Finally, The Conference Opener

Finally, The Conference Opener

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (4/16/13)— Concordia finally opened the conference season  on Tuesday in Minneapolis and earned a split with Augsburg. The Cobbers, who hadn't played a game in 25 days and hadn't played outside since Mar. 4 won the opener 3-2 before falling in the nightcap 6-3.

The story on the day was the ability of Concordia's pitching staff to work out of jams and the Cobbers' knack for answering the Auggies' scoring frames with runs of their own. CC pitchers stranded 16 runners in the two games but more importantly held the Augsburg offense to just a 5-for-25 hitting clip with RBI opportunities.

The Cobbers (4-10/1-1 MIAC) were able to match Augsburg run for run in the opener. The Auggies scored a single run in the top of the first and that was negated by a Kaia Sele solo homer in the bottom of the frame. Augsburg then put up a lone run in the fifth and CCC countered with a run of their own in the bottom when Mackenzie Jensen came home on the back end of a first-and-third double steal attempt.

Concordia won the first game in the bottom of the sixth when Kaia Nygord recorded a pinch-hit single down the left field line that plated Joelle Link who started the inning with a double down the left field line.

Cobber starting pitcher Becca Conant then wriggled out of a second-and-third situation with only one out in the seventh to earn the complete-game victory. Conant induced a fielder's choice ground ball that cut down the would-be tying run at the plate and then ended the game on a ground ball to second base. Conant also worked out of jams in the fourth and sixth innings to earn her team-leading third win of the season. She also lowered her ERA to 6.59 for the year.

The second game was all about the first inning. Augsburg scored three times in the opening inning before CC rallied to score two in the bottom. Heather Jonasson scored the first run on a throwing error and then Sele came across for the second run on an RBI single from Ashley Tibbetts.

The game would remain at 3-2 until the seventh inning when the Auggies scored three more times. Concordia's rally would be cut short after only one run in the final frame. Conant came across the plate after walking to lead-off the inning and then scoring on a single by Jessica Speicher.

Hilary Rotunda pitched all seven innings in the second game and allowed only three earned runs. She also struck out a pair in the game and lowered her ERA to a team-beat 4.24.

The Cobbers did not have a player with more than one hit on the day. Sele, after her home run in the first inning of the first game, was pitched to very carefully and finished with four walks for the two games. Sele was also the only CC player to score more than one run on the day.

Concordia will stay on the road and play St. Mary's in the Vadnais Heights Dome in St. Paul on Wednesday, Apr. 17 beginning at 11 a.m. The Cobbers next regularly scheduled doubleheader after Wednesday is scheduled for Saturday, Apr. 20 when CC squares off against league-leading St. Thomas in St. Paul at 1 p.m. Fans can check out the latest schedule updates on the website.