Third Stanza Stirs Sweep

Sophomore Nicole Johannes had hits in both games and helped the Cobbers post wins over Finlandia and Northland.
Sophomore Nicole Johannes had hits in both games and helped the Cobbers post wins over Finlandia and Northland.

WEST ST. PAUL, Minn. (3/15/17)---Concordia used a pair of big-run third innings to beat Finlandia and Northland in the first day of the Cobber Indoor Classic played at the West St. Paul Dome.

The Cobbers scored six times in the third against Finlandia and went on to beat the Lions 7-5 and then plated five runs in the third against Northland and hung on to beat the Lumberjills 9-8.

Concordia has now won three straight games and four of its last six and is now 6-6 on the season.

The Cobbers also used the offense of Sydney Roberts, Devonie Smith and Nicole Johannes and the pitching of Abigail Haraldson to get the two-game sweep on the day. The batting trio combined for 11 of the team's 18 hits on the day, batted .579 and drove in seven runs while Haraldson pitched a complete game in the opener against Finlandia to earn the win and then closed out the second game with a perfect seventh inning to record her first save of the season.

Concordia and Finlandia traded runs in the first inning of Game 1 before the Cobbers busted the contest wide open with the decisive six-run third frame. CC had five hits in the inning, were helped by a pair of errors and sent nine batters to the plate.    

The first six batters in the third inning reached base safely with doubles by Roberts and Johannes doing the majority of the damage. Roberts' two-bagger plated two runs and was a part of her three-RBI game.

Staked to a six-run lead, Haraldson would make sure the Lions wouldn't stage a late-game rally. She retired 14 of the 18 batters she faced between the first and seventh innings.

She stumbled in the seventh and gave up a pair of run-scoring singles with two outs but then closed out the game by getting a pop fly which she took herself.

Concordia outhit Finlandia 8-7 in the first game. Smith was 2-for-2 while Roberts and Johannes also added two hits. Leadoff hitter Madison Little and left fielder Cora Zackrison also had base knocks in the game.

The Cobbers bolted out to a 9-0 lead in the second game against Northland and were two outs away from having the game stopped in the fifth inning due to the eight-run rule but then had to hang on in the sixth and seventh innings to get the win.

Little led off the game with a triple and scored one of the three CC runs in the first frame. Gabby Gardner drove in two runs when she singled with no outs after the first four batters reached base.

Concordia tacked on one run in the second when Smith singled home Little and then they put up a five-spot in the third.

All five runs in the third came with two outs in the inning. CC loaded the bases and then scored five times on a fielder's choice ground ball off the bat of Little and then subsequent singles by Kendra Sindler and Smith followed by walks from Roberts and Gardner.

Things got interesting for Concordia in the fifth when the Lumberjills scored five runs on five hits to cut the lead to 9-6. Northland then added two more in the sixth and had the tying run on third and the go-ahead run on second with only one out.

Sophomore pitcher Kelly Riordan entered the game with the one-out jam in the sixth and proceeded to get the next batter to ground out to shortstop and the final batter to pop out to shortstop to end the inning.

Haraldson then shut the door in the seventh as she struck out the first two hitters and then got a ground out to short to end the game.

Both teams had 10 hits in the game. Little and Smith were the only CC players with more than one hit in the day's finale.

Spindler started the game and went the first 5.1 innings in the circle. She allowed six earned runs and struck out two.

RUN MADDIE RUN: Senior outfielder Madison Little had a stolen base in the first game and then added two more against Northland. She now has 12 swipes on the year which leads the team and is second in the MIAC. Little has stolen at least one base in seven of the team's 12 games. She now has 43 career stolen bases.

SCORE COBBERS SCORE: With the 16 runs scored in the two games on Wednesday, the Cobbers have now plated 36 runs in the last six games and have scored 59 times this season. CC is fifth in the MIAC in runs scored in 2017.

SPECIAL K: Abigail Haraldson had eight strikeouts in the first and two more in the second giving her 421 for the season. She is third in the MIAC in K's this year. She now has 345 career K's which is 27 shy of the school's all-time career strikeout record of 371 set by Erin Gunderson from 1999-02.   

WHAT'S NEXT: Concordia will close out the two-day indoor classic on Thursday, Mar. 16 when they play Bethany Lutheran at 10 a.m. and then Northland at 12 p.m. Both games will be held at the West St. Paul Dome.