Minnesota Love

Sophomore Mackenzie McCloud connects on one of her three hits in the Cobbers' sweep over Minn.-Morris. McCloud is hitting .450 in the team's eight-game win streak.
Sophomore Mackenzie McCloud connects on one of her three hits in the Cobbers' sweep over Minn.-Morris. McCloud is hitting .450 in the team's eight-game win streak.

MOORHEAD, Minn. (4/03/16)—Concordia is starting to become the poster team for the state of Minnesota tourist bureau. The Cobbers have yet to lose in the state of Minnesota as they beat Minn.-Morris 6-2 and 5-3 to run their win streak to eight games.

Concordia was an even 5-5 after their spring trip to Florida but have returned north and won eight straight games to push their overall record to 13-5. The eight-game win streak is the longest since the 2000 CC team won nine straight games.

The 13 overall wins matches the team's total win output from last season and is the most for a single season since 2009.

The sweep over the Cougars stuck to Concordia's northern theme of quality pitching and timely hitting. The Cobbers only allowed four earned runs in the two games against the Cougars. Offensively, Concordia pounded out 18 hits and used three-multiple run innings to gain the sweep.

The first multiple-run frame came in the very first inning of the game when the Cobbers scored four runs on four hits. Sydney Roberts, Mackenzie McCloud, Kali Covert and Nicole Johannes all had single RBI to stake junior pitcher to a 4-0 lead.

The four-run lead is more than junior pitcher Abigail Haraldson has needed since returning to Minnesota. Haraldson entered the game having only allowed one run in her 20 innings since returning from the Sunshine State. Haraldson continued her success in Minnesota by only allowing single runs in the third and fourth innings.

Haraldson pitched a complete game, allowing only two earned runs and striking out six. Haraldson has been especially tough with runners on base and with two outs in an inning. Morris only hit .250 with two outs in the opener. The win was Haraldson's eight of the year which is more than she had in her first two seasons combined.

Concordia would add two more runs in the third inning to take a 6-1 lead when Roberts hammered a home run that plated Devonie Smith who led off the inning with a single. It was Roberts' third home run in the last two games.

The teams had 10 hits each in the opener. The Cobbers hit .300 with runners in scoring position and .333 with two outs in an inning. The top 5 hitters in the CC batting order were a combined 8-for-16 (.500) in the game.

Concordia fell behind 1-0 in the second game as freshman pitcher Mariah Prokott was given her second collegiate start. Prokott allowed four hits and two earned runs in her four innings of work. She was credited with the win after CC scored four times in the first two innings.

The Cobbers tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the first after Smith doubled and scored on a McCloud double.

CC then broke the game open with three runs in the second. All three runs came with two outs. The big hit was a two-run single by Smith.

Concordia added a fifth run in the fourth when Mackenzie Jensen doubled home Madison Little.

The Cobbers used their entire pitching staff to pick up their eighth straight win. Covert pitched the fifth and sixth innings. She allowed only one hit and, if it were Major League Baseball, would be credited with a hold. Haraldson then finished off the seventh. She struck out two of the four batters she faced to earn her third save of the year.

Junior pitcher Abby Haraldson is now 4-0 in Minnesota and has a paltry 0.75 ERA in the seven games she has pitched in Minnesota. She has also struck out 42 batters in the 28 innings of work. Haraldson lowered her season ERA to 3.31 and now has 93 K's in 74 innings pitched. Her single-season strikeout record is 98 which came last year. The Cobber single-season program record is 152 set by Kesley Jones in 2009.

Concordia is hitting .360 as a team in their eight games in Minny. The Cobbers have outscored their opponents 62-22 and have 23 extra-base hits in their northern stint. Devonie Smith is leading all hitters in Minnesota with a .500 average while Mackenzie McCloud has a .450 average and Sydney Roberts has three home runs and an .826 slugging percentage.

Sophomore Madison Little had two hits in each game against Morris, went 4-for-8 and extended her hitting streak to nine games. She has also reached base safely in 13 games. The last Cobber to have a nine-game hit streak was Paige Beseman back in 2013. Current assistant coach Kaia Sele has the school record with an 18-game hit streak.    
Concordia will now turn its attention to MIAC play. The Cobbers will have three conference twinbills next week. CC will open league play at Carleton on Wednesday and then return home for a pair of doubleheaders on the weekend. CC will host St. Olaf on Saturday and then Macalester on Sunday.