Offensive Madness

Senior Madison Little had five stolen bases and went 5-for-8 with six runs scored in the Cobbers' wins over Bethany Lutheran and Northland.
Senior Madison Little had five stolen bases and went 5-for-8 with six runs scored in the Cobbers' wins over Bethany Lutheran and Northland.

WEST ST. PAUL, Minn. (3/16/17)----The start of the Division I March Madness basketball tournament coincided with the Dome Madness in the second day of the Cobber Classic at the West St. Paul Dome.

Concordia scored 32 runs and 31 hits in two games as they beat Bethany Lutheran 17-9 and Northland 15-7 in six innings to go 4-0 at the two-day event. Fans of hitting, base running and scoring were given a March madness treat as the Cobbers, Vikings and Lumberjills combined to score 48 runs and pound out 53 hits in 13 total innings. 

The Cobbers scored at least one run in eight of the 13 innings and produced at least two runs in seven frames. CC combined to score 16 runs in the first inning of the two games and added a seven-run third inning in the second game to keep the official scorer in panic mode.

The two high-scoring wins extends Concordia's win streak to five games. The Cobbers are now 8-6 on the season and are two games above .500 for the second time this year.

The individual offensive totals are just as staggering as the team totals. Concordia had all nine of their starting hitters get at least one hit in the opener against Bethany Lutheran and had eight of the nine get a base hit in the second game against Northland.

The Cobbers went 31-for-70 on the day to hit .443 and their 31 hits help them up their overall team batting average to .302 for the season. 

Madison Little and Sydney Roberts had at least two hits in both games. The duo went a combined 9-for-17 (.529) drove in 10 runs and scored nine times. 

The biggest hit in the day came off the bat of Gabby Gardner who hit an inside the park grand slam in the 10-run first inning in the second game.

The bright spot in the circle for Concordia on the day was sophomore Kendra Spindler who recorded a save in each game - pitched a combined 5.0 innings, allowed only two hits and struck out two. 

Concordia put the first game away by scoring six in the first inning and then seven in the third to take a 13-2 lead. Bethany Lutheran would make the game close with a touchdown in the fifth before CC closed out the game with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth and sixth frames. 

The Cobbers had 17 hits in the opener and seven were doubles. Devonie Smith and Roberts both had a pair of two-base hits. Smith went 4-for-5 with three runs scored and three RBI to pace the CC offense.

Senior Abigail Haraldson earned her fifth win of the year as she lasted 4.2 innings and struck out two. Spindler entered the game with runners on second and third and two outs in the fifth inning and proceeded to get the next hitter to ground out to shortstop to protect the 13-9 lead. 

The Cobbers once again raced from the starting gate with a 10-spot in the opening innings. Concordia scored 10 times on seven hits and batted 16 hitters with the grand salami from Gardner putting CC up 6-0. 

Northland was able to get to within 10-7 in the top of the fourth and had runners on first and second with only one out but once again Spindler saved the day as she retired two of the next three batters without allowing another run.

Concordia then tacked on five more runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings and finished off the eight-run rule game when Taylor Rasmussen's fielder's choice ground ball scored Little to put CC up by 15-7.

The Cobbers only had two extra base hits in the second game. Besides the "granny" from Gardner, Roberts had a double in the first inning. CC used "small ball" to produce 12 hits, 10 runs and six stolen bases. 

Kelly Riordan started the game in the circle for the Cobbers and went 3.1 innings, allowed five earned runs but didn't give up an extra base hit. She went long enough to earn her first win as a member of the Cobbers. 

DIXIE CHICKS: The Cobbers' first 14 games this season would fit in well with one of the southern duos biggest hits as Concordia has been "ready, ready, ready, ready – ready to run" all year long. CC has stolen 41 bases in 45 attempts in 2017. They are averaging almost three steals per game and their 41 overall thefts leads the MIAC. Their total through the first 14 games is five shy of their entire season total from last year. 

LEADER OF THE PACK: Concordia's "get up and go" leader is senior Madison Little who swiped five more bases in the two games and now has a team-best 17 steals for the year. That total is one more than she had in all of last season and is a career high for the leadoff hitter. The single season stolen base record at Concordia is held by Kelli Niess who stole 24 bases in 2007. 

MOVING UP THE CHARTS: Not only has Little posted big numbers on the base paths but she has been equally hot in the batter's box. Little leads CC in hitting with a .545 average and her 24 total hits on the season leads the MIAC. She had eight hits in the four games inside the dome and now has 136 career hits. That total is third on the school's all-time hit list. Little needs 27 more base knocks to become the program's all-time leader. 

COBBER CAREER HIT LIST:
1. 162 - Kelli Niess - 2004-07
2. 153 - Kaia Sele - 2010-13
3. 136 - Madison Little – 2014-17
3. 133 - Cindy Frey - 1997-00
4. 132 - Jill Pontius - 1999-02
5. 130 - Kathy Braun - 1999-02

FLORIDA SCHMORIDA: Junior shortstop Devonie Smith suffered a leg injury in the season opener on the team's spring break trip to Florida and didn't get another official at bat for the rest of the 10-game trip. Smith made up for her lack of playing time in the Sunshine by tearing the cover off the ball in the last four games in Minnesota. Smith played all four games at the Cobber Classic and hit .667. She had at least one hit in all four games and recorded two or more base knocks in three games. She also drove in seven runs and scored seven. She currently leads the team in hitting with a .611 average. 

DOUBLE-DIGIT DANDY: Sophomore Sydney Roberts had at least one hit in all four games in the Cobber Classic and upped her hitting streak to 10 games. Roberts has been held without a hit in only three games this season. She is now hitting .364 which is second on the team among starters who have played in at least 10 games. 
 
WHAT'S NEXT: Concordia will have an extended break to allow the weather to warm up. The Cobbers next outing will be the home and conference opener. CC will host St. Benedict on Saturday, Apr. 1 at 1 p.m. The Blazers are currently 11-3 on the season and have won seven of their past eight games.