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: Cobbers working to improve ranks
Concordia baseball put in a busy week last week, playing five games, but winnin only one.
Valley City handed the Cobbers their first defeat of the week on Friday, winning the game 10-8. Valley City jumped out to an early lead, but the Cobbers made an effort to come back with six runs in the last two innings. In the end, Valley City remained in charge.
Outfielder Chris Howell had a big offensive day, going two for two with two runs and three RBIs. Craig Schwantz took the mound for Concordia and came away with the loss, his first one of the year.
The Cobbers hosted the top team in the conference on Saturday in a doubleheader. St. Thomas defeated Concordia, winning the first game 10-8 and the second 5-1.
Concordia took an early 7-1 lead in the first game, but the Tommies came back with four runs in the sixth and five in the seventh to take control.
Howell had another big game, going three for three with one run scored. Outfielder Noah Johnson went two for four with one run scored, two RBIs, a double and a triple.
Pitcher Marty Gray took the loss this time, dropping his record to 1-2.
St. Thomas held the Cobbers to four hits. Scott DeBrito went two for three and hit his second home run of the year.
"On Saturday, we scored many runs in the first game with two outs. That was good to see," pitcher Joe Cuchna said. "In the second game, we just kind of folded."
Concordia defeated Carleton 7-5 on Sunday, getting the only win of the weekend. The game was tied 5-5 in the sixth until the Cobbers scored twice to get the win.
Second baseman Jeremy Holm went two for three, with two runs scored, one RBI and a double. Pitcher Andy Hatlestad gave up only one hit and not runs.
The second game against Carleton didn't go as well for Concordia. The Cobbers lost 5-3. Outfielder Randy Radzidlo hit his second home run of the year in the loss.
"We need to have a little more enthusiasm by keeping our heads up against all this adversity. We need to go out and have fun and not have one mistake made in a game get us down," Joe Cuchna said.
Mental game key for softball
Cobber softball had a roller-coaster weekend against three conference teams.
Concordia played doubleheaders with Carleton April 19, St. Benedict's April 21 and Macalaster April 23. The Cobbers defeated Carleton, fell to St. Ben's and split with Macalaster.
Concordia won the first game against Macalaster 2-1 but lost the second 5-4. Despite the split, the team said it was generally satisfied.
"The second one was good, but we had some opportunities that were missed. You can't do that if you want to win," junior pitcher Julie Campion Said.
Concordia held a consistent lead in the first game but struggled in the second. The team was behind 4-1 but then rallied back with three runs, falling just short of the win.
"Overall, I think we did really well. Defense held it together and our hitting is starting to come around, " senior infielder Heather Reichow said.
St. Ben's handed the Cobbers two solid losses on Monday, defeating the Cobbers 0-4 and 1-7.
St. Ben's is home to one of the MIAC's top pitchers. Reichow said adjusting to her was a struggle.
"I don't think we were really in it mentally," Reichow said.
Carleton was a different story, however. The Cobbers won 7-6 and 9-1 against Carleton.
"We hit well at Carleton, and our defense did really well," sophomore catcher Heidi Mueller said.
Warmer weather has allowed practices to be held outdoors. The team says this has led to vast improvements.
"Taking batting practice outside has helped a lot. There's only so much you can do in a batting cage," Reichow said.
Despite the imporved practice environment, the team still has things it wants to improve.
"We really come together as a team, but you really notice it when we're not together," Reichow said.
Improvements may be needed, but much of the team sees a unique dynamic that makes it strong.
"One of the things that's really neat about our team is that in every game there is a different hero," Campion said.
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