Two Different Ways To Get 9-1 Wins

Kenzie Leither had one of three Cobber home runs against Hamline and had two RBI in both games of Concordia's sweep over the Pipers.
Kenzie Leither had one of three Cobber home runs against Hamline and had two RBI in both games of Concordia's sweep over the Pipers.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (4/15/21)---In Game 1 it was a "take small bites approach" for the Cobber offense. In Game 2 it was the "take huge bites" method. It didn't matter which theme Concordia chose on Thursday as they both produced 9-1 wins over Hamline in St. Paul.

The Cobbers produced 10 hits, eight of which were singles, in the opener to win by eight and then they cranked out three home runs, and five extra-base hits, to earn the victory by the same margin. The sweep over the Pipers marks the first time since the 2018 season that CC has posted a sweep in conference play.

The two wins pushes Concordia's record back above the .500 level for the season. CC is now 14-12 in all games and 2-6 in the MIAC.

Game 1 Recap: It was a tale of the big inning in the first game. The Cobbers put up crooked-number innings on three occasions to post the 9-run total. The game was scoreless until the second inning when the Cobbers plated three runs on three hits. Valerie Kolstad started the inning when she was hit by a pitch. Hannah Wilke singled to left field and then Kenzie Leither posted the first of her two run-scoring hits in the game with a single down the left-field line. Landry Maragos came through with the game-winning RBI when she scored two runs with a double to right center.       

The second multiple-run inning came in the sixth. Amy Quast delivered a 2-out single up the middle that plated Leither and Wilke. CC did all of its damage with two outs after the first two batters struck out to start the frame.

The seventh inning produced four runs and three hits and the Cobbers were helped by three HU errors. All four of the runs in the inning were unearned. Kolstad, Wilke and Leither had the RBI in the inning.

The nine runs were more than enough for senior pitcher Megan Gavin who only allowed three hits and struck out in 6.0 innings pitched. She didn't give up a run and didn't allow a runner past second base.

Wilke, Leither and Maragos had multiple-hit games. Wilke was 3-for-4, scored twice and drove in a run. Leither had two RBI and was 2-for-4 while Maragos went 2-for-3 and also drove home a pair of runs.

Game 2 Recap: The finale hung in the balance until the seventh inning when Concordia scored five times to break open a 4-1 lead. Freshman pitcher Tori Herrboldt made sure the Cobbers would only need two of the nine runs. She went the full 7.0 innings, struck out eight and only allowed the one earned run in recording her first MIAC victory.

Kolstad, Gavin and Leither all had home runs in the game. Leither drove in the first two runs of the game when she hit her second long ball of the year in the second inning.

The Cobbers scored single runs in the third and fifth frames to take a 4-1 lead before Kolstad and Gavin brought home insurance runs with back-to-back yard shots in the seventh. Kolstad started with a 2-run homer that brought home Solveig Lundberg who pinch ran for Erholtz after Erholtz got aboard on an infield single. Gavin then followed with her first long ball of the season.

Gavin and Quast both had 3-hit games in the nightcap – and both went 3-for-4. Gavin scored three runs and had an RBI on her HR and Quast scored a run and drove home a run. Kolstad and Leither both had 2-RBI games while Taylor Erholtz went 2-for-3 to give CC a trio of player with multiple-hit games.

K KOUNTER: Gavin's 11 strikeouts in Game 1 brought her season total to 137 which leads all of Division III. She was second heading into Thursday and overtook Nikki Camarati from Baldwin Wallace who has 131 Ks on the year.

Gavin's 11 fans also up her career total to 414 as she continues to inch closer to the Cobber career record of 440 set by Abbie Haraldson from 2014-18.

TEAM LONG BALL: The three long balls brings Concordia's season total to 11. That is tied for third most in the MIAC and the same amount as the team hit in 38 games in 2019.

UP NEXT: Concordia will return home to host Macalester on Saturday, Apr. 17 as part of a home-and-away MIAC weekend. After hosting the Scots, the Cobbers will travel to St. Peter to take on Gustavus on Sunday, Apr. 18 at 1 and 3 p.m.  

RECAP SPONSOR: Today's recap sponsor is Erbert & Gerbert's. Cobber athletics would like to thank Erbert & Gerbert's for their continued support of Concordia student/athletes.