A Record-Setting Season Finale

A Record-Setting Season Finale

ST. JOSEPH, Minn. (5/04/16)—It was well worth the wait. Concordia was originally supposed to play St. Olaf on Apr. 9 in Moorhead but cold weather forced the doubleheader to be postponed. Fast forward 25 days and 162 miles to the southeast and the Cobbers turned in a record-setting season-ending sweep over the Oles.

Freshman Sydney Roberts hit a one-out, two-run walkoff home run in the second game to give Concordia an 8-7 win and propel the Cobbers to their first conference sweep of the year. The homer was Roberts' seventh of the season which sets a new single-season school record.

The two wins give Concordia an 18-22 overall mark for 2016 and a 5-17 record in conference play. St. Olaf finishes off its season with a 14-19 mark in all games and a 9-13 record in league play.

Roberts' long-ball heroics were just one of two record-setting performances for Concordia on the last day of the season. Junior pitcher Abigail Haraldson threw a complete game in the opener and then six innings in the second game to up her season total of innings pitched to 188.2 which is a new program record. The old record for most innings pitched in a single season was 184.0 set by Erin Johnson in 2008.

Haraldson also became the first player in Cobber history to record 200 strikeouts in a single season. She entered the day with 195 K's and then struck out three in the opener. The 200-K mark came in the third inning when Haraldson struck out the very first batter she faced. That would be her final K of the game and she would end the season with exactly 200 strikeouts.

The second game was all about the long ball as Roberts' walkoff blast was one of two in the game for the first baseman. She also had a three-run homer in the fifth inning after CC fell behind 5-0. Concordia scored four runs in that inning but then gave up two more in the sixth to trail 7-4 heading into the final inning of the season.

Kayla Nack started the Cobbers comeback with a one-out single. Shortstop Devonie Smith then cranked out her first collegiate home run to get CC within one at 7-6. Mackenzie McCloud followed the HR with a single which set the stage for Roberts to break the school record and send Concordia out with a sweep.

Freshman Kali Covert was the beneficiary of the two home runs. She entered the game in the top of the seventh to relieve Haraldson and pitched a scoreless inning to record her fourth win of the year.

The first game was won with another four-run inning. Like the fifth and seventh innings in Game 2, Concordia scored four times in the fifth inning in the opener which gave CC a 5-4 lead. The big hit in the inning came off the bat of Madi Veith who doubled home two runs.

The first run of the doubleheader came courtesy of yard work as McCloud clouted her first HR of the year to get the Cobbers on the third in the third frame.

Concordia had 10 hits in the first game and eight in the nightcap.
The hit company of Smith, McCloud and Roberts spearheaded the Cobber offense. The three combined for 13 of the team's 18 hits and all three had more than one hit in both games. Smith went 2-for-3 in both games, scored four runs and had 2 RBI. McCloud was 2-for-4 in both games and scored four times and drove in two runs. Roberts was 2-for-3 in the first game and then 3-for-4 with five RBI in the second game. Roberts finished with six RBI and three runs scored.

Concordia finishes the year with 18 overall wins which is the most for a CC team since the 2002 season when they went 19-13. The 18 wins also tie for the fifth most in a single season in program history.   

Abby Haraldson finishes her remarkable year by breaking the single-season records in strikeouts and innings pitched. Opposing hitters had a .236 batting average against Haraldson which is 53 percentage points lower than last year.

Freshman Sydney Roberts' seven home run season broke the mark of six held by three different players including assistant coach Kaia Sele. Roberts' two-HR performance in Gmae 2 was the second time this season had gone over the fences more than once in a game. She also had two dingers against Crown on Mar. 29. Roberts' five-hit afternoon also helped her finish above the .300 mark in hitting fopr the year. She entered the day at .276 and ended the season third on the team with a .313 mark.    

Sophomore Mackenzie McCloud finished the year by having two hits in each of the last three games. She also had at least one hit in seven of the final nine games. That stretch helped her win the team batting title for the season. McCloud finishes the year with a .364 mark after hitting .179 as a freshman in 2015.