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 April 3, 1998 Concordian | Cobber Sports
 | Softball | BaseballRecruiting Story | Tennis |    

Softball team back from Florida, 5-5 
Tim Hanson 
The Concordian 

The women's softball team recently came back from a trip to Ft. Meyers, Fla. where they had there first real taste of outdoor play this season. 

The team went 5-4-1 while on their five-day road trip in Florida. "The tournament was excellent. I thought we did okay. We made a few mistakes in a few ball games, and it cost us those games," head coach Steve Baumgartner said. 

The team had been practicing indoors until the weather was nice enough to go outside. 

"It's hard to practice indoors," senior Sheri Damlo said. "It's good to get outdoors before conference play begins. We can adjust to the fielding and the dirt that way." 

Concordia played Colby and Rollins colleges on Thursday. In the first game the Cobbers won, 4-2. The winning pitcher was freshman Christine Moen. In the second game they lost 9-1. The losing pitcher was senior Julie Campion. 

On Friday Concordia played Plymouth State and Williams. In the first game they won, 10-6. The winning pitcher was Campion. In the second game they lost, 5-1. The losing pitcher was Moen

On Saturday the Cobbers played Chicago University and Southern Maine. In the first game they were shut out, 9-0. The losing pitcher was Moen. In the second game the Cobbers came back and won, 6-3. The winning pitcher was Campion

Some of the teams the Cobbers played have been playing for a while now. While others are just starting their season. 

"Chicago University had played 14-15 games before we played them. We also played Rollins college. A very good Division II school that was 20-5 going into our game." Baumgartner said. "If you take those two losses out of there, I am pleased with how we did. With teams that were Division III we held our own." 

The Cobbers played Southern Maine and Williams for a second time on Sunday. In the first game the Cobbers lost, 5-4. The losing pitcher was Moen. In the second game Concordia tied with Williams, 7-7 to end their road trip. 

"We learned a couple of things from the trip. We found out we can be a pretty good ball team when we concentrate, and play error free ball." 
Baumgartner said. "We also need to put more emphasis on the defensive side of things, and be mentally ready as to where the ball has to be thrown." 

Concordia's softball team start conference play Saturday against St. 

"We need to improve on defense,  and hit the ball well. Our pitchers also have to pitch well. I think we have a good chance of doing well in conference play this year," Damlo said. 

April 3, 1998 Concordian | Cobber Sports
 | Softball | BaseballRecruiting Story | Tennis |    

Baseball wins home opener  
Tim Hanson 

After two weeks of playing at the Metrodome, the men's baseball team got their first chance to play outdoors Monday. 

The Cobbers hosted Valley City State, winning the first game 7-2. Concordia broke it open after the first inning 3-2 and added a run in the second inning to increase their lead. The Cobbers then scored three runs in the sixth inning to cement the win.  The Cobbers showed excellent pitching and Valley City State did not score a run after the first inning. The winning pitcher was junior Ethan Pole. 
"Our pitching and defense have been our strengths so far," said junior Justin Stohs. "But we do have some things we need to work on and things we can improve on." 

In the second game Concordia won a close competition, 5-4. After one inning the game was tied 2-2. Valley City State got a run in the second to give them the lead, 3-2. Valley City held the Cobbers scoreless until the bottom of the seventh when Concordia rallied with three runs to win the game and sweep the series against Valley City State. The winning pitcher in this game was junior Jay Asmus

In earlier action, the Cobbers traveled to the Metrodome for their second road trip  March 25 and 26. The Cobbers lost the first game, 9-2, to Winona State. The Cobbers were held scoreless until the fourth inning when they scored a pair of runs. However, Concordia couldn't overcome Winona's strong pitching and failed to put any more runs on the board. 

In the second game, Concordia lost 2-1. Concordia went up 1-0 in the first inning. Winona State scored two in the bottom of the second inning to give them the lead, 2-1. On March 26 the Cobbers played Concordia-St. Paul. In the first game the Cobbers lost, 5-1. Concordia had trouble getting on the board and were held scoreless until the top of the fifth, when they scored their only run. In the second game, Concordia won a close game, 4-3.  After the first inning, the Cobbers were down, 2-1. The Cobbers added one in the fourth to tie the game and two more in the sixth inning to give them the edge.   The winning pitcher was freshman Eric Wold. Concordia added two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and some good defensive work in the top of the seventh to secure their only win on the road. 

Concordia is now 5-5 overall after three weeks of play. 
 April 3, 1998 Concordian | Cobber Sports
 | Softball | BaseballRecruiting Story | Tennis |    

Tennis teams anticipate upcoming conference match-ups  

The men's tennis team blanked the University of Minnesota-Morris 9-0 
Tuesday, bumping their season record to 4-3. 

In tennis action last weekend, the men hosted the University of Mary. Concordia earned a 6-3 victory. 

"Our record doesn't accurately reflect our season because we've only played two conference matches," said junior Nate Svingen. "The conference matches are where it gets tough." 

And the Cobbers have plenty conference matches coming up. According to Svingen, the Cobbers will meet more conference opponents in upcoming tennis matches. They will also start playing more games during the week, meaning lost practice time. 

"The season is going to get a lot tougher," Svingen said. "And we'll be spending more time on the road." 

In the next two conference matches, Concordia hosts Carleton on Friday, then travels to St. John's on Wednesday. They also face South Dakota State University Sunday in non-conference action. 

The women's tennis team suffered four losses this week - one on Friday and three on Saturday. 

The University of Mary beat Concordia 1-4 Saturday, dropping the Cobbers' record to 3-3 overall. That record fell to 3-6 Saturday after losses to University of North Dakota, Montana State University and University of Minnesota-Duluth. 

April 3, 1998 Concordian | Cobber Sports
 | Softball | BaseballRecruiting Story | Tennis |    

Recruiting without the cash 
Tim Hanson 
The Concordian 

While high schools draw to a close for the year, seniors who are in athletics are already looking ahead to the future. For many, the college selection process has already started. Concordia's coaches are busy racing against other schools trying to recruit players for next year's teams. 

The coaches will try to build on their program's past successes. However, coaches at Concordia have their work cut out for them because Concordia College is an NCAA Division III school. Division III schools are not allowed to offer any athletic scholarships. 

Athletics can receive other types of financial aid, but the fact they are an athlete does not have any affect on their financial aid status.  Concordia College could be a Division I school if they wanted to put more financial resources in their athletic program. 

"The size of the school isn't the issue in which division you belong to. 
Your philosophy decides what kind of emphasis you want to put on your athletic program," athletic director Dr. Armin Pipho said. 

There are currently about 375 Division III schools in the nation. "There is a group of schools that have said that they do not want students to choose a college on whether they get an athletic scholarship, or not. We  want them to choose a college because this is where they want to be," Pipho said. 
History of Concordia's association with the NAIA and Division III sports Concordia College was not always a Division III school.  There are two different governing bodies in the U.S. for college sports. 
One is the NCAA which has three Divisions. There is also the NAIA which isn't heard of as much because it was designed for smaller schools. All the schools belonged to the NCAA, prior to the 1940s, and obviously the large schools dominated any national playoff. 

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes was formed in the early 1940s to create championship opportunities for smaller schools. The Cobbers were very strong in the NAIA winning several championships in football. 

In the early 1980s the MIAC conference as a whole decided to join the NCAA, partly based on the philosophy of not giving athletic scholarships. 

According to the Pipho, there was about a three-year period where Concordia belonged to both the NAIA and the NCAA. Concordia declared that they would participate in the NAIA football championship rather than the NCAA. However, Concordia along with the other MIAC conference members switched completely to the NCAA in the early 1980s. 

While in the NAIA, Concordia did give out some athletic scholarships. When Concordia switched over with the other MIAC members to NCAA Division III, Concordia could no longer give out athletic scholarships. The lack of athletic scholarships have made it a challenge for the coaches, and staff to try and recruit players to their programs. However, the school tries to sell itself in other ways to prospective athletes. 

According to head football coach Jim Christopherson, the lack of athletic scholarships have mostly hurt the men's programs. The women's programs are beginning to be affected by scholarships because, as women's sports continue to grow, Division I and II schools are giving athletic scholarships to women who play sports. 

"I think because of women's basketball becoming more well known, the girls that are really good are going to Division I or II schools," women's basketball coach Kathy Wall said. 
Challenges for Concordia in recruiting athletes because of location According to Pipho one of the other challenges is the geographical location of Concordia. All the other colleges in the area are Division II or NAIA. 

There are several schools near Concordia which are less expensive, and can give out athletic scholarships which is a big plus for those schools in trying to recruit top prospects to their program. 

"I try to recruit within a 150 miles of Concordia in small towns like Jamestown and Valley City," Wall said. "It is tough to recruit kids from the Cities because they usually want to stay close to their homes." 

The other MIAC schools may also have an advantage over Concordia in geographical location. Most of the other MIAC schools are closer to the Twin Cities area. 

Christopherson said that the other football coaches on his staff go to high schools to try and recruit players. While they do travel to the Twin Cities, they don't go there as much as they'd like to because of the distance, and the fact that there are so many other MIAC schools in the Cities which makes it harder for Concordia to compete in trying to recruit athletes to come to Concordia. 

Coaches try to sell the school in other ways to athletics than scholarships One aspect that Christopherson points out is that the athletes can accomplish their goals in four years at Concordia. At other schools it may take longer. 

"While many other schools redshirt their players, at the Division III level we don't do that," Christopherson said. "The athlete can get a four-year degree here in four years, unlike other schools where it might take them five years to earn a degree." 

Christopherson also tells the recruits that his football players can play in both fall and spring sports. "At other schools like Moorhead State their football team practices for three weeks in the spring, so their players can't participate in spring sports," Christopherson said. 

While at Division I and II schools the pressure to win can be enormous, at a Division III school there is more to a program than just winning or losing. "I tell prospective basketball players that winning is important, but basketball won't be their life at Concordia like at some of the other big schools," said Wall. "I try to sell the program and the college by telling them about the great professors we have, and that they will be more than just a number like at some of the bigger colleges." 

The school expresses their athletic facilities as a great source of pride. "From an athlete's perspective the facilities are an important factor if they want to compete at a college level," Pipho said. 

Christopherson travels to between 25-50 prospective athletes' homes to try and recruit them to his program, although Christopherson said that it helps when they come up to Concordia to look at the campus. 

The school tries to present the college as a whole package to the prospective athletes. "I think they look at the quality of the school, quality of the athletic program, the facilities and whether they feel comfortable with the coach," Pipho said.