A Picture Of Playoff Softball

Megan Gavin gets ready to bring the pitch to home plate during the Cobbers' semifinal game at St. Olaf. She didn't allow an earned run and struck out seven. (Photo courtesy of St. Olaf SID)
Megan Gavin gets ready to bring the pitch to home plate during the Cobbers' semifinal game at St. Olaf. She didn't allow an earned run and struck out seven. (Photo courtesy of St. Olaf SID)

NORTHFIELD, Minn. (5/14/21)—Concordia's MIAC playoff semifinal game against No.1 St. Olaf was a perfect picture of playoff softball. Pitching dominated the first double-elimination game of the weekend which was a low-scoring affair that was settled in extra innings.

The Cobbers scored the opening run of the game, and held a 1-0 lead until the sixth when the Oles were able to tie the score. St. Olaf finished off their 2-run, unanswered streak when they came up with a walkoff single with the bases loaded in the eighth inning.

The 2-1 loss sends the Cobbers into the "lose and go home" side of the bracket for the 4-team tournament. CC is now 22-20 on the season. St. Olaf, who was ranked 19th in Division III in the latest NFCA poll, survives and advances to the winner's side of the bracket. The victory also ups the Oles' 2021 record to 23-4.

Concordia got on the board with a single run in the first and then turned the game over to senior pitcher Megan Gavin.

The Cobbers scored their lone run of the game when Riley Bergstrom led off the playoff game with a bunt single. She stole second on the very next at-bat with Kenzie Leither at the plate. Leither struck out but was able to take first on a wild pitch which sent Bergstrom to third. With the 1st-and-3rd situation, Leither was allowed to steal second. Gavin then loaded the bases when she coaxed a 5-pitch walk.

After a strikeout put one out on the board, senior third baseman Taylor Erholtz was hit by the fourth pitch on her at-bat which plated Leither and gave CC the 1-0 lead.

Gavin then took over and proceeded to recreate her playoff magic from Friday when she shutout No.3 seed St. Benedict.

Gavin only allowed a pair of 2-out singles in the first five innings and didn't let a runner get past first base. She struck out the side in the first, the first four batters she faced in the game and had six Ks in the first five innings.

St. Olaf tied the game on the first of their two unearned runs in the game. Like the Cobbers in the first, they were able to get their leadoff hitter on board with a single. A sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch put the tying run at third base. The Oles scored the game-tying run when a fly ball to the outfield was dropped. The batter went all the way to third on the play but was stranded after Gavin got a strikeout and a fly out.

The Cobbers other scoring threat in the game came in the top of the sixth when Valerie Kolstad led off with a double to left field but was left at second after three straight outs.

The Oles won the game in the eighth when they put the first two hitters on base with a single and a walk. They both moved up a base on a fielding error and then the winning run scored on a 1-out single through the left side of the infield.

Concordia finished with three hits in the game. Bergstrom was 2-for-4 while Kolstad had the only extra-base hit in the game by either team.

Gavin went 7.1 innings, finished with seven strikeouts and didn't allow an earned run.

UP NEXT: Concordia will face No.2 seed Bethel on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in an elimination game. The Royals lost 9-1 to St. Thomas on Friday.   

RECAP SPONSOR: Today's recap sponsor is Buffalo Wild Wings. Cobber athletics would like to thank B-Dubs for their continued support of Concordia student/athletes.