Long Ball Season-Opening Sweep

Senior Brooke Swarthout hit one of the three Cobber home runs in their two wins on the opening day of the season.
Senior Brooke Swarthout hit one of the three Cobber home runs in their two wins on the opening day of the season.

STORY LINE: A pair of multiple-run home runs from freshman spurred Concordia to a pair of wins in their opening games of the 2019 season in Florida. Maria Pake hit a 3-run homer in the Cobbers' 8-2 win over New England College in the first game and then Madison Kostelecky broke open a 4-4 tie game in the bottom of the sixth inning with a grand slam to give CC an 8-4 victory over Alverno in the second game of the day.

PAKE CAN RAKE: Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton HS standout Maria Pake wasted little time in getting used to the collegiate game. Pake doubled to center field in her very first college at bat and came around to score in the Cobbers'4-run first inning against New England College. She then hammered a 3-run homer over the center field fence in the top of the sixth inning which helped turn a 4-2 lead into an 8-2 stroll. Pake then went 3-for-4 in the second game and scored two more runs. She also stole three bases in the game.

Pake went 5-for-7 with four RBI and four runs scored in her very first day in maroon and gold.

KOSTELECKY CAN DO: Fellow freshman, and Bismarck Century HS product, Madison Kostelecky wasn't about to be outdone by her teammate as she smashed a grand slam in the 6th inning in the Cobbers' win over Alverno. The game was tied at 4-4 and CC was able to load the bases on a pair of singles and a walk. Kostelecky then lined a shot over the left field fence to give Concordia an 8-4 lead.

Kostelecky finished her opening day by going 2-for-5 and had five RBI.

GAVIN GETS IT GOING: Sophomore pitcher Megan Gavin picked up the win in both games. She pitched a completed game, and struck out eight, in the opener. She then entered the second game in the fifth inning and only allowed one earned run while fanning six more batters. Gavin finished off the first day in Florida by striking out the side in the seventh inning against Alverno.

All told, Gavin pitched 10 innings, allowed two earned runs and struck out 14.

SWARTHOUT SENDS IT DEEP: Congratulations if you had senior catcher Brooke Swarthout in the "first homer of the season pool". Swarthout went deep in the sixth just before Pake's 3-run clout. The home run was Swarthout's first career long ball. She finished the first game by going 2-for-3.      

OPENING-DAY NOTES: Senior Kelly Riordan got the start in the second game and lasted 4.0 innings. She allowed three earned runs and struck out four…Concordia had four players record at least three hits on the day. Besides Pake, Elizabeth Asp went 3-for-5 in the two games and had 4 RBI. Swarthout was also 3-for-5 and sophomore Taylor Erholtz went 3-for-6….the Cobbers scored eight runs in both games and have now scored eight runs in four straight games. CC finished off the 2018 campaign by beating Minn.-Morris 8-7 and 8-0…Concordia had 20 hits in the two games and hit .370 for the day. CC also had seven extra base hits and had a .611 slugging percentage…the Cobber defense only committed two errors in the two games as they cleanly fielded 55 of their 57 chances.

UP NEXT: Concordia will continue with their 10-game Florida schedule by playing Carthage and Eastern on Monday, Mar. 4. Both games will be played at the Osceola Softball Complex in Clermont, Fla.