A Perfect Day For Pitcher's Duels

A Perfect Day For Pitcher's Duels

MOORHEAD, Minn. (5/02/16)—On a perfect day for softball, Concordia and Augsburg hooked up in a pair of old fashioned pitcher's duels. The two offenses were stymied by two dominant pitchers as the Cobbers lost 1-0 and 2-1.

The teams were only able to combine for four runs and 18 hits in the two games as Concordia pitcher Abigail Haraldson and Augsburg's Samantha Anderson amassed 38 strikeouts on the day.

Concordia drops its fifth straight game and is now 16-20 in all games and 3-15 in the MIAC. Augsburg wins for the fifth time in the last six games and is now 20-18 overall and 9-11 in league play.

Haraldson was on fire from the opening inning in Game 1. She got two of the three outs in the first inning on strikeouts and then didn't allow a runner to reach second base from the second through the sixth innings. During that stretch she retired 13 straight hitters and had six K's.    

Augsburg was able to put up the only run in the game with two outs in the sixth. After Haraldson retired the first two hitters in the innings, the Auggies got a single through the left side of the infield, a stolen base and then a double to the left-center gap.

Unfortunately for the Cobbers, Anderson matched Haroldson's outing. Haraldson finished with 11 strikeouts in the opener and Anderson had 13. The Auggies collected four hits while CC had three.

Concordia's best chance to score in the first game came in the fourth inning when they had runners on first and second with no outs but couldn't get a run across the plate.

Sophomore Kayla Nack had two of the three hits for the Cobbers. She went 2-for-3 while Mackenzie Jensen put down a perfectly placed bunt for an infield hit in the third inning and went 1-for-2.

Haraldson pitched the entire second game as well and was just as tough. She only allowed five hits and struck out five. She allowed a single run in the first then didn't allow another hit until the fifth frame when the Auggies scored the game-winning run. In that stretch Haraldson set down 11 of the 13 hitters she faced.

The Cobbers' lone run on the day came in the sixth inning when they collected three of the six hits in the game. Nack had an infield single with one out and then advanced to third base on a Devonie Smith double that hit the base of the left field fence.  Nicole Johannes then singled up the middle to plate Nack and send Smith to third. CC was unable to come up with the game-tying run as the next two batters were sent down on a strike out and a foul out to the third baseman.

Concordia had six different players have one hit each in the finale. Besides Nack, Smith and Johannes - Cora Zackrison, Emma Mitzel and Sadie Ness all had singles.

Abby Haraldson continues to add to her school record total of strikeouts for a single season. She broke the old school record of 152 on Apr. 23 and with her 16 K's on Monday she now has 187 on the year. Her dominant performance helped her reclaim the strikeout lead in the conference. Haraldson now has an eight strikeout lead over the next pitcher in the league.

Haraldson's three-runs over two games also lowered her season ERA to 3.15 which moves her into a tie for ninth place on the school's all-time single-season lowest ERA list.

Concordia's defense was also stellar on Monday. The Cobbers didn't commit an error in the 14 innings marking the first time this season that they haven't had a miscue in a conference DH. Concordia has a .949 fielding percentage this year which is up from last season's .947.

Concordia will play the middle DH of their final week conference trifecta on Tuesday. The Cobbers will host second-place Gustavus at 3:30 p.m. before finishing off the year by playing St. Olaf at St. Benedict on Wednesday, May 4 at 3:30 p.m.