Track and Women's Track |
April 23, 1999 | Concordian | Cobber Sports |
| Baseball | Softball | W-Track | M-Track | M-Tennis | W-Tennis | W-Golf |
Track teams prepare for MIAC championships
The men’s and women’s track teams competed in sperate meets over the weekend. The women’s took ninth place at the Manitou Classic at St. Olaf. The meet consisted of 22 teams from Division II and III, including the University of Minnesota, from Division I, who took first place. The men traveled to Carleton to participate in the Carleton Relays. They took 13th place out of 20 teams from three divisions.
Both teams looked at the meets as a good chance to get the whole team together to participate. The real competition for the teams will come in the next two weeks, with the MIAC decathlon this weekend, and the biggest event of the season, the MIAC championships, that will be on May 7-8.
Senior Dan Buchholz said the team used the meet to get everybody on the same page, and headed toward a common goal.
“As a whole, we could have done better, we had a lot of people injured,” said senior Dan Buchholz. “But, were headed in the right direction. Our younger guys are starting to get used to the workouts, and the way we work, and just how we run things in college track.”
Larson expects the team to preform well at the next meets, sending many athletes to the MIAC championships. The men’s team is currently one of the top 30 teams in the nation according to the recent power ratings. “We have a team that doesn’t have extreme standouts, and that’s our strong point going into the championships.”
Buchholz expects the team to have a strong showing at the MIAC, with the potential to finish as high as second place, but not lower than fourth. “We should finish second,” Larson said. “ But there are no guarantees. We really have to pick it up. We’re showing signs of coming around, but we aren’t there yet.”
The women’s team is coming of a first place finish in the indoor season, so other teams expect them to be one of the teams to beat. Sophomore Lisa Hodapp said that the team used to find out where they stand in the outdoor season.
“It was good to see Division II teams, because they are supposed to be of a higher caliber. It gives us a boost in confidence, being a Division III and beating a Division II team.”
Sophomore Rachel Aufforth The meet was the first time that the entire outdoor team had a chance to compete together because of injuries and the fact that some team members couldn’t go on the trip to Florida over break.
“It was a good meet, but we had some struggles,” Aufforth said. “But, we’re digging our way out of our slumps.”
Senior Amanda Glas starred for the Cobbers, taking the only first place finish for the team. Her win in the javelin throw was her second consecutive win at the meet. Cobbers dominated the event, coming in fourth, fifth, 12th, and 16th.
Glas said that the team has the potential to repeat their indoor season
results at the MIAC tournament. Already, several Cobbers are qualified
for the event.
Baseball looks toward playoffs
Following a successful week, the Cobber baseball team is gearing itself for a strong second half, and a shot at the playoffs.
Last Tuesday, the Cobbers swept St. Mary’s down in Winona, a rare feat for Concordia under the otherwise successful 21 year tutelage of coach Bucky Burgau. Success followed the Cobbers back home in a Sunday afternoon showdown with MIAC leader St. Thomas. The number 14 team in the nation, St Thomas, lost the first game of the doubleheader 8-3. The win by the Cobbers broke St. Thomas’s 15 game winning streak. In the nightcap, the Cobbers fought the Tommies ten innings before losing 7-3. What has been the key to the Cobber’s recent success? “We’ve been getting timely hitting, and the pitching’s been good,” says senior pitcher Jay Asmus. “Our pitching at St. Thomas was excellent, and we’ve been getting the hits when we’ve needed them. Our pitchers are keeping us in the games, and we’ve been scoring some runs.”
Indeed, the team’s hitting and pitching has been greatly improved, with a team batting average approaching .300 and 8 individuals over .300, and a team ERA nearly 1.5 runs better than that of their opponents, including 4 pitchers with ERAs under 4.00.
The Cobbers boasted the April 12 MIAC pitcher of the week, Doug Muzik, and the April 19 MIAC player of the week, Clayton Horgen. Muzik, a sophomore, has figured in much of the team’s recent success, including a save and 5-hit complete game shutout the week preceding his recognition. He has 3 wins overall and leads the team with a 2.01 ERA. Horgen, a junior first baseman, hit .642 (9-14) last week, including 6 RBI, 9 runs scored, a home run, 3 doubles and 3 walks. Clayton is second on the team with a .387 batting average, and is tied for the team lead in both home runs, with 5, and RBI’s with 24.
In light of the team’s recent play and the second half of the season,
things are beginning to take shape for the Cobbers. Said Asmus:
“I honestly think that 15 and 5 or 16 and 4 is a realistic goal for us,
and with the strength of our non-conference schedule, if we don’t win the
conference, we’ll definitely be in second place and have a good chance
at an at-large bid into the playoffs. But we have to keep playing
as well as we have been the last couple of weeks.”
Softball struggling to stay on top of MIAC
“We hit the ball a lot harder than they did,” said co-head coach Jim Cella. “We just didn’t have the luck.”
The Cobbers were looking forward to this series for a long time. Going into the game, St. Thomas had a 6-2 record a sweep of Concordia would give them sole possession of second place in the MIAC.
“We played well against a powerful team,” Cella said. “They are ranked fifth in the region, and the defending MIAC champions, and we were right with them. We weren’t satisfied with just being close, were were disappointed that we didn’t win.”
In previous action, the team moved to 8-2 and took sole possession of second place in the MIAC with a sweep of St. Olaf on Saturday and a split versus Augsburg on Sunday.
Freshman Kathy Braun hit a grand slam in the last inning of the first game against the Oles, turning a 3-1 deficit into a 5-3 victory for the Cobbers. In the second game, senior Heidi Mueller hit a three run shot in the second inning to lead the team to a 7-4 victory.
“We never let up,” first year student Erin Gunderson said. “Even when we were down going into the last innings against St. Olaf, we never quit.” In the previous double header last Thursday, Gunderson pitched the first no-hitter in Concordia softball history, recording 14 strikeouts in the first game of a two game sweep of Macalester.
“She was snapping the ball really well,” Cella said. “She was throwing
first and second pitch strikes, so the batters were guessing where the
balls were going to go. When you’re guessing against Erin, you’re not
While the coaches and her teammates were crediting her with the win, Gunderson offered a different explanation.
“It was fun,” Gunderson said. “But, it took everybody to do it. I get credit for a no-hitter, but the team did it for me.”
This is the kind of selfless attitude and team chemistry that has Cella optimistic about the remainder of the season.
“After seeing how well we did outside, and the talent that we had, it’s not surprising that we’re playing well,” Cella said. “Looking at the talent in previous years, we knew this was the most talented group we’ve had. But, did I know that the team would gel this quickly, and have this kind of unity? This is a team that you dream about as a coach.”
On Sunday, the team crushed Augsburg in their first game, 9-1. However, the Auggies surprised the Cobbers in the second game, disappointing Concordia with a 6-3 win.
“We lost, but we could have beat them,” Gunderson said. “This year, you can’t take anyone lightly. St. Kate’s , who haven’t won a conference game in nine seasons, won two games last week. We can’t take anyone lightly no matter where they are in the conference.”
The surprising performances of teams like St. Catherine’s have made the competition for the MIAC crown extremely heated. After Wednesday’s disappointing double header with St. Thomas, Cella said that the team has to win every game for the rest of this week, with the added pressure of finals and end of the year activities, in order to be in the running for the conference title.
“It hurts us and it helps us,” Cella said. “Because, if we get through this week, we know we are going to be alright. If we can get through that stretch, and still be in the hunt, the shoe will be on the other foot. We’ll have nothing but softball to concentrate on, while St. Thomas and St. Mary’s will be worried about papers and finals.”
Cella added that the team is handling the pressures of competing academically
and on the diamond nicely. “It’s a good balance to have,” Cella said. “You
preform at a higher level at school when you are performing well on the
field. It’s a lot easier to study when your winning.”
no story this week
Women's tennis loses to UND, beats Minot State
The Concordia women’s tennis team split two matches during the last week to up their record to 6-11 on the season.
The Cobbers lost to UND last Saturday by a score of 6-3. “They are a lot stronger than they were last year,” sophomore Katie Carmine said. “They’re so powerful.”
Sarika Metha and Eeva Young won their singles matches and the doubles team of Carmine and Erin Pearce won their match for the Cobbers. “Sarika and Eeva are playing so well at singles,” Carmine said. “They’re both fighters.”
After the UND loss, the Cobbers bounced back and defeated Minot State last Tuesday by a score of 7-2.
“They weren’t really a strong team,” Carmine said. “Their one and two singles players were awesome but the rest of the team wasn’t as strong. The only way they’d win a point is if we made an error. We had to go in there focused and hit smart shots.”
The Cobbers are now preparing for the conference meet that will take place next weekend. They have already beaten two conference teams, Hamline and St. Catherine’s, and hope to finish strong in the conference.
Carmine cites Gustavus as the team to beat in the tournament. “Gustavus is by far the best,” Carmine said. “They’ve beaten every team 9-0. They're so strong.”
The Cobbers will be playing home tomorrow against St. Mary’s at 1:00.
Women's golf continues to dominate
Despite cold, nasty weather, the Cobber Women’s golf team beat out Moorhead State and Bemidji State to win the Concordia Spring Invitational on Tuesday.
Sophomore Christie Strecker medalled in the meet and had Concordia’s best individual score with a 79.
“Being it was cold, windy, and rainy, I’m very happy with the way I golfed” she said. “And I’m very happy with the team.”
Strecker attributes her level of play to putting well and hitting long irons due to strong wind. She also had two birdies, one of which resulting from a par three hit into the wind.
The meet was a good start to the team’s spring portion of the season. The Cobbs won with an overall score of 340, followed by MSU with 369 and Bemidji 385.
The win only continues to prove that Concordia Women’s golf is an MIAC powerhouse. The team has won a total of six out of seven MIAC championships in the last seven years.
The team’s high expectations for this year also include a very attainable chance to compete at nationals.
Nationals will be held at Howie-in-the-Hills, Florida this year. The team had a chance two years ago to play at the course.
“Four of us have played there already, so it will be a major advantage for us if we go (to nationals)” said Strecker. “We have had the chance to be in big meet situations.”
If the Concordia Women’s golf team wins one of their next two golf meets,
they will have the opportunity to compete at nationals. The next meet,
the Moorhead State Invitational, is scheduled for April 26 at 1:00 at Meadows
golf course in Moorhead.