Three Big Innings Are Too Costly

Gabby Gardner puts the ball in play in the first game of the Cobbers' DH with St. Thomas. She went 1-for-2 with an RBI in the game.
Gabby Gardner puts the ball in play in the first game of the Cobbers' DH with St. Thomas. She went 1-for-2 with an RBI in the game.

MOORHEAD, Minn. (4/13/17)--- Three big innings. Three big innings spelled doom for Concordia as they allowed 21 runs in three innings and lost 15-3 and 8-1 to St. Thomas.

The Cobbers allowed a 13-run second inning in the opener and then a pair of four-run frames in the finale and lost for the 10th straight time. CC is now 8-18 overall and 0-10 in the conference. The Tommies win for the 16th time in the last 19 games and improve to 9-3 in the MIAC and 22-6 overall.

Concordia was able to outscore St. Thomas 2-0 in the final three innings of the first game and then had a 1-0 edge in five innings in Game 2.

The story of the first game for the Cobbers was sophomore Lexi Olek who hadn't pitched an inning of college softball and threw 3.0 scoreless frames. She  shut down the Tommie offense in the third, fourth and fifth innings. Olek only allowed one hit and walked one as she retired nine of the 12 batters she faced. Of the nine outs she recorded, seven came via the fly ball.

Concordia plated single runs in the second, fourth and fifth innings. Gabby Gardner singled home Madi Veith in the second to get CC on the board. Veith then scored on a wild pitch in the fourth before Madison Little singled through the right, stole second and third base and then scored on an error in the fifth frame.

The Cobbers had four hits in the opener. Besides the singles from Little, Veith and Gardner, Nicole Johannes had a base hit in the fourth inning. 

Kendra Spindler did a great job holding the UST offense in check i until the fourth inning of the second game. The sophomore pitcher gave up only two hits and didn't allow a runner to get past second base in the first three innings of play.

She ran into trouble in the fourth when she allowed four runs on three hits. Spindler then settled down and cruised through the fifth and sixth innings when she retired six of the eight batters she faced.

St. Thomas was able to plate the final four runs of the game in the seventh when they had three hits and were helped by a pair of CC errors. 

Spindler allowed five earned runs in the seven innings and scattered nine hits over the game.

Concordia's lone run came from a thunderous hit off the bat of Sydney Roberts. The Cobbers' single-season home run record holder blasted a shot into the pine tree behind the left-center field fence to cut the Tommies' lead to 4-1 in the bottom of the fourth. 

The Cobbers also had runners on first and second with only one out in the sixth but hit into an inning-ending double play before they could cut into the three-run deficit. 

Roberts and Johannes had two-hit games in the nightcap. Both players went 2-for-3. Betsy Asp and Brooke Ankerfelt had the other CC hits. 

IT TAKES A THIEF: Madison Little's two stolen bases in the first game bring her season total to 22 for the season. She is chasing the school's single-season stolen base mark of 24 which was set in 2007 by Kelli Niess. Little now has 53 career stolen bases which is second to Niess' 69 career steals.

CORA, CORA, CORA: Sophomore Cora Zackrison reached base in both games. She has now reached safely in nine straight games which is the third longest by a Cobber this season. Zackrison was hit by a pitch in Game 1 and then walked twice in the second game.

WHAT'S NEXT: Concordia will finish off their Easter weekend by playing at Gustavus on Saturday, Apr. 15 at 2 p.m. The Gusties are 17-11 overall and 4-6 in league play and are coming off a sweep at St. Mary's on Thursday.