MOORHEAD, Minn. (4/22/09)--
Concordia almost pulled off a monumental upset in the first game of their doubleheader with league-leading Gustavus on Wednesday in Moorhead. The Cobbers scored three times in the bottom of the sixth inning and had the tying run on second in the seventh but failed to score and lost 4-3. CC then fell 9-0 in five innings in the second game.
Concordia loses for the third straight time and falls to 10-20 overall and 5-11 in the MIAC. Gustavus, who had their 18-game winning streak stopped on Tuesday, improve to 30-4 overall and 19-1 in league play. The Gusties have two conference games remaining in the regular season and a pair of wins gives them the outright regular season championship and the No.1 seed in the upcoming MIAC Tournament.
The first game was a classic pitcher's duel for the first four innings. Concordia's Kesley Jones and Gustavus' Betsie Collins were virtually unhittable until the fifth inning. Jones struck out seven in the first four innings and allowed only three hits while Collins struck out eight and also only allowed three hits. Collins struck out the first four batters she faced in the game and five of the first six.
The game changed in the fifth inning when the Gusties used their speed to score the first run of the game. Leadoff hitter Emily Klein reached first on an error and then stole second base. She then stole third and on the play the ball rolled into the outfield and she was able to get up and score. Gustavus then plated two more runs in the frame on three singles and an RBI bunt.
Gustavus would tack on one more run in the sixth inning on back-to-back doubles with Klein scoring the eventual game-winning run.
The Cobbers' offensive fortunes turned in the bottom of the sixth inning when Nicolle Diekman led off the inning with a single to center field. CC junior Emily Jensen then turned on a fast ball and sent it over the right field fence to bring Concordia to within two at 4-2. For Jensen it was her team-leading fourth home run of the year. Amanda Michaelson then followed with a double and would come around to score on a clutch two-out single from Jones.
Concordia mounted a threat in the bottom of the seventh inning as well. The Cobbers once again got their leadoff hitter on base but Kayla Trobec was then stranded on second to end the game.
Jones finished the game with eight strike outs and allowed four earned runs. She also had a pair of hits in the game. Jensen and Diekman also had multiple-hit games for the Cobbers in the opener.
While the Gusties used their speed in the first game to score runs, they used their power in the second to break it open in the first and end it early in the fifth. Gustavus knocked out four home runs in the night cap to secure the sweep. They set the tone in their opening at bat by scoring five runs and hitting a two-run shot and a three-run long ball.
Those five runs took the wind out of the Cobbers' sails and helped pitcher Callie Nielsen find a groove and shut down the Cobber offense. Gustavus ended up scoring two more runs in the second inning on Rachael Click's second two-run HR in as many innings. Emily Klein then polished off the scoring in the fourth inning when she connected on a two-run dinger of her own.
Concordia only came up with four hits in the finale and was led by Maddie Haroldson who went 2-for-2. Jensen was 1-for-2 and finished the day 3-for-6.
Jones pitched all 12 innings in the series and recorded 11 strikeouts. She now has 125 strikeouts on the season and needs only 17 more to break the single season school record of 141 set by Erin Gunderson in 2000.
Concordia will return to action on Friday, Apr. 24 when they host St. Kate's at 4 p.m.