A Sweet Six-Game Win Streak

Junior pitcher Abby Haraldson (R) picked up her seventh win of the season in the first game against Crown. She currently leads the MIAC in strikeouts with 85,
Junior pitcher Abby Haraldson (R) picked up her seventh win of the season in the first game against Crown. She currently leads the MIAC in strikeouts with 85,

ST. BONIFACIUS, Minn. (3/29/16)—A fast start and high-octane finish helped Concordia extend its winning streak to six games as they swept Crown 5-1 and 10-7.

The Cobbers scored the first five runs in the opener and then closed out the second game by plating six runs in the final two frames to record their sixth straight victory. The win streak is the longest since the 2000 CC team won nine straight.

The two wins over the Storm pushes Concordia's overall record to 11-5 on the year. Crown falls for the fifth straight game and is now 4-14 for the spring.

The first game was won by the strong pitching of junior Abigail Haraldson and the early run support by the Cobber offense. Haraldson only allowed one earned run and struck out eight in the seven-inning game. She worked out of jams with two runners on base in each of the first, second and third innings. Haraldson held Crown to just a .181 average with runners in scoring position for the game.

The Concordia offense scored single runs in the first and second and then added insurance runs in the fifth and sixth frames.

CC opened the scoring in the first inning when Madison Little singled to start the game and then came home to score on a single to center field off the bat of Devonie Smith. The Cobbers doubled the lead when Mackenzie Jensen laced a two-out double to left field which scored Sadie Ness who had doubled to left in the previous at-bat.

After a Sydney Roberts bunt single scored Smith from third in the fifth, freshman Cora Zackrison was responsible for both runs in the sixth. She had a two-out RBI triple to right field which plated Ness and then scored on the very next at-bat when Nicole Johannes singled up the middle.

Concordia outhit the Storm 12-6 in the opener. All nine batters in the starting lineup had at least one hit for CC. The only two players who had more than one hit in Game 1 were Smith, who went 3-for-4, and Ness who was 2-for-4.

The Cobbers had to rally from a 4-0 deficit in the second game. Crown scored once in the first and three more times in the second to jump out to the four-run advantage.

Concordia would then score 10 consecutive runs before the Storm narrowed the final gap to three by scoring a trio of runs in the seventh.

The Cobbers got to within 4-2 with two runs in the third. Ness walked to start the inning and then came home with an unearned run. Smith then smacked a one-out triple to score Little from third.

Roberts would start the decisive sixth inning off with a bang as she laced her first collegiate home run over the center field fence.  CC would score three more times in the inning to grab an 8-4 lead. Mackenzie McCloud had triple which scored a run and scored on a wild pitch and then Little would score on a sacrifice fly to finish off the scoring in the inning.

Roberts homered for the second time in as many innings in the seventh inning when she blasted a one-out pitch over the center field fence.

Concordia had a 10-hit attack in the finale and was led by Roberts who went 3-for-4 with three RBI. Smith went 2-for-4 and finished the day by going 5-for-8 with two runs scored and four RBI.

Freshman Kali Covert earned the win in the circle in the second game. She pitched the first 6.0 innings and allowed six hits, four earned runs and struck out one. Covert picked up her third win of the season and is now 3-0 on the year.

Pitcher Abigail Haraldson has flourished as an upperclassman. Now in her junior season, Haraldson has 85 strikeouts in 66.0 innings pitched. Hitters are only batting .205 off of her and she has a 3.50 ERA. Haraldson had 104 strikeouts in her first two seasons combined and opposing teams were hitting .272 against her. Haraldson's 85 strikeouts leads the MIAC this season.   

Concordia put pressure on the Crown defense all day long as they had the leadoff runner on base in nine of the 14 innings. The Cobber leadoff hitters hit .643 against the Storm on Tuesday.

One of the big reasons Concordia has been successful this year is because of leadoff hitter Madison Little. Little had a hit in each game and scored three runs against the Storm. Little is now hitting .373 for the year and has hit safely in seven straight games and has reached base safely in 11 consecutive games.      

Since returning from Florida, freshman Sydney Roberts has been on fire at the plate. In the six games played in Minnesota, she is batting .412 (7-for-17) and has a ridiculous .882 slugging percentage. Roberts now leads the team in hitting with a .412 average and is currently second in the MIAC with a .765 slugging percentage.

Sophomore Devonie Smith has adjusted to softball in the northern part of the country as well. Since returning from Florida Smith is hitting a robust .476 and has hit safely in five of the six games. She is currently fourth on the team in hitting with a .340 average.        

Concordia got back in the game with a two-run third inning in the second game after they went into the frame down 4-0. The third inning has been a huge key for the Cobbers this year as they are outscoring opponents by a combined total of 20-5 in the third frame.

Concordia will start conference play when they head south to take on St. Benedict on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Cobbers will then host Minn.-Morris in a non-conference twin bill on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Blazers are also 11-5 on the year and will be playing their first game in Minnesota since returning from their Spring Break trip to Florida. The Cougars are 2-14 and dropped a pair of games to Macalester on Mar. 24.