Fine Florida Finale

Sophomore pitcher Megan Gavin went 6-1 in Florida and finished the trip with a 1.56 ERA and struck out 60 batters.
Sophomore pitcher Megan Gavin went 6-1 in Florida and finished the trip with a 1.56 ERA and struck out 60 batters.

STORY LINE: Concordia had their best performance of their spring break trip to Florida in the first game against Simpson on Friday and then lost a 1-run heartbreaker in their final game of the break. The Cobbers hit three home runs and posted an 8-0, 5-inning win over Simpson (Iowa) and then fell 2-1 to Webster in the finale.

A FINE TIME IN FLORIDA: Concordia finishes their Florida trip with a 6-4 record. The six wins are the most by a Cobber team on a spring break trip since 1999 when CC also went 6-4 in Florida.

SIMPSON RECAP: Concordia scored all eight of their runs in the first two runs as they beat Simpson 8-0. The Cobbers plated three runs on one home run in the first inning and then scored five times behind two HRs in the second frame as they 8-run ruled the Storm who went on to beat the No.18-ranked team in the country in their very next game. Elizabeth Asp hit a 2-out, 2-run homer in the first frame to stake CC to a 2-0 lead and then Nicole Johannes smacked a 2-out, 3-run long ball in the second to give the Cobbers a 7-0 lead. Freshman Madison Kostelecky would finish off the scoring with a solo shot in the very next at bat. Concordia finished the game with 12 hits and six extra-base hits. Sophomore pitcher Megan Gavin continued her early-season success as she only allowed two hits and struck out seven to earn the win.

WEBSTER RECAP:  Concordia's run-scoring offense didn't carry over to the second game. The Cobbers outhit Webster but couldn't come up with a run until the seventh inning. CC left 11 runners on base and hit .181 with runners in scoring position. Webster scored a single run in the third inning before the Cobbers tied the game in the top of the seventh on a 2-out, run scoring single which brought home freshman Maria Pake. The Gorlocks would win the game in the bottom of the frame when then got a leadoff single, a perfectly placed, seeing-eye bunt single, a sacrifice and then a wild pitch. Gavin went the distance for the second straight game and allowed the two earned runs on five hits and struck out six.

HITTING AND HOME RUN HAVEN: The entire Cobber offense enjoyed the warm Florida weather. Concordia hit .360 as a team in their 10 games and clouted six home runs. Last year CC had a .219 season batting average and only came away with eight HRs.

MULTIPLE-RUN MANIA: The Cobbers scored at least five runs in seven of their 10 games in Florida. Compare that to last year when Concordia only had six 5-run games the entire 40-game season.      

AND HOW ABOUT THE DEFENSE? Another area where Concordia has showed a huge improvement is in the field. Last year the Cobbers finished last in the MIAC with a .926 fielding percentage and committed 82 errors (2.2/game). This year CC has a .960 fielding percentage and is only averaging 1.0 errors per game.
 
I LOVE FLORIDA: You'll have to forgive Megan Gavin if she wants to stay in Florida. The sophomore pitcher earned the win in all six Cobber victories, went 6-1 on the trip and finished with a 1.56 earned run average. She pitched in 45 innings and struck out 60 batters. The six wins for Gavin are four more than she had in all of last season and she is only 16 Ks shy of last year's total when she pitched in 87.2 innings.

I LOVE FLORIDA TOO: Freshman Maria Pake will gladly volunteer to be Gavin's roommate in Florida for an extended stay as she crushed the ball in 10 games to the tune of a .576 batting average and a .848 slugging percentage. Pake led the team in both categories from her leadoff spot and also went 10-for-10 in stolen base attempts in Florida. Pake had eight multiple-hit games and had a hit in all but one game.

NEW YEAR FOR NICOLE: Senior Nicole Johannes is also having the best year of her career. Johannes' best hitting season of her previous three years came last season when she hit .258 and had 11 RBI and 17 hits. Johannes is leaving Florida with a .448 average and already has 9 RBI and 13 hits. Johannes had a hit in all nine games she played in during the trip and returns to Minnesota with a team-leading 9-game hitting streak.

A&E HIT SHOWS :  Elizabeth Asp and Taylor Erholtz are also hitting above .400 through the first 10 games of the season. Asp has a .556 average with 1 HR and 8 RBI while Erholtz is hitting .406 with 7 RBI. Asp leads the team in on-base percentage with a .640 mark.

ALL SHE DOES IS DRIVE IN RUNS: Freshman first baseman Madison Kostelecky leads the Cobbers in RBI and home runs this year. She has driven in 11 runs this year and has 2 HR. Last year the Concordia team leader only had 13 RBI. Kostelecky has driven in at least one run in eight games and had a trip-best 4 RBI game vs. Alverno.

UP NEXT: Concordia will return to the balmy climate of Minnesota and have a 12-day break before hosting the annual Cobber Dome Tournament in West St. Paul. CC will take on Bethany Lutheran and Finlandia on Wednesday, Mar. 20 and then square off against Finlandia and Bemidji State on Thursday, Mar. 21.