is slated for 5 p.m. CT from Plum Creek Park in Seward. In the most recent GPAC poll, Doane was rated fourth and Concordia fifth.
Mar. 25, 2019
SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University softball team will take a 10-game winning streak into the start of conference play, which begins on Wednesday with a doubleheader against rival Doane. The twin bill was originally scheduled to be at home, but poor field conditions at Plum Creek Park has caused it to be moved to Crete High School. Head coach Shawn Semler’s squad is also scheduled to be in Orange City, Iowa, for a GPAC doubleheader at Northwestern.
Wednesday, March 27 vs. Doane (9-11, 1-1), 5 p.m. (Crete High School)
-Live updates: @cunebulldogs
*Due to the change in venue, the games will not be streamed live.
Saturday, March 30 at Northwestern (7-10, 0-0), 1 p.m.
-Live webcast: Northwestern Stretch Internet portal
The Bulldogs recently went nearly two weeks between games due to a series of postponements and cancelations. They picked up an impromptu doubleheader at Ottawa University (Kan.) on March 22. The result were victories by scores of 10-5 (eight innings) and 5-3 that kept alive the win streak that began at the Tucson Invitational. The highlight triumph during that run was a 6-1 decision over Valley City State (N.D.), which now stands at 24-1 overall. Concordia did not receive votes in the most recent NAIA national poll, but is rated 26th in the NAIA by Massey Ratings.
Despite the win streak, the Bulldogs (11-3) still have not been able to make any traction in the official conference poll despite having the best overall win percentage (.786) among all GPAC teams. Concordia is also the top team in the GPAC according to Massey Ratings. Furthermore, it boasts conference rankings of first in fielding percentage (.962), first in slugging percentage (.474), second in runs per game (7.1), third in ERA (2.63) and third in lowest opponent batting average (.258). The Bulldogs have outscored their opponents by a combined total of 100-44 this season.
Tori Homolka, who has split time playing at shortstop and first base, has emerged as a star in her sophomore season. Over the past five games, Homolka has gone 12-for-18 (.667) with nine runs, four doubles, a home run, eight RBIs and three stolen bases. On the year, the native of Swanton, Neb., is hitting .449, has collected 10 extra base hits and is slugging .755. Other hitting standouts have been freshmen Kylee Nixon (12-for-23, four doubles, 10 RBIs) and Camry Moore (13-for-34, 12 RBIs) and reigning GPAC Player of the Year Hhana Haro (15-for-44, three home runs, 14 RBIs, .636 slugging).
Semler has also gotten solid results out of a three-person pitching staff featuring Moore (3.08 ERA, 27 strikeouts in 38.2 innings), senior Brittany Woolridge (5-0, 2.26 ERA, 34 innings) and sophomore Grace Bernhardt (3-0, 1.94 ERA, 18 innings). The doubleheader in Crete will be a homecoming for Moore and fellow Crete High School alums in Jamie Lefebure and MacKinsey Schmidt. Moore led the Cardinals to a Class B state title in 2017.
Doane is ranked above Concordia in the GPAC poll despite a below .500 record. The Tigers (ranked 82nd nationally by Massey) opened up conference play on Sunday and split with Morningside. Head coach Aurelia Gamch’s squad possesses two of the league’s top players in the likes of outfielder Jordan Van Roy and first baseman Jordyn Stearns. Doane made a splash outside of conference play with a 4-3 victory over then 22nd-ranked Southeastern University (Fla.). The Tigers lean heavily upon ace pitcher Josie Schnakenberg (1.48 ERA in 66 innings).
Northwestern is scheduled to open GPAC play at Dordt on Tuesday. The Red Raiders have not played since wrapping up a trip to Tucson, Ariz., on March 11. The leading hitter for head coach Shane Bouman’s squad is Amber Schubert, who is hitting .413 with eight doubles. As a team, Northwestern has hit only two home runs through 17 games. Emma Schnell has been the go-to pitcher. She sports a 2.76 ERA over 50.2 innings.
The hope is that Concordia will be able to host games by the time Jamestown and Dakota Wesleyan are scheduled to come to town the weekend of April 5-6.
Mar. 26, 2019
SEWARD, Neb. – A monster performance in last week’s doubleheader sweep of Ottawa University (Kan.) paved the way for sophomore Tori Homolka to be named the GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Softball Player of the Week, as announced by the league on Tuesday (March 26). Homolka is the first Bulldog to earn a GPAC weekly honor this 2019 season. It also her first career player of the week award.
A native of Swanton, Neb., Homolka went 6-for-8 with four runs scored, a double, a stolen base, a home run and three RBIs in the twin bill at Ottawa. That performance was a continuation of a sterling start to the season for the shortstop/first baseman. Over the last five games, Homolka is 12-for-18 (.667) with nine runs, four doubles, a home run, eight RBIs and three stolen bases. Her season stat line is an impressive one that includes a .449 batting average, .463 on-base percentage, .755 slugging percentage, 15 runs, six doubles, three triples, a home run and 11 RBIs.
In 56 career collegiate games, Homolka has batted .335 with 16 doubles, seven triples, six home runs and 38 RBIs. Homolka and the Bulldogs (11-3) will ride a 10-game winning streak into Wednesday’s doubleheader with Doane (9-11, 1-1 GPAC). The twin bill will get started at 5 p.m. CT and will be played at Crete High School.
Mar. 27, 2019
CRETE, Neb. – Sophomore Tori Homolka keeps on smashing and senior Brittany Woolridge keeps on dealing in the circle – and the Concordia University softball team keeps on winning. In action that took place on the Crete High School diamond in Crete, Neb., the Bulldogs swept hometown Doane with victories coming by scores of 6-4 and 5-0 on Wednesday (March 27). It was a homecoming for Crete High alums in senior Jamie Lefebure, sophomore MacKinsey Schmidt and freshman Camry Moore.
Head coach Shawn Semler’s squad has won 12 games in a row and appears to be one that should be pushing for national attention in the polls. That lack of respect hasn’t dampened the spirits of Concordia (13-3, 2-0 GPAC).
“I think the girls were pretty excited to play here today,” Semler said. “Doane’s a good team. It was just nice to see us come out and hit the ball well and put a lot of pressure on them. We shut them down in the end (of game one) and then came out in game two with a lot of spirit and really got after them.”
The ball is screaming off the bat of Homolka, the reigning GPAC Player of the Week. In game one, Homolka carried the Bulldog offense by belting a three-run homer in the second inning and then a game-winning two-run blast in the sixth as part of a 3-for-4, five-RBI performance. She did not stop there. She laced a pair of doubles and scored a run in the second game.
The native of Swanton, Neb., says she found a way of calming herself at the plate during the team’s stay at the Tucson Invitational. It’s working. More than anything, she’s just happy to be part of the ride this team is enjoying.
“It’s so fun. I wouldn’t trade this team for the world,” Homolka said. “It’s been a blast and I just want to keep it going.”
Woolridge was lights out in game two while running her record to a spotless 6-0. She only struck out two hitters, but often induced weak contact and then let her defense do the work – the Bulldogs were completely error free on Wednesday. Woolridge faced only 24 batters in a fast moving complete game shutout.
Concordia got all the offense it needed in game two with a four-run first inning. Schmidt got the rally going by singling and scoring on a base hit by Hhana Haro. The big blow was delivered by Elanna Osthoff, who crushed a three-run homer to left center. The final tally of the contest came from another Haro RBI single in the second. Homolka, Haro, Moore and Osthoff each recorded two hits in the win.
Moore also took to the rubber for game one while in her old high school digs. She also spun a complete game while scattering nine hits and one walk (four earned runs). In that same game, Jayden Lindgren connected for a solo homer.
Positive contributions are coming up and down the lineup and from anyone Semler puts in the circle. There’s a lot of season left, but the Bulldogs like where they stand.
Said Semler, “We have so many options. The game two lineup was quite a bit different from game one. It’s just kids going out there and playing hard. That’s the beauty of this group right now – they’re just going out and playing hard for each other.”
Doane (9-13, 1-3 GPAC) split with Morningside in a Sunday doubleheader. Star Tiger Jordan Van Roy had a clutch two-run triple in game one to tie the score in the fifth. It remained 4-4 until Homolka’s second home run of the contest.
The Bulldogs are scheduled to return to action on Saturday with a doubleheader at Northwestern (7-12, 0-2 GPAC). First pitch from Orange City, Iowa is set for 1 p.m. CT. As the schedule currently stands, the final 20 games of the regular season will all be against conference opponents.
Apr. 2, 2019
SEWARD, Neb. – Two key factors in the active 12-game winning streak for the Concordia University softball team, sophomore Tori Homolka and senior Brittany Woolridge have picked up GPAC awards, as announced on Tuesday (April 2). For the second week in a row, Homolka has been named the GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Softball Player of the Week. Woolridge has been tabbed the GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Softball Pitcher of the Week.
Homolka has been sizzling out of the leadoff spot in the lineup. The first baseman/shortstop continued her hot hitting last week by going 5-for-8 with three runs, two doubles, two home runs and five RBIs in the doubleheader sweep of Doane. In game one of the doubleheader, the Swanton, Neb., native delivered a three-run homer and later the game-winning two-run blast. Among GPAC players, Homolka ranks first in slugging percentage (.877), first in hits per game (1.69) and second in batting average (.474). She is 17-for-26 at the plate over the past seven games.
Meanwhile, Woolridge has been on a roll in the circle in making the most of her final collegiate season. She earned the weekly award based on her three-hit shutout of Doane in the second game of the doubleheader. In that contest, Woolridge faced only 24 batters in a seven-inning complete game. The native of Tucson, Ariz., moved her record to a spotless 6-0 to go along with a 1.75 ERA over 44 innings (nine appearances). Woolridge has struck out 29 hitters and has walked only six this season. She ranks third among GPAC pitchers in ERA.
Head coach Shawn Semler’s squad will attempt to extend the winning streak this weekend when it hosts Jamestown on Friday and Dakota Wesleyan on Saturday. The Bulldogs (13-3, 2-0 GPAC) have yet to play at home.
Apr. 3, 2019
SEWARD, Neb. – Originally, the Concordia University softball team had scheduled itself to make its first home appearance back in February. That didn’t happen. Now the Bulldogs are looking to host their long awaited home opener this weekend with Jamestown and Dakota Wesleyan slated to make trips south for doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday. Head coach Shawn Semler’s squad has not played since sweeping a doubleheader from Doane on March 27.
Semler certainly hopes the layoff between games will not cool off his squad, which owns an active 12-game win streak (longest for the program since 2008). The team’s hot start was discussed in the Omaha World-Herald this week. It has been nearly a month since Concordia last lost a game – March 4 by a 4-2 score in an eight-inning game against then seventh-ranked Indiana Wesleyan University. Based on the résumé, the Bulldogs appear to be deserving of recognition in the national polls. According to Massey Ratings, Concordia comes in at No. 1 in the GPAC and No. 24 in the entire NAIA. Its biggest claim to fame so far was a win over Valley City State University (N.D.), currently No. 9 in the national coaches’ poll.
Any opposition of the Bulldogs (13-3, 2-0 GPAC) will be tasked with trying to slow down first baseman/shortstop Tori Homolka, now the GPAC Player of the Week two weeks running. Her numbers are especially impressive over the past seven games: 17-for-26 (.654), 12 runs, 13 RBIs, three home runs, six doubles and three stolen bases. Homolka is the conference leader in slugging percentage (.877) and hits per game (1.69). She is the leadoff hitter for a potent top of the lineup that has also featured 2018 first team all-conference center fielder MacKinsey Schmidt, reigning GPAC Player of the Year Hhana Haro and star freshman Camry Moore.
While Homolka has led a productive offense (second in the GPAC in runs per game), Concordia has been balanced across all facets of the game. The Bulldogs also rank No. 1 in the conference in fielding percentage (.967) and third in the GPAC in ERA (2.54). Senior Brittany Woolridge nabbed GPAC Pitcher of the Week accolades after tossing a three-hit shutout last week against Doane. Moore and Woolridge have given the Bulldogs a nice one-two punch at the top of the rotation. It’s unlikely we’ve seen the best of Moore, who was once committed to play at NCAA Division II University of Sioux Falls.
Jamestown is in its first season as a GPAC member. The Jimmies received votes in the most recent NAIA national poll. Head coach Kevin Gall’s team bounced back from being swept in a conference doubleheader by Briar Cliff to take two from College of Saint Mary this past Sunday. Miriah Yoder is hitting a team high .371 for a Jimmies squad that averages 6.75 runs per game. Jamestown went 44-10 and reached the opening round of the NAIA national tournament a year ago.
Dakota Wesleyan has a busy stretch of conference games coming up with action scheduled for Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. The Tigers have struggled to prevent runs having allowed 197 over 163 innings of pitching. Opponents are hitting .390 off of DWU pitching. The Tigers lean heavily upon Sierra Haage at the plate and in the circle. She is hitting .348 with three home runs and 15 RBIs. Dakota Wesleyan’s two league wins have come over Mount Marty and Morningside.
A trio of road twin bills are on the docket for next week. Concordia is scheduled to be at Morningside (April 9), Briar Cliff (April 12) and Mount Marty (April 13).
Apr. 5, 2019
SEWARD, Neb. – From the perspective of the Concordia University softball team, the first nine innings of Friday (April 5)’s doubleheader were quite miserable, to be frank. At that point in the day, the Bulldogs had been outscored 14-1 and managed just a single hit. As it turned out, Concordia just needed a little spark. It came in the fourth inning of game two and allowed the Bulldogs to salvage a split in their first home game day of the season. They followed an 11-1 loss (six innings) in game one with a 12-7 victory in game two while up against Jamestown.
The defeat in game one snapped a 12-game win streak, Concordia’s longest since 2008. Head coach Shawn Semler’s squad is now 14-4 overall and 3-1 in league play.
“Game one was really bad. We didn’t do anything right,” Semler said. “I was proud of the girls for climbing back into that (second) game. We talked to them about letting the first game go and get a split. Honestly, it takes one or two kids to hit the ball hard and it kind of gets contagious.”
Some sort of fever swept through the Bulldog dugout, in a good way, during the nine-run frame of game two. The outburst that featured seven hits, two walks and a Jimmie error transformed a 4-0 deficit into a 9-0 lead. It was a stunning turnaround after Concordia had been no-hit by Kat Miska in the six-inning, run rule loss to start the afternoon.
The fourth-inning merry-go-round got started when Hhana Haro took a leadoff walk and was aided by an error on a comebacker to the pitcher. Suddenly, the Bulldogs could not be stopped. Run scoring hits were supplied by Savannah Robertson (twice in the inning), Leah Kalkwarf, Jadyn Lindgren, Tori Homolka, MacKinsey Schmidt and Haro. Homolka’s two-run double gave the Bulldogs a 6-4 lead.
Robertson, a transfer from Northeast Community College, played a major role in turning the frown upside down. In game two, she went 3-for-3 with two runs, a double, a walk and two RBIs.
“We talked about it in the huddle and we said that game’s done,” Robertson said of the attitude between games. “The only thing we can do now is move past it. I think we really did a good job of doing that even though they scored the first few innings. We pushed back.”
Jamestown (21-9, 5-3 GPAC) have been ranked in the top 25 this season and continue to receive votes. There were stretches during which it seemed like every time the Jimmies put their bat to the ball, it found a hole. Spurred by leadoff hitter Mikayla Frost (7-for-9 on the day), Jamestown cranked out 16 hits in both ends of the twin bill. Miska was terrific in the circle in game one. She scattered five walks and struck out 10 in the no-hitter.
It was no easy task to take on the Jimmies after more than a week between games. The Bulldogs had not played since a doubleheader sweep of Doane on March 27.
“It really scared me to come from that layoff and try to play these guys, who will work you over in a lot of ways,” Semler said. “They bunted, they hit the ball hard, they moved runners over and they stole bases. Coming back tomorrow I’m just hoping our pitching staff can heal in time and throw well.”
Senior Brittany Woolridge pushed her record to 7-0, but not a lot came easy on this day. After taking the loss in game one, Camry Moore earned the save in game two. She was much sharper in a relief role.
Homolka went 0-for-2 with a walk in game one, but then notched three hits in game two. Eight Bulldogs had at least one hit in the capper. Lindgren produced a clutch two-run, pinch-hit single.
Concordia will complete its weekend on Saturday by hosting Dakota Wesleyan (7-21, 2-6 GPAC). First pitch has been moved up to 11 a.m. to avoid potential rain later in the day.
Apr. 6, 2019
SEWARD, Neb. – Unlike the first home game day of 2019, the Concordia University softball team was able to put together winning efforts in both ends of a conference doubleheader. The two games on Saturday afternoon (April 6) took a combined two-and-a-half hours to play as the Bulldogs made quick work of visiting Dakota Wesleyan. Concordia won 8-0 and 10-2 with both contests ending by the run rule in five innings.
Head coach Shawn Semler’s squad won its final three games of the weekend after being no-hit in the first contest of Friday’s doubleheader. The Bulldogs have triumphed in 15 of their last 16 and have moved to 16-4 overall (5-1 GPAC).
“When you put that lineup you figure you’re going to do a lot of that,” Semler said of the offensive production. “I think we’ll see more of that yet this spring, but there’s still some great pitchers out there that we’re going to face. We have to be consistent in hitting that kind of pitching.”
Concordia outhit the Tigers (7-23, 2-8 GPAC), 24-10, while providing plenty of run support for pitchers Camry Moore and Brittany Woolridge. The Bulldogs faced a deficit only briefly to begin game two before pouring it back on Dakota Wesleyan. It was an especially fine day for reigning GPAC Player of the Year Hhana Haro, who reached base in six of her seven plate appearances and collected five hits. Junior Savannah Robertson also enjoyed a 3-for-3, two-double, four-RBI performance in game two.
Haro and company put up a cool 30 runs combined over the final three games of the weekend. The lineup is proving to be one that can bite opponents hard one through nine.
“I think it’s all about having fun now,” Haro said. “When you have fun, good things happen. We’re super excited about this season.”
Moore bounced back nicely and was a big-time performer in game one. In the circle, she fired a five-inning, two-hit shutout in which she struck out three and did not allow a single walk. At the plate, Moore added a pair of hits, two runs and an RBI. The eight-run rule was enacted in the bottom of the fifth when Taylor Zehendner cleared the bases with a three-run double in her first career varsity at bat.
In game two, five Bulldogs notched two or more hits: Haro (3-for-3), Robertson (3-for-3), Allysia Thayer (2-for-2), Tori Homolka (2-for-4) and MacKinsey Schmidt (2-for-4). Homolka nearly left the yard in the third inning with a two-run double that pelted the fence in right center. From a defensive perspective, the highlight of the game was a diving snare made by shortstop Jamie Lefebure on a liner off the bat of Amber Budmark.
Woolridge is now 8-0 after going all five innings of game two. She scattered eight hits and a walk. The Tucson, Ariz., native struck out nine hitters and concluded the contest by striking out the side in the fifth. Semler lauded Moore and Woolridge for their ability to work quickly.
Said Semler, “I thought we got great pitching. Our pitching really works fast so that allowed us to get through two games really quick.”
Dakota Wesleyan has had its issues holding down the opposition. In Saturday’s games, Sierra Haage and Alyson VanderPol were tagged with losses. VanderPol was removed from the game with two outs in the first inning. After going scoreless in the first three frames of game one, Concordia pushed across at least one run in each of the next five innings. The biggest explosion was the six runs the Bulldogs brought home in the third inning of game two.
A showdown at Morningside (15-6, 8-2 GPAC) looms on Tuesday. First pitch from Sioux City, Iowa, is set for 3 p.m. CT. The Mustangs shared the GPAC regular season title with Midland last season.
Apr. 8, 2019
SEWARD, Neb. – After enjoying a brief four-game home stand, the Concordia University softball team will be back on the road this week for a trio of GPAC doubleheaders. Up next is a journey to Sioux City, Iowa, for a showdown with perennial league power Morningside on Tuesday. The Bulldogs will also be at Briar Cliff on Friday and at Mount Marty on Saturday. As long as the weather holds up, Concordia will play 30 percent of its league schedule in this week alone.
Friday, April 12 at Briar Cliff (7-18, 2-8) – DH
3 p.m. | Bishop Mueller Field | Sioux City, Iowa
Saturday, April 13 at Mount Marty (17-17, 8-6) – DH
1 p.m. | Riverside Softball Diamonds | Yankton, S.D.
This week will help decide whether head coach Shawn Semler’s squad is a serious contender for the GPAC regular season title. In the official conference poll released today (April 8) by the NAIA, the Bulldogs (16-4, 5-1 GPAC) checked in at No. 2 behind defending GPAC champion Midland. In last week’s action, Concordia won three of four during a weekend stay at home against the likes of Jamestown and Dakota Wesleyan. After being no-hit in an 11-1 loss in game one against Jamestown, the Bulldogs rebounded and won the next three contests. Picked fifth in the GPAC preseason poll after finishing seventh in the league in 2018, the Bulldogs are primed for a move up the standings.
Entering the week, the Bulldogs lead the GPAC in runs scored per game (7.10), just in front of Morningside (7.05). The most consistent offensive forces for Concordia have been first baseman/shortstop Tori Homolka and third baseman Hhana Haro. Homolka has been so good this season that her season batting average actually went down after a 6-for-14 weekend at the plate. Homolka is the GPAC leader in hits per game (1.65) and slugging percentage (.817). Meanwhile, Haro is coming off a five-hit doubleheader versus Dakota Wesleyan. It has taken her only 61 games to reach 100 hits in her Concordia career.
In all three conference doubleheaders to this point, Semler has given the ball in the circle to Camry Moore in game one and Brittany Woolridge in game two. Both experienced struggles against Jamestown before tightening things up in a pair of run rule wins over Dakota Wesleyan. The staff strikeout rate of 4.35 per game is not particularly high, but Moore and Woolridge have done a nice job of inducing weak contact that has been eaten up by a solid defensive squad. Moore (5-4, 3.62 ERA) and Woolridge (8-0, 2.56 ERA) have combined to cover 112.2 of the team’s 130.1 innings pitched.
Morningside is always a threat in the GPAC. Last season was a rare instance in which the Mustangs missed out on the national tournament. Jessica Jones-Sitzmann’s squad will test the Concordia pitching staff. Morningside is hitting .338 with a .515 slugging percentage. Rebecca Riley (.412) and Ellie Cropley (.400) are both hitting .400 or better. The team’s ace pitcher is Hallie Misiaszek (8-2, 1.87 ERA).
Briar Cliff has lost six games in a row since a doubleheader sweep of Jamestown on March 29. Following a 5-32 overall record last season, the Chargers brought in Erin Bly as new head coach. The pitching has been solid (team 3.30 ERA), but the hitting has struggled (.214 batting average and 78 runs scored in 26 games). Alayna Allen sports a 2.01 ERA in 62.2 innings of work.
On the other hand, Mount Marty can swing it. The Lancers average 6.4 runs per game led by the likes of Makenzi Howard (.455 BA, .747 SLG%, 36 RBIs) and Amber Writer (.405 BA, .730 SLG%, 8 HR, 52 RBIs). Mount Marty also allows its fair share of runs – 179 in 34 games. The Lancers are coming off a doubleheader sweep of College of Saint Mary that followed two losses to Morningside.
Next week the Bulldogs will be at No. 21 Midland on April 16 and at Hastings on April 20. The next home date on the schedule is April 24 versus College of Saint Mary.
Apr. 9, 2019
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Morningside ace pitcher Hallie Misiaszek limited the Concordia University softball team to a combined three runs on eight hits on Tuesday afternoon (April 9) in Sioux City, Iowa. The work of Misiaszek boosted the host Mustangs to a doubleheaders sweep of the Bulldogs in contests decided by scores of 4-2 and 4-1. Concordia slipped up despite having a lead in both games.
Head coach Shawn Semler’s squad had entered the day having won 15 of its last 16 games. The Bulldogs also received votes in the new NAIA coaches’ poll that came out in the middle of action. They dropped to 16-6 overall (5-3 GPAC).
“We got good pitching today in both games,” Semler said. “Morningside’s go-to hitters got the job done when it mattered and ours did not. They made our pitchers throw a lot of extra pitches and we gave their pitchers too many quick innings. Our defense also had a couple mistakes in crucial situations that made a difference in both games.”
As usual, Semler gave the ball to freshman Camry Moore in game one and then to senior Brittany Woolridge in game two. They simply got outdueled by Misiaszek, who covered all 14 innings in the circle for Morningside (17-6, 10-2 GPAC), co-defending GPAC regular season champion. Moore gave herself a 2-1 lead in the opener with an RBI single in the top of the third. Later on, sophomore Tori Homolka led off game two with a home run to center. Unfortunately, those advantages did not last long.
In six innings, Moore allowed four earned runs on nine hits (no walks) and struck out two. Woolridge also fired six innings, surrendering four earned runs on six hits and two walks to go along with three strikeouts. Woolridge (8-1) was tagged with her first loss of the 2019 season.
Sophomore Hhana Haro was the lone Bulldog to notch a hit in both games of the twin bill. She singled in a run in the first inning of game one. There were very few scoring opportunities in game two, which saw Concordia manage only two hits and a walk.
It’s a rarity when the Mustangs are not contending for the conference championship. They are right near the top of the league standings after Tuesday’s results. Mackenzie Lose and Ellie Cropley connected for a home run apiece on the day.
The week of road trips is scheduled to continue this weekend with the Bulldogs planning to visit Briar Cliff (7-20, 2-10 GPAC)) on Friday and Mount Marty (17-17, 8-6 GPAC) on Saturday. First pitches for those doubleheaders are set for 3 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively. Eighteen of Concordia’s first 22 games this season have come away from home.
Apr. 11, 2019
Due to inclement weather, both of the Concordia University softball team's GPAC weekend doubleheaders have been pushed back one day. New details are listed below. Head coach Shawn Semler's squad began the week by dropping two games at Morningside on Tuesday. The Bulldogs stand at 16-6 overall, 5-3 GPAC.
Saturday, April 13 at Briar Cliff (7-20, 2-10) – DH
2 p.m. | Bishop Mueller Field | Sioux City, Iowa
Sunday, April 14 at Mount Marty (17-17, 8-6) – DH
1 p.m. | Riverside Softball Diamonds | Yankton, S.D.
Apr. 14, 2019
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – The Concordia University softball team waited until the late innings to bust loose offensively as part of a formula that worked well enough for it to grab two conference victories on Sunday afternoon (April 14). Slugger Hhana Haro led the way in what amounted to wins by scores of 5-1 (eight innings) and 11-7 over Mount Marty. The games were played at SYA Riverside Sports Complex in Sioux City, Iowa.
It was an extended weekend stay in Sioux City for head coach Shawn Semler’s squad, which also won twice at Briar Cliff on Saturday. At 9-3 in the GPAC (20-6 overall), the Bulldogs remain tight near the top of the GPAC with Morningside (12-2) and No. 20 Midland (10-2).
“We let a couple opportunities go early in game one,” Semler said. “The matchup scared me the whole time because we played on a pretty big field against a fast, fast team with 80-something stolen bases. They run and run. Our pitchers shut down their speed and that helped us out a lot. Late in that first game we just put together some hits and the top of our lineup got it done. Hhana came up with a huge hit down the right field line.”
The Lancers (17-19, 8-8 GPAC) had all kinds of trouble dealing with Haro. In nine plate appearances on Sunday, the Concordia star third baseman reached base six times while going 4-for-6 with a home run and six RBIs. Haro finally broke a 0-0 tie in the eighth inning of game one by delivering a two-run single. The Bulldogs went on to score three more times, including two via a Kylee Nixon double, while building a cushion in extras.
A day after connecting for the first two home runs of her college career, freshman Camry Moore worked all eight innings of game one. She allowed the single run on five hits and one walk and struck out six. Moore then added a pair of singles and a walk while playing first base in game two.
In that second game, Concordia got on top in the first when Tori Homolka tripled and scored on a Haro sacrifice fly. Mount Marty got a run in the bottom half and the score remained 1-1 until the Lancers took the lead with another run in the fourth. Haro’s homer to lead off the sixth gave the Bulldogs the lead for good. In the same frame, Jadyn Lindgren tripled home a run and MacKinsey Schmidt added an RBI single. Concordia staked itself to a commanding 11-4 lead in a seventh inning that included a two-run single from Jenessa Jarvis.
Senior Brittany Woolridge took the ball in the circle in game two and whirled six innings in the process of pushing her season record to 10-1. Woolridge was charged with allowing all seven Mount Marty runs.
The script was a bit different on Sunday as compared to Saturday. In the triumphs at Briar Cliff, the Bulldogs jumped out to big leads with a combined 13 runs in the first inning of the twin bill. The pair of sweeps in Sioux City was exactly what Concordia needed for it to have a shot at winning a GPAC regular season title.
“For Briar Cliff to split with Midland today shows that anything can happen,” Semler said. “We just have to keep fighting through. We’re trying to take care of business when we can. That’s all we can ask is to keep plugging away. We have Midland on Tuesday – it doesn’t get any bigger than that.”
First pitch from Fremont, Neb., on Tuesday is set for 3 p.m. CT. The Warriors (20-6, 10-2 GPAC) are ranked 20th in the NAIA coaches’ poll.
Apr. 15, 2019
SEWARD, Neb. – Contender or pretender? That question just might be answered on Tuesday when the Concordia University softball team will have a chance to declare itself as a legitimate threat to win the GPAC regular season title. The Bulldogs were unsuccessful last week at Morningside in their attempt to knock off one of the league’s regular championship level squads. However, head coach Shawn Semler’s team recovered nicely by winning four times in Sioux City, Iowa, over the weekend.
Tuesday, April 16 at No. 20 Midland (20-6, 10-2) – DH
3 p.m. | Central Park Softball Complex | Fremont, Neb.
Saturday, April 20 at Hastings (10-20, 2-10) – DH
1 p.m. | Smith Softball Complex | Hastings, Neb.
At 9-3 (20-6 overall) in conference play, Concordia remains hot on the heels of both Morningside (12-2) and Midland (10-2) at the top of the GPAC standings. The Bulldogs took care of business this past Saturday and Sunday by sweeping doubleheaders from Briar Cliff and Mount Marty. In those four games, Concordia put up a combined 37 runs while following the lead of sophomore third baseman Hhana Haro. The reigning GPAC Player of the Year, Haro sizzled at the plate last week, going a combined 10-for-20 with a home run and nine RBIs. The native of Garden Grove, Calif., is now hitting .415 and slugging .634 this season.
The lineup features plenty of other stars. Tori Homolka has been a consistent force out of the leadoff spot. Last week she blasted a pair of home runs, including a grand slam in one of the two blowouts of Briar Cliff. Homolka is hitting .436 with 19 extra base hits (10 doubles, five home runs, four triples). The lineup gets even scarier if freshman Camry Moore can hit for the power she flashed in game two at Briar Cliff when she struck for the first two home runs of her college career. Fellow freshman Kylee Nixon also homered at Briar Cliff and went 6-for-11 over the final three games of the weekend road trip. She is 19-for-41 (.463) at the plate this season.
One of the biggest keys to Concordia’s pitching success (team 3.14 ERA) has been the pinpoint control of Moore and senior Brittany Woolridge. The Bulldogs have had a massive advantage in the walk department, having drawn 93 and having issued only 27 (169.1 innings pitched). Moore has walked a grand total of six hitters in 79.2 innings. The Crete High School product fired an eight-inning complete game an surrendered just one run in game one of Sunday’s doubleheader versus Mount Marty. In terms of ERA, Moore (3.16) and Woolridge (2.93) have produced similar results.
Midland began conference play at 9-0 before slipping up in two of its last three games. The defeats were surprising in that they came against opponents with records well below .500 – College of Saint Mary and Briar Cliff. This is an especially significant week for the Warriors, who not only play Concordia on Tuesday, but also host Morningside on Thursday. The GPAC title race should be in a much clear focus by week’s end. Midland has been terrific in the circle with Jaylee Hinrichs (12-3, 0.80 ERA) serving as the ace. At the plate, Katlin Anders (GPAC best .526 batting average) is a tough out.
Hastings has been scuffling with its losing streak currently at nine. The main culprit has been an inability to hold down the opposition (208 runs allowed in 183 innings). The most recent victory for the Broncos was a 3-0 decision over Dordt on April 5. The team’s top hitter has been Alyssa Carter, who is batting .356 and slugging .515. As a whole, Hastings has not been a powerful offense with the team slugging percentage sitting at .369. The Broncos are coming off a 10-34 record in 2018.
Just three doubleheaders will remain on the schedule for Concordia once it finishes up this week’s action. It’s been a light home slate in 2018 (in part due to the weather), but the Bulldogs will close the regular season with their final four games at Plum Creek Park.
Apr. 16, 2019
SEWARD, Neb. – The bat of Hhana Haro has heated up along with the weather in Nebraska. On Tuesday (April 16), the sophomore slugger was named the GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Softball Player of the Week. Concordia has pulled this award in three times in the past four weeks with Tori Homolka also earning two consecutive GPAC Player of the Week honors.
The 2018 GPAC Player of the Year, Haro enjoyed a 10-for-20 week over six conference games that all took place in Sioux City, Iowa. During that stretch, Haro also scored five runs, drove in nine runs, doubled and homered. The native of Garden Grove, Calif., extended her hitting streak to nine while also pushing her season batting average to .415 (sixth best among GPAC players). From a team perspective, the Bulldogs rebounded from two losses at Morningside by sweeping doubleheaders from Briar Cliff and Mount Marty.
Haro has put together a remarkable first 67 games of her college career. To date, she owns career rates of .466 in batting average, .508 in on-base percentage and .708 in slugging percentage. She has totaled 110 hits, 26 doubles, nine home runs and 66 RBIs.
Haro and company will be back in action today (April 16) with a doubleheader at No. 20 Midland. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. CT from Fremont, Neb.
Apr. 16, 2019
FREMONT, Neb. – The Concordia University softball team knew its lineup would face a stiff challenge on Tuesday (April 16). The opponent, No. 20 Midland, features one of the nation’s top pitchers in ace Jaylee Hinrichs. In game one in Fremont, Neb., Bulldog freshman Camry Moore matched her zero for zero in a 1-0 Concordia victory in nine innings. The Warriors responded in game two by winning, 4-3, on a walk-off home run in the seventh by Michaela Jackson.
Despite the heartache in second game, head coach Shawn Semler’s squad once again showed how far it has come since last season. The Bulldogs (21-7, 10-4 GPAC) can compete with anyone in the league.
“I don’t have any don’t as to where we’re at in this conference as being one of the contenders and one of the teams that could win this thing,” Semler said. “If not, we’re still going to be a tough out come conference tournament. We can beat anybody in this conference if we play well. We’re still working on some things. That second game we’re up 3-0 and there are some little things we didn’t do to add on another run. That came back to haunt us.”
In an afternoon ace-off, the lone run was of the unearned variety. With a 0-0 deadlock, GPAC Player of the Week Hhana Haro led off the top of the ninth with a base hit to right. Pinch runner Emily Sherstone advanced to second on Moore’s sacrifice bunt. Then with two outs, Sherstone stole third and scored the game’s only run after the catcher’s throw sailed into left field.
This was some of Moore’s finest work as a collegiate pitcher. She did not allow for any drama in the bottom of the ninth while setting Midland (21-7, 11-3 GPAC) down in order to close things out. In the process, Moore polished off a nine-inning shutout in which she allowed six hits (no walks) and recorded seven strikeouts.
“That’s what she’s capable of doing,” Semler said of Moore. “The future for her is so bright. She’s going to be so good in this conference. It was nice to see her go to work and do a great job for us.”
The Warriors did not score their first run of the day until the fourth inning of game two. In that frame, Elanna Osthoff made a highlight reel catch in left to momentarily preserve a shutout. But Midland got clutch two-out RBI singles by Angela Brazil and Kylie Engelman to cut Concordia’s lead to 3-2. Brazil also notched an RBI single in the sixth to tie the score. That set the stage for Jackson’s game winner to lead off the bottom of the seventh.
Bulldog hitters were limited to 11 total hits in the doubleheader. Three apiece came from Haro and freshman Kylee Nixon. A York High School product, Nixon drove in a pair of runs in game two while continuing her hot hitting. Moore added two hits and a run in the capper.
Senior Brittany Woolridge covered the first four innings of game two before being relieved by Moore. Both pitchers were charged with two runs allowed in that second contest.
The Warriors were in dangerous of losing for the fourth time in five outings before their game two rally. The top four in the updated GPAC standings are Morningside (14-2), Midland (11-3), Concordia (10-4) and Jamestown (9-5).
The Bulldogs will be back on the road within the state of Nebraska on Saturday when they head west to Hastings (10-20, 2-10 GPAC) for a 1 p.m. CT doubleheader. The Broncos, who will also host College of Saint Mary on Thursday, have dropped nine in a row since a 3-0 win over Dordt on April 5.
Apr. 20, 2019
HASTINGS, Neb. – A strong breeze blowing in from center field all day played a role in two low scoring contests on Saturday afternoon (April 20) in Hastings. So too did the tremendous work in the circle by pitchers for both the Concordia University softball team and Hastings. After falling 1-0 in game one, the Bulldogs regrouped with a 1-0 victory in game two behind senior Brittany Woolridge’s three-hit shutout.
Head coach Shawn Semler’s squad continues to have aspirations of winning the GPAC regular season title, but it likely has no more margin for error. The Bulldogs (22-8, 11-5 GPAC) currently sit in third place in the league standings. Offensive struggles prevented Concordia from taking two on Saturday.
“Sometimes we rely on hitting fly balls and those got cut down today,” Semler said. “We had a lot of chances in game one and just didn’t execute. We just could not get someone to step up for us with the big hit. We have to find some parts of the lineup that can step up and win games. We’re going to play in some windy games and if the wind takes us out of it like it did today, then we’re not going to win many games. We have to make some adjustments at the plate.”
On the plus side, Bulldog pitchers Camry Moore and Woolridge allowed very little hard contact to Hastings. Woolridge was masterful, although the three walks were three too many in her mind. One of those free passes came leading off the bottom of the seventh. Woolridge retired the next three hitters with the final out occurring on her third strikeout of the day.
Woolridge now owns a sparkling 11-1 record on the year. She is shining in her second and final year at Concordia.
“It’s been so much fun. I couldn’t ask for a better senior year being part of this team,” Woolridge said. “It’s a big blessing to have Coach (Semler) here. The team has come together this year and it’s been pretty awesome. What a great senior year so far.”
The Bulldogs finally got on the board with their only run all day in the fifth inning of game two. Tricia Tripp scored on a sinking line drive off the bat of Leah Kalkwarf. The play was ruled an error on the left fielder, who eventually threw out Tori Homolka at the plate to keep the score at 1-0.
Moore certainly pitched well enough to earn a win. She allowed just the single run on four hits and one walk. Moore struck out six Broncos. The lone run was driven in by Jayda Paul on a base hit up the middle. It was one of only seven hits on the day for Hastings (13-21, 5-11 GPAC).
Concordia was held to two hits in game one by Bronco pitcher Josie Bumgardner, who always found ways out of trouble. Bumgardner worked around seven walks. There was not a whole lot of Bulldog offensive production to speak of, but freshman Kylee Nixon was 2-for-3 on the day and Homolka went 2-for-4 in game two.
There will be better days for the Concordia offense, but at least it knows it has a pitching staff that will regularly give it a chance.
“Camry didn’t deserve to lose – neither pitcher did,” Semler said. “Their pitcher threw well too. Camry came back after a great game against Midland and threw another great game. She’s really dialed in. I’ve said this all year – I don’t think there’s a better No. 2 pitcher than what we roll out with Britt. She could easily be a No. 1. Back-to-back, we throw out two of the best pitchers that I’ve seen anybody else be able to throw out.”
Up next on the schedule is a makeup doubleheader at Northwestern (15-18, 8-6 GPAC) on Tuesday. First pitch from Orange City, Iowa, is set for 3 p.m. CT. The Red Raiders are situated directly behind the Bulldogs in the GPAC standings.
Apr. 22, 2019
SEWARD, Neb. – This week’s schedule is jam packed with GPAC action as the Concordia University softball team aims to finish the regular season strong. Currently in third place in the league standings, the Bulldogs (22-8, 11-5 GPAC) face their final road trip of the regular season with a Tuesday trip to Northwestern. Head coach Shawn Semler’s squad will also host College of Saint Mary on Wednesday and Dordt on Saturday. The program will honor its eight seniors in between games of Saturday’s doubleheader.
Part of the focus for this week will be on regaining productivity from an offensive standpoint. Three of Concordia’s past four games have resulted in 1-0 final scores (two wins). One of those occurred last week at Midland in a matchup between ace pitchers – freshman Camry Moore and Warrior star Jaylee Hinrichs. Moore fired a six-hit, nine-inning shutout in the 1-0 Bulldog victory. Senior Brittany Woolridge also notched a three-hit, seven-inning shutout of Hastings over the weekend. Moore and Woolridge have combined to allow a grand total of five runs over the team’s past five games (three shutouts). Concordia’s team ERA of 2.87 ranks third in the GPAC.
Moore and Woolridge have taken advantage of a defense that has been stellar behind them. The Bulldogs currently pace the GPAC with a fielding percentage of .967. With that type of work defensively, Moore and Woolridge have been plenty confident in pounding the strike zone and allowing weak contact to translate into outs. Moore has been one of the nation’s most extreme control pitchers having issued only seven walks in 96.2 innings (walk rate of 0.51 per game ranks No. 2 nationally). The Crete High School alum has found a groove with either one or no runs allowed in each of her last four starts against conference opponents.
Now Semler is looking for more consistency out of an offense that has been led by sophomores Tori Homolka (.404 BA) and Hhana Haro (.394 BA). Some of the regulars are working through slumps for a lineup that has been overall successful this season (6.23 runs per game). Freshman second baseman Kylee Nixon out of York, Neb., has provided a lift by going 24-for-50 (.480) with six doubles and two home runs on the season. The Bulldogs managed to draw seven walks in game one at Hastings, but could not get the clutch hit with runners on base.
Northwestern will bring a four-game win streak into Tuesday’s action. That run has moved the Red Raiders up to fourth in the GPAC standings. The biggest star is Amber Schubert, who is hitting .351 with 10 doubles and five home runs. The pitching staff features Emma Schnell (9-11, 3.09 ERA) and Samantha Ubben (2-5, 3.73 ERA). Northwestern has been adept at jumping on top of opponents early having put up 44 runs in the first inning this season.
College of Saint Mary dropped two at Hastings in its most recent outing. The Flames’ biggest claim to fame this season was a 9-1 run-rule victory over Midland back on April 9. As a result of that contest, Kelsey Goodban was named the GPAC Pitcher of the Week. Goodban is a strikeout pitcher (98 in 102.1 innings), but has also been susceptible to the long ball (14 homers allowed).The squad’s leading hitter is Brittney Banks, who is batting .400 with six home runs and a .667 slugging percentage.
Dordt has an even more hectic schedule this week with doubleheaders slated for Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. The formula when the Defenders have had success has typically involved great pitching. Tianna Soodsma owns a 2.58 ERA for a team with a 3.42 ERA. The onus has been on the pitching staff with an offense that has struggled. It averages less than 3.0 runs per game and has a team batting average of .226.
Following this week, it will be time for postseason play. The GPAC tournament will unfold May 2-4 with the top two seeds earning the right to host separate four-team pods. Tournament pairings will be announced by the conference when all regular season action is in the books. Concordia still has a shot at winning the GPAC regular season title, but currently trails Midland (15-3 GPAC) and Morningside (14-4 GPAC) in the race.
Seniors to be honored on Saturday
Baily Clear (Alliance, Neb.)
Maddie Fousek (St. Paul, Neb.)
Nichol Johnson (Bennington, Neb.)
Leah Kalkwarf (Omaha, Neb.)
Jamie Lefebure (Crete, Neb.)
Elanna Osthoff (Labadie, Mo.)
Tricia Tripp (Simi Valley, Calif.)
Brittany Woolridge (Tucson, Ariz.)
Apr. 23, 2019
ORANGE CITY, Iowa – Sophomore MacKinsey Schmidt belted a grand slam and freshman Camry Moore added a homer in an offensive breakout that fueled a 10-2 victory in game one of a Tuesday (April 23) doubleheader at Northwestern. Unfortunately, the Concordia University softball team was unable to sustain that firepower in a 2-1 game two loss. The Bulldogs have split each of their last three league doubleheaders.
This was the first of three GPAC twin bills head coach Shawn Semler’s squad will play in the final week of the regular season. Concordia is now 23-9 overall and 12-6 in league action (third place).
“I loved how we came out in game one with timely hitting and great pitching,” Semler said. “It was good to see Mack break out and start squaring up balls again. That will be good for us the rest of the season. In game two we just struggled with a lack of discipline at the plate. We had a few chances but couldn’t string anything together. (Brittany) Woolridge threw great. It’s just so hard to keep a good team like Northwestern down when the offense isn’t putting up runs.”
After engaging in 1-0 contests in three of their previous four games, the Bulldogs busted out with some welcome offensive production in the opener on Tuesday afternoon. With two outs in the top of the first, Jadyn Lindgren delivered the type of clutch two-run single that had been missing in recent action. That opened up the floodgates. The major back breaker for the Red Raiders (16-19, 9-7 GPAC) was the grand slam crushed by Schmidt in the fifth to push the Concordia lead to 8-2.
Moore also emerged as one of the big stars of game one. She covered all seven innings in the circle, allowed two runs on seven hits and no walks and struck out four. She tacked on the game’s final run with a solo homer in the sixth as part of a 2-for-5 performance at the plate. In that same contest, Schmidt went 3-for-4 with two runs and Hhana Haro and Tori Homolka both went 2-for-4. Haro (4-for-7 on the day) drove in two runs.
It just didn’t translate to game two. Northwestern starting pitcher Sydnee Isom covered six innings, surrendering one run on six hits. That lone run occurred in the seventh and allowed the Bulldogs to extend the game. Elanna Osthoff led off the seventh with a double and later scored on Schmidt’s sacrifice fly.
Fresh off a shutout at Hastings over the weekend, Woolridge turned in another quality performance in the circle for Concordia. Woolridge (11-2) struck out seven Red Raiders and gave up just two runs. The second one was a walk-off winner for Northwestern. The home team celebrated after Emily Strasser lined a base hit to chase home a run and end the contest with one out in the bottom of the seventh.
The home schedule has been light, but the Bulldogs will have the opportunity to play their final four games of the regular season at Plum Creek Park. Concordia will be right back to action on Wednesday when it will host College of Saint Mary (13-25, 6-10 GPAC) in a doubleheader. First pitch is set for 5 p.m. CT in Seward.
Apr. 24, 2019
SEWARD, Neb. – Leave it to the reigning GPAC Player of the Year Hhana Haro to put a jolt into a Concordia University softball team that flipped a switch between ends of Wednesday (April 24) evening’s home doubleheader split with College of Saint Mary. The Bulldogs looked stunned in a 10-2, six-inning (run rule) defeat in game one. Enough was enough for Haro, who belted two home runs in game two, which resulted in a 9-1, five-inning victory.
For the fourth conference twin bill in a row, head coach Shaw Semler’s squad settled for a split. The energy was much better in game two for Concordia (24-10, 13-7 GPAC), which will try to duplicate it going forward.
“I feel like they’ve felt a little pressure as the season has gone on,” Semler said. “We’ve talked a lot about winning the conference and being in the top two so we can host (in the GPAC tournament). I think we have felt the pressure of that. After game one, we just talked about why we play the game and having fun. Just go play the game you love and stop worrying about things you can’t control. I think in game two they had fun.”
It’s always a blast watching Haro hit. As a whole, the offense has been inconsistent of late, but Haro is capable of putting a team on her back. The Bulldogs needed a spark after game one and they got it when Haro drove a solo homer to left in the bottom of the first. An inning later, Haro drove the ball over the wall in center for a three-run shot. It was suddenly 6-0 Concordia.
By the end of the night, the Flames (14-26, 7-11 GPAC) wanted no part of Haro. They intentionally walked the star third baseman in the bottom of the fifth. The game soon ended by the run rule courtesy of a Camry Moore RBI single and Kylee Nixon two-run single.
“We just tried to clear our mindset from the first game and play super calm,” Haro said. “We were just like, ‘whatever happens, happens so why play scared?’ We just put it all out there.”
Haro was never officially retired. Her plate appearances on Wednesday went: hit-by-pitch, double, sacrifice fly, solo homer, three-run homer and intentional walk. The Bulldogs rapped out nine hits in game two after being held to five in game one. In game one, Jenessa Jarvis went 2-for-3 with a run scored and Brittany Woolridge (yes, the one who usually just pitches) enjoyed a 3-for-4 day at the dish.
Woolridge helped settle things down in game two after College of Saint Mary collected 15 hits in game one. In that capper, the Tucson, Ariz., native threw a five-inning complete game, allowing the one run on six hits and no walks to go along with five strikeouts. Three Bulldogs were used in the circle in game one.
At its best, Concordia is capable of special things. It owns a win over two teams ranked in this week’s top 25 and earlier this season won 12 games in a row. Semler would like to believe his team rediscovered its ‘A’ game in Wednesday’s game two.
“They really understand again what having fun is like,” Semler said. “All that weight is lifted off them a little bit and they can just go and play.”
It will be senior day on Saturday when the Bulldogs host Dordt (17-18, 9-9 GPAC) for the final doubleheader of the regular season. In between games, Concordia will hold a short presentation to honor its eight seniors.
Apr. 30, 2019
SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University softball team fell three games shy of winning a GPAC regular season title, but another opportunity for a championship presents itself in the postseason. As the No. 3 seed, the Bulldogs will be headed to the Jensen Softball Complex in Sioux City, Iowa, as part of the Morningside Bracket of the GPAC tournament. In the opening game of the bracket, Concordia will take on sixth-seeded Mount Marty.
As host of its own pod, second-seeded Morningside will play at 12 p.m. on Thursday against seventh-seeded College of Saint Mary. On the other side of the GPAC bracket, top-seeded Midland will welcome No. 4 Northwestern, No. 5 Jamestown and No. 8 Dordt to Fremont, Neb.
Head coach Shawn Semler hopes his squad can put things together at the right time. When at their best, the Bulldogs have proven capable of competing with some of the top teams in the NAIA. They own wins over two squads currently ranked in the top 25: No. 7 Valley City State University (N.D.) and No. 22 Midland. At 26-10 overall, this 2019 Concordia team boasts a .722 winning percentage that would rank third best in program history behind the 1998 (33-10, .767) and 2008 (31-11, .738) squads.
The GPAC is awarded two automatic bids to the national championships in softball. Midland has already secured one of them by garnering the No. 1 seed. The other will go to GPAC tournament champion or the GPAC tournament runner up if Midland also wins the conference postseason crown. Previous head coach Todd LaVelle guided Concordia to back-to-back national tournament opening round appearances in 2014 and 2015. The ’15 squad entered the GPAC tournament as the No. 7 seed and upset its way to a conference postseason title.
This squad is capable of similar achievement, especially if Hhana Haro and Tori Homolka are stinging the ball. The unofficial title of team MVP would seemingly be a battle between the two sophomore standouts. The reigning GPAC Player of the Year, Haro is coming off a week in which she went 11-for-18 with a pair of home runs. Homolka has not hit for as much extra base power of late, but the hope is that her three-run walk-off homer in the regular season finale will get her going again. On the season, Haro is hitting .429 and Homolka is at .386.
In the circle, Semler will lean upon freshman Camry Moore and senior Brittany Woolridge as he has all season. Moore’s final outing of the regular season was a dandy. She fired a two-hit shutout in a 7-0 win over Dordt. There may not be a better one-two pitching combo in the conference. Woolridge sports a 2.75 ERA while Moore’s is right behind at 2.80. Incredibly, Moore has walked only eight batters in 112.2 innings this season. As a staff, the Bulldogs rank third in the GPAC in ERA (2.91).
College of Saint Mary (17-27, 10-12 GPAC)
Head Coach: Carolyn Todd Bray (4th year)
Team ERA: 4.68
Top Hitter: Brittney Banks (.399 BA, .465 OBP, .674 SLG, 17 2B, 7 HR, 23 RBI)
Top Pitcher: Kelsey Goodban (14-7, 3.56 ERA, 126 IP, 123 K, .276 OPP BA)
Synopsis: The Flames were just 4-9 entering conference play in late March, but they have shown the ability to rise up and knock off top teams in the league. College of Saint Mary owns a run-rule victory over both Midland and Concordia. Brittney Banks is a star to watch out for at the top of the lineup. Carolyn Todd Bray’s squad is also not easy to beat when Kesley Goodban is working in the circle.
Morningside (25-8, 18-4 GPAC)
Head Coach: Jessica Jones-Sitzmann (20th year)
Team ERA: 2.10
Top Hitter: Morgan Nixon (.385 BA, .411 OBP, .548 SLG, 8 2B, 3 HR, 31 RBI)
Top Pitcher: Hallie Misiaszek (17-3, 1.39 ERA, 139.1 IP, 105 K, .204 OPP BA)
Synopsis: Morningside has been a perennial power in the league and is certainly a threat to win the conference tournament. Head coach Jessica Jones-Stizmann will not be afraid to ride ace pitcher Hallie Misiaszek for multiple games in a day. The Mustangs balance good hitting and pitching. The return of outfielder Josie Baxter this April has made the lineup even more formidable.
Mount Marty (20-22, 11-11 GPAC)
Head Coach: Tate Bruckner (3rd year)
Team ERA: 5.00
Top Hitter: Amber Writer (.386 BA, .463 OBP, .700 SLG, 14 2B, 10 HR, 65 RBI)
Top Pitcher: Rylee Denomy (8-4, 3.75 ERA, 93.1 IP, 82 K, .272 OPP BA)
Synopsis: Mount Marty is dangerous due to its ability to put runs on the board. Rylee Denomy (.359), Makenzie Howard (.396) and Amber Writer (.386) are each hitting better than .350 for an offense that averages more than six runs per game. The Lancers ended the regular season by winning three of four, including a doubleheader sweep at Northwestern.
Thursday, May 2
Game 1 – No. 3 Concordia (26-10, 15-7) vs. No. 6 Mount Marty (20-22, 11-11), 10 a.m.
Game 2 – No. 2 Morningside (25-8, 18-4) vs. No. 7 College of Saint Mary (17-27, 10-12), 12 p.m.
Game 3 – Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 4 p.m.
Game 4 – Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 6 p.m.
Friday, May 3
Game 5 – Game 4 winner vs. Game 3 loser, 12 p.m.
Game 6 – Game 3 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 2 p.m.
Game 7 – If necessary (Game 6 winner/loser), 4 p.m.
Saturday, May 4 – GPAC Championship Series
Midland Bracket winner vs. Morningside Bracket winner (highest seed hosts)
*Best 2 of 3 format
*Game 1 – 11 a.m. | Game 2 – 1 p.m. | Game 3 – 5 p.m.
May. 2, 2019
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – A Tori Homolka homer helped spur the Concordia University softball team to a 6-4 victory over Mount Marty as GPAC postseason play began Thursday (May 2) morning at the Jensen Softball Complex in Sioux City, Iowa. What happened next is something the Bulldogs hope to quickly flush and put behind them. Host Morningside run-ruled Concordia, 9-1 (six innings), in the afternoon.
The 1-1 day keeps head coach Shawn Semler’s squad alive in the double elimination format. The third-seeded Bulldogs (27-11) will stick around on Friday for a noon first pitch.
“That game against Mount Marty was a little scary,” Semler said. “They kind of jumped out on Camry (Moore) and were hitting the ball well and we struggled a bit. I was a little worried, but then we made some adjustments and started hitting. We needed a little spark. It was fun to see the girls step up and not
Five days after finishing the regular season with a walk-off, three-run blast, Homolka jolted Concordia to life with a solo shot leading off the bottom of the third versus Mount Marty. The Bulldogs still trailed 4-1 before Homolka’s RBI infield single made it 4-2 in the fourth. An inning later, Concordia gave pitcher Camry Moore the support she needed via a barrage of doubles. Elanna Osthoff, Savanah Robertson (two-run double) and MacKinsey Schmidt each delivered RBI two-baggers, boosting the Bulldogs to a 6-4 advantage.
Moore settled in after a rough third inning against the sixth-seeded Lancers (22-23). She limited Mount Marty to three earned runs on five hits and no walks while striking out five. In the win, Hhana Haro, Homolka and Osthoff, who doubled and tripled.
Concordia is now 3-0 against Mount Marty having swept it in a regular season doubleheader that was played in Sioux City. The Lancers stayed alive later in the day by defeating College of Saint Mary in an elimination game. Makenzi Howard drove in two runs off of Moore on Thursday.
The good vibes did not carry over to the afternoon affair with the Mustangs (27-8), who shared the GPAC regular season title with Midland and is the league’s No. 2 seed. Morningside burned Bulldog pitching for four home runs, including two from Lexie Stolen and one apiece from Ellie Cropley and Morgan Nixon. Concordia got its lone run on Schmidt’s RBI single in the fifth.
Bulldog hitters continue to struggle with Morningside ace pitcher Hallie Misiaszek, who has beaten Concordia three times this season. She whirled a six-inning complete game while holding the Bulldogs to one run on five hits.
It will be no easy task on Friday with Concordia needing to claim three victories in order to get out of the Morningside Bracket and advance to Saturday’s GPAC championship series. The Bulldogs and Lancers will go head-to-head in the opening game on Friday. The loser is out while the winner will then take on the Mustangs, who went 2-0 on Thursday. These are the moments Concordia needs to seize if it is to take another step forward as a program.
“We had a long talk after that second game today,” Semler said. “We had a whole array of issues that surfaced. We had an awakening type of meeting with how we want to play. Game two today was the exact opposite of how we want to be known. We let our players do a lot of the talking actually. Hopefully we can get another shot at Morningside. Talent-wise, it’s there. We have to match the intensity of our opponent.”
May. 4, 2019
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Season long themes continued on day two of the GPAC softball tournament. The Concordia University softball team always found a way to beat Mount Marty, but never could solve Morningside, a perennial conference title contender. A Kylee Nixon walk-off RBI single completed the Bulldog comeback in a 6-5 win over Mount Marty to begin the day. Concordia quickly turned around and dropped a 2-0 pitcher’s duel to the host Mustangs.
The location for action on Thursday and Friday (May 2-3) was the Jensen Softball Complex in Sioux City, Iowa, where the Bulldogs celebrated a GPAC tournament title in 2015. Head coach Shawn Semler’s squad finished the 2019 season with a 28-12 overall mark.
“I’m proud of the girls. We feel good about the season we had,” Semler said. “I’m already thinking about things we have to work on when we come back in the fall. I’ve learned a lot about this team and what we have coming in. I hate to lose. There are no good losses. That being said, it would have been easy to pack it in in that first game and we didn’t do that. Then against Morningside we played with everything we had. We hit some balls really hard right at people. It was one of those games were we couldn’t catch a break.”
In what wound up being the season finale for Concordia, freshman Camry Moore did a commendable job of limiting Morningside (28-8) to two runs on five hits over six innings of work in the circle. Unfortunately, Mustang ace pitcher Hallie Misiaszek has had the Bulldogs’ number. She fired a six-hit shutout on Friday. Half of those hits came courtesy of sophomore Tori Homolka.
Morningside got a run in the first inning on Rebecca Riley’s RBI single and another in the fourth via Cortney Joiner’s RBI base hit. Concordia threatened in the sixth when singles by Kylee Nixon and Homolka put two runners on base with one out. Misiaszek then got Jenessa Jarvis to ground into a double play. A pair of Bulldogs also reached base in a scoreless seventh inning.
The Bulldogs extended their season by a couple of hours with a thrilling rally that bounced the Lancers (21-23) from the postseason. On Thursday Concordia came back from a 4-0 deficit to defeat Mount Marty. This time the Lancers built a 5-1 lead with the help of two Amber Writer home runs. The Bulldogs began to chip away in the sixth when Elanna Osthoff (homered in the fourth inning) knocked in a run with a base hit.
Down 5-2 in the bottom of the seventh, Concordia kept the line moving with a couple of walks to begin the frame, an RBI single by Hhana Haro (two runs scored on the play) and a sac fly from Moore that tied it, 5-5. Nixon followed by stepping into the role of hero. She walked it off with a base hit to send Osthoff to the plate. That made a winner of Moore, who fired all seven innings and surrendered four earned runs.
The early afternoon victory resulted in the Bulldogs being one of four teams left standing in an overall solid first season for Semler as head coach at Concordia. There is plenty of reason to believe the Bulldogs will be better equipped to succeed in these types of big games next year. Haro and Homolka are building blocks of the lineup while young players like Moore and Nixon figure to continue to rise. Concordia will say goodbye to impact seniors such as Leah Kalkwarf, Jamie Lefebure and Brittany Woolridge.
Said Semler, “Camry pitched two very good games back-to-back. It’s great to see that we can throw her like that in both games in a day and have those results. I’m excited to get going with next year’s team.”
May. 8, 2019
SEWARD, Neb. – A trio of Bulldogs landed on the first team and two others made their way onto the second team of the softball all-conference honor roll released on Wednesday (May 8) by the GPAC. First team accolades went to sophomores Hhana Haro and Tori Homolka and senior Brittany Woolridge while second team accolades were collected by freshman Camry Moore and sophomore Allysia Thayer.
The five All-GPAC performers helped head coach Shawn Semler’s squad to a 28-12 overall record and a third-place conference finish this spring. A 12-game win streak allowed Concordia to receive votes in the national poll at one point.
The 2018 GPAC Player of the Year, Haro is a first team All-GPAC selection for the second year in a row. The Garden Grove, Calif., native again starred in the No. 3 spot in the lineup and at third base. As a sophomore, Haro batted .411 with a .476 on-base percentage and .629 slugging percentage. She totaled 27 runs, nine doubles, six RBIs, 37 RBIs and 78 total bases. In 81 career games as a Bulldog, Haro has hit .457 with 29 doubles, 11 home runs and 75 RBIs. With 127 hits through her first career 81 games, Haro is on a pace to challenge the school record of 227 career hits by Mindy (Evans) Miller.
Homolka’s production surged from her freshman to sophomore seasons as she became one of the top players in the GPAC. The native of Swanton, Neb., played often at both first base and shortstop and took perfectly to the top spot in the lineup. Homolka earned back-to-back GPAC Player of the Week accolades in late March/early April. For the season, Homolka batted .400 with 36 runs scored, 10 doubles, four triples, seven home runs and 34 RBIs. She posted an on-base percentage of .431 and slugging percentage of .679. She came through with one of the highlights of the season when she slugged a walk-off, three-run homer in the regular season finale against Dordt.
In her second and final season at Concordia, Woolridge teamed up with Moore for an impressive one-two punch in the circle. In conference play, the Tucson, Ariz., native fired shutouts against Doane, Briar Cliff and Hastings on her way to a 13-3 pitching record. In 107 innings, Woolridge registered a 2.88 ERA and 70 strikeouts while allowing 116 hits and 27 walks. She was named the GPAC Pitcher of the Week on April 2. Woolridge ranked fifth in the GPAC in wins.
This is only the beginning for Moore, who led Crete High School to a state title her senior year as a prep. She excels both in the circle and at the plate. As a pitcher in her rookie season, Moore went 12-9 with a 2.85 ERA in 132.2 innings. She notched 76 strikeouts compared to just 13 walks. One of her signature moments was a nine-inning shutout of No. 20 Midland in a 1-0 victory. Offensively, Moore hit .322 with 21 runs scored, five doubles, three home runs and 24 RBIs. She slugged .443 and also did not commit a single error in 99 chances.
Thayer started 35 games at catcher will being on the receiving end of pitches fired by Moore and Woolridge. The native of Rialto, Calif., batted .317 this season and drove in 19 runs. Thayer made only one error in 174 chances (.994 fielding percentage) and caught a pitching staff that ranked third in the GPAC in ERA (3.08). She moved up to the second team this year after picking up honorable mention All-GPAC accolades as a freshman.
May. 16, 2019
By sheer winning percentage, the 2019 Concordia softball team achieved at a rate that few others in school history have since the program officially started varsity competition in 1973. The continued rise in performance from the sophomore class and the key additions of a couple of freshmen in particular made life easier as the Bulldogs got accustomed to new head coach Shawn Semler. At one point, Concordia even received votes in the NAIA coaches’ poll.
All things considered, Semler sees a lot of unfinished business in the aftermath of being eliminated from the GPAC tournament on May 3. There were moments throughout the season that perhaps foreshadowed where the program could be headed in 2020 and beyond.
“I was happy overall,” Semler said. “When you look back, there were some things we did really well. They bought in to a lot of the things we want to do. They’re going to find that changes a little next year with a new group coming in. What we had this year was a group that could play softball at a pretty high level. The lack of consistency is probably the thing I was most disappointed in. I know we can play at a high level more consistently. There were teams we split with that we felt like we should have been able to beat twice. We want the attitude to be that we’re going to go there and beat you.”
The Bulldogs concluded the campaign at 28-12 overall, with rough spring weather partly to blame for them falling just shy of the eighth 30-win season in program history. Proof of the ’19 team’s high ceiling was on display in Tucson, Ariz., when it claimed a 6-1 victory over a Valley City State University (N.D.) squad getting ready to play in the NAIA Softball World Series. Another signature win came in the form of a 1-0 decision over then 20th-ranked Midland in a nine-inning pitcher’s duel that featured Concordia’s Camry Moore against Jaylee Hinrichs.
Semler knew he was inheriting a talented roster that featured 2018 GPAC Player of the Year Hhana Haro, the ringleader of the aforementioned blossoming sophomore group that will transition to junior status in 2019-20. Haro continued to shine this spring while being pushed for the unofficial title of team MVP by fellow sophomore Tori Homolka. The rise to stardom of Homolka became a major storyline in 2019. Homolka had a two-homer game versus Doane and a walk-off three-run homer to beat Dordt as part of her breakout season.
“I just love the way she swings it,” Semler said of Homolka. “She talked to me one time and told me, ‘I know I’m batting leadoff, but I don’t like to take the first pitch a lot.’ I was like, ‘Then go get it.’ I want her to go after pitches she likes. She’s always getting dirty and diving all over. She probably gets more upset about a loss than anybody in the program and those are the kids I want to surround myself with.”
While Haro and Homolka slugged away as the team’s top two hitters, Moore and senior Brittany Woolridge combined to give the Bulldogs arguably the GPAC’s best one-two punch in the circle. Woolridge settled in, in year two of her time at Concordia. She won her first eight decisions of the season and was named first team all-conference. Twice she fired shutouts against GPAC foes.
A Crete High School product, Moore entered the program with incredibly high expectations after a sterling prep career that included a state championship as a senior. Moore is just scratching the surface in regards to her potential as a two-way player.
“I think she handled it great,” Semler said of the expectations placed upon Moore. “I know they were probably heavy on her. I think she lived up to it. She threw lights out down the stretch. She really, really showed that she could throw both ends of a doubleheader. She hit .322 and she was disappointed about that. Her upside offensively is astronomical. I think she’s going to flourish and get better and better. It’s going to be fun to watch.”
Moore is good friends with another freshman in York native Kylee Nixon, who also figures to have a significant role within the program moving forward. Nixon eventually won the majority of playing time at second base and hit .431 with nine extra base hits and finished third in the GPAC in batting average. Nixon delivered a walk-off RBI single to defeat Mount Marty in the conference tournament and keep the team’s season alive at the moment. In addition, other young players such as sophomores in catcher Allysia Thayer (second team All-GPAC) and center fielder MacKinsey Schmidt were regulars in the lineup.
Woolridge was one of eight seniors that have graduated and moved on. Among that group, second baseman Leah Kalkwarf (2017 first team All-GPAC) and shortstop Jamie Lefebure were key four-year contributors. While that senior bunch will be missed, so much returns that the Bulldogs are certain to generate some preseason buzz heading into 2020.
“When I talk about being excited for next year, it sure doesn’t hurt knowing that Haro, Homolka, Thayer, Moore, Nixon, Schmidt and all of those girls are coming back,” Semler said. “They’re going to keep getting better. Now, how much better can Hhana Haro get? I don’t know. She’s so talented.
I’ve been writing a lot of lineups out and thinking about what will jell. You talk about a kid you want up to bat in a big situation, it’s Kylee Nixon. She doesn’t give anything away. It’s fun to play around with lineups and get excited about it.”
Semler is already looking forward to seeing his student-athletes return for the fall when Concordia plans to host a highly competitive tournament that will serve as a preseason barometer for all squads involved. It’s all part of the process for Semler in preparing his team to think with a championship mindset. The Bulldogs want to be playing much deeper into May in 2020.
Says Semler, “I think they’re going to learn right away in the fall (where we’re at) because it’s going to be so much different than last fall. It’s going to be an eye opener. Now that we’ve got a year under our belt with a talented team, my expectations are that we take the next step and be in the mix for the conference championship. Our practices are going to be amped up a little bit more. Now the practices are geared towards winning a conference title.”
May. 28, 2019
SEWARD, Neb. – A half-a-dozen student-athletes from the Concordia University softball program were named 2019 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes, as announced by the NAIA on Tuesday (May 28). The group of honorees includes five seniors and one junior (see list at bottom). Maddie Fousek is now a two-time NAIA Scholar-Athlete.
In order to be nominated by an institution’s head coach or sports information director, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale, must appear on the eligibility certificate for the sport and have attended two full years as a non-transfer or one full year as a transfer. A total of 510 softball student-athletes across the nation were named 2019 Scholar-Athletes by the NAIA.
Concordia University ranks as the NAIA’s all-time leader in number of Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes with 1,471 and counting. The Bulldogs have been a regular national leader for both scholar-athletes and scholar-teams and are coming off a 2017-18 academic year that resulted in 77 more scholar-athletes and 20 scholar-teams (third most in the nation). Also in 2017-18, seven Bulldog student-athletes garnered both CoSIDA Academic All-District and CoSIDA Academic All-America accolades.
Sydney Brown, Jr. | Raymond, Neb. | Biology
Baily Clear, Sr. | Alliance, Neb. | Business Administration
Maddie Fousek, Sr. | St. Paul, Neb. | Elementary Education
Jamie Lefebure, Sr. | Crete, Neb. | Biology (minor in Chemistry)
Tricia Tripp, Sr. | Simi Valley, Calif. | Biology/Chemistry
Brittany Woolridge, Sr. | Tucson, Ariz. | Elementary Education
Jun. 24, 2019
SEWARD, Neb. – Six Bulldog represented head coach Shawn Semler’s Concordia University softball team with NAIA/NCAA Division III All-Nebraska Softball Team recognition, as chosen by the Omaha World-Herald. The Omaha news outlet announced the teams on Saturday (June 22). Standouts Hhana Haro, Tori Homolka and Brittany Woolridge appeared on the All-Nebraska team of 15 players while Camry Moore, Kylee Nixon and Allysia Thayer each received honorable mention accolades.
Haro, Homolka and Woolridge were also first team all-conference picks while Moore and Thayer landed on the All-GPAC second team.
Haro followed up a GPAC Player of the Year campaign as a freshman in 2018 with another strong spring as a sophomore. Now a two-time first team All-GPAC honoree, the Garden Grove, Calif., native starred in the No. 3 spot in the lineup and at third base. As a sophomore, Haro batted .411 with a .476 on-base percentage and .629 slugging percentage. She totaled 27 runs, nine doubles, six RBIs, 37 RBIs and 78 total bases. In 81 career games as a Bulldog, Haro has hit .457 with 29 doubles, 11 home runs and 75 RBIs. With 127 hits through her first career 81 games, Haro is on a pace to challenge the school record of 227 career hits by Mindy (Evans) Miller.
Homolka’s production surged from her freshman to sophomore seasons as she became one of the top players in the GPAC. The native of Swanton, Neb., played often at both first base and shortstop and took perfectly to the top spot in the lineup. Homolka earned back-to-back GPAC Player of the Week accolades in late March/early April. For the season, Homolka batted .400 with 36 runs scored, 10 doubles, four triples, seven home runs and 34 RBIs. She posted an on-base percentage of .431 and slugging percentage of .679. She came through with one of the highlights of the season when she slugged a walk-off, three-run homer in the regular season finale against Dordt.
In her second and final season at Concordia, Woolridge teamed up with Moore for an impressive one-two punch in the circle. In conference play, the Tucson, Ariz., native fired shutouts against Doane, Briar Cliff and Hastings on her way to a 13-3 pitching record. In 107 innings, Woolridge registered a 2.88 ERA and 70 strikeouts while allowing 116 hits and 27 walks. She was named the GPAC Pitcher of the Week on April 2. Woolridge ranked fifth in the GPAC in wins.
Moore enjoyed a fine freshman season both at the plate and in the circle. The Crete, Neb., native went 12-9 with a 2.85 ERA in 132.2 innings pitched. She notched 76 strikeouts compared to just 13 walks. Offensively, Moore hit .322 with 21 runs scored, five doubles, three home runs and 24 RBIs. She slugged .443 and also did not commit a single error in 99 chances. Thayer started 35 games at catcher while being on the receiving end of pitches fired by Moore and Woolridge. The native of Rialto, Calif., batted .317 this season and drove in 19 runs. Thayer made only one error in 174 chances (.994 fielding percentage). Another stellar freshman, Nixon batted .431 (31-for-72) and earned the majority of playing time at second base. The York, Neb., native added seven doubles, two home runs and 20 RBIs while slugging .611.
As a team, Concordia finished 28-12 overall and placed third in the GPAC regular-season standings in what was Semler’s first season as head coach of the Bulldogs.
P: Monique Ashley, Bellevue, jr. 19-8, 2.29 ERA, 5 saves
P: Kelsey Goodban, St. Mary, fr. 14-9, 3.69 ERA, 14 CG
* P: Jaylee Hinrichs, Midland, sr. 22-8, 1.37 ERA, 293 Ks
P: Josie Schnakenberg, Doane, so. 12-13, 2.18 ERA, 22 CG
P: Brittany Woolridge, Concordia, sr. 13-3, 2.88 ERA
C: Payton Swanson, Nebr. Wesleyan, so. .410, threw out 13 base stealers
1B: Tori Homolka, Concordia, so. .400, 21 extra-base hits, 34 RBI, 15 SB
2B: Sierra Athow, Midland, jr. .423, 5 HR, 37 RBI
SS: Ellie Bliemeister, Bellevue, fr. .377, 11 HR, 37 RBI, 61 runs
3B: Hhana Haro, Concordia, so. .411, 6 HR, 37 RBI
OF: Meida Tautalatasi, York, jr. .422, 29 runs, 12 SB
OF: Ashlyn Teran, Bellevue, fr. .371, 19 2B, 26 RBI, 10 SB
OF: Jordan Van Roy, Doane, sr., .373, 26 extra-base hits, 25 RBI
DP: Katlin Anders, Midland, jr. .518, 11 HR, 40 RBI, 10 SB
* U: Erin Sharpe, Bellevue, sr., 389, 25 HR, 60 RBI, 3.13 ERA
* — honorary co-captains
Honorable mention — Bellevue: Brieanna Brock, Maricela Egan, Katlyn Kinman, Emily Rochford, Ashley Young. Concordia: Camry Moore, Kylee Nixon, Allysia Thayer. Doane: Erika Herrera, Jordyn Stearns. Hastings: Tatiem Bender, Alyssa Carter, Julia Reimer. Midland: Angela Brazil, Andrea Cespedes, Bobbi Singleton. Nebraska Wesleyan: Kailey Meyer, Morgan Shipley. Peru State: Tyler Farrell, Alyiah Franco, Takia Walker. College of St. Mary: Alicia Baca, Brittney Banks, Taelar Solano. York: Danielle Cornejo, Alysia Rodriguez.