First Innings Prove Costly In Florida Finale

Senior Mackenzie Jensen finished third on the team in hitting on the Florida trip. She hit .368 and batted at a .400 clip with two outs in an inning.
Senior Mackenzie Jensen finished third on the team in hitting on the Florida trip. She hit .368 and batted at a .400 clip with two outs in an inning.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (2/29/16)—Concordia finished off its Florida spring training trip by giving up early leads and dropping a pair of games to NCAA Division II opponent Embry-Riddle.

The Cobbers conceded a pair of runs in the first frame and fell 8-0 in six innings and then allowed four runs in the first in the finale and fell 13-0 in five innings. Both games were shortened due to the right-run rule.

Concordia finishes its spring trip with a 5-5 record. He five wins are the most by a Cobber team on a spring trip since 2006. The Eagles are now 11-5 on the season have won five of their last seven games including a 6-4 win over Florida Tech who is ranked No.14 in the Division II NFCA rankings.

The final day of the trip was a detour from the previous eight games in Florida as Concordia had trouble scoring runs. The Cobbers had put up 34 runs and 60 hits in the first eight games but were held without a run and only six hits on Monday.

Embry-Riddle had three multiple-run innings in the opener. They scored twice in the first inning and followed that with a four-spot in the fifth. The Eagles then finished off the game with two more runs in the sixth.

Concordia had two hits in the first game. Freshman Sydney Roberts and sophomore Sadie Ness both had singles. Roberts had a two-out single in the fifth and then Ness singled down the right field line to lead off the sixth. Taylor Rasmussen would pinch run for Ness and make it to third base on a sacrifice bunt and passed ball but would be stranded after a strike out and pop up to first base.

Abigail Haraldson started in the circle for Concordia and went the first 5.0 innings. She struck out three and allowed six runs. Freshman Kali Covert threw in the sixth frame.

Like the first game, CC failed to get out of the opening inning without getting behind. The Eagles plated four runs on five hits in the first frame and were forced to try and dig out of a hole for the remainder of the game.

Concordia would hold Embry-Riddle scoreless in the second and third innings before a nine-run outburst in the fourth wound up finishing off the game.           

The Cobbers had four hits in the nightcap with shortstop Devonie Smith picking up a pair and going 2-for-3. Madison Little was 1-for-3 and Cora Zackrison went 1-for-2 as the top 4 hitters in the lineup accounted for all four hits.

Haraldson went the first 3.1 innings and then gave way to Mariah Prokott who finished off the final two-thirds of an innings and only allowed one hit.

FRESH IDEAS
Freshman Sydney Roberts led the team in hitting in Florida. She finished the 10-game spring trip with a .412 average and had at least one hit in six of the nine games she appeared in. Roberts had seven hits on the trip, four of which were doubles. Roberts also leads the team in slugging percentage (.647) and on-base percentage (.474).

2-OUT BIG MACS
Both Mackenzie McCloud and Mackenzie Jensen thrived at the plate with two outs in an inning. McLoud is hitting .500 (5-for-10) with two outs while Jensen has a .400 (4-for-10) average. The team is hitting .287 with two outs as compared to just .195 for CC's opponents. McCloud and Jensen are both in the top 4 in hitting in the early season. McCLoud is fourth with a .333 average and Jensen is third with a .368 mark. Both players hit under .200 last season – overall and with two outs.

WHAT'S NEXT
Concordia will have a two-week break before heading indoors to host the Cobber Round Robin Tournament at the West St. Paul Dome on Mar. 16-17. CC will play North Central, Bethany Lutheran and Finlandia at the tourney.