Haraldson Steals Opening-Day Headlines

Junior Abigail Haraldson pitched a one-hit shutout in the second game of the season to help the Cobbers beat Lyndon State 6-0. Haraldson also had 11 K's in the game.
Junior Abigail Haraldson pitched a one-hit shutout in the second game of the season to help the Cobbers beat Lyndon State 6-0. Haraldson also had 11 K's in the game.

CLERMONT, Fla. (2/24/16)—Concordia's offense put up 19 hits in the first two games of the season but it was the pitching of junior Abigail Haraldson that stole the headlines in the opening day of the 2016 season.

Concordia outhit Houghton (N.Y.) 9-7 in the opener but lost 8-5 to the Highlanders but then Haraldson came up with a 1-hit, 11-strkeout performance in the second game to help the Cobbers beat Lyndon State (Vt.) 6-0 in the second game.

A double-digit strikeout game is nothing new for Haraldson as she fanned 13 batters last season in the Cobbers' 5-4 win at Minn.-Morris. The key to Haraldson's success against the Hornets in the second game was keeping runners off of the base paths. She only allowed a single in the opening inning and then retired nine straight batters before having a hitter reach on an error.

Haraldson allowed a leadoff walk in the fifth and then retired six straight before giving way to freshman Kali Covert who hurled a 1-2-3 seventh inning in her collegiate debut.

Concordia did almost all of its offensive damage with two outs in the third inning. After having the first two hitters retired to start the frame, CC put together 3 doubles, two singles and two walks to score five runs. Sophomore Mackenzie McCloud had a two-RBI double while senior Mackenzie Jensen drove in runs No.4 and5 with a two-run single.

The Cobbers had 10 hits in the second game and had four players with two hits each in the game. McCloud, Madison Little, Devonie Smith and freshman Nicole Johannes all had two hits. Little also stole two bases in the game which matched her theft total from the opener.

Concordia's first game turned in the bottom of the fourth inning when Houghton scored four times to open the game from a one-run contest at 3-2 to a five-run lead at 7-2.

The Cobbers outhit the Highlanders for 9-7 for the game but CC stranded seven runners on base.

CC had three different players record multiple-hit games in the opener. Freshman Cora Zackrison went 2-for-4 in her first collegiate game. Gabby Gardner was also 2-for- and Jensen was 2-for-3 and had a team-high two RBI.

Haraldson pitched the first three innings in the opener and then freshman Mariah Prokott finished off the game by allowing four hits and only one earned run in three innings of work.

Junior Madison Little earned All-MIAC honors last year after hitting .360 and getting at least one hit in 27 of the team's 37 games. She picked up where she left off last spring by getting at least hit in both games. She had two hits in the win against Lyndon State to record her first multiple-hit game of the year. Last year she led the team with 14 multiple-hit games.

Senior Mackenzie Jensen had three RBI in her 35 games of 2015. It took her all of one day to eclipse that total. Jensen drove in two runs in each game and now has four for the season. She is also hitting .500 (3-for-6) after hitting .172 last year.

Sophomore Mackenzie McCloud had a triple in the first game vs. Houghton. That is one more than she had in all of last season. McCloud failed to register a three-bagger in her 29 games as a Cobber last year. She also hit just .179 as a freshman and after Day 1 of 2016 is hitting a crisp .429.   

Concordia will continue their two-game-a-day pace in Florida when they square off against Augustana (Ill.) and Johnson State on Thursday.