ST. JOSEPH, Minn. (4/25/09)-- Concordia pitcher Kesley Jones continues to blossom into one of the top players in the MIAC. The freshman from Montana almost singlehandedly helped Concordia to a split with St. Ben's on Saturday. Jones hit a grand slam and threw a shutout in the team's 8-0 win in the opener. She then limited the Blazers to four hits in a 2-1 loss in the nightcap. For the day Jones pitched 11 innings, allowed two runs and six hits and struck out 12. The 12 K's brings her to the doorstep of the team's single season strikeout record. Jones now has 137 strikeouts on the year and needs five more to break the school record of 141 set by Erin Gunderson in 2000.
The day started perfectly for Concordia (11-21/6-12 MIAC) as Jones' first-inning grand slam pushed the Cobbers to a 5-0 lead. It was Jones' second home run of the year and first collegiate grand slam. CC would go on to score three more runs in the first five innings in a game that was called after the fifth due to the eight-run rule. Two of the final three runs came via the long ball. Laura Johnson and Sara Gruber also connected on home run shots. Gruber's leadoff shot in the fourth was her third of the season and Johnson went deep in the fifth to push the lead to eight. It was her second HR of the year.
Unfortunately for Concordia the run total would dry up in the second game. The Cobbers were blanked for the first six innings but thanks to Jones' stellar pitching day, CC had a chance to tie the game, and even win it in, the top of the seventh. Trailing 2-0 in their last at-bat, Concordia put the leadoff hitter on base and then had runners on first and second with one out. CC then loaded the bases with two outs but a ground out to shortstop ended the threat and the game.
In the second game, the Cobbers outhit St. Ben's (13-21/9-13 MIAC) 6-4. Maddie Haroldson was the only Concordia player with more than one hit. She went 2-for-3 with a double.
The Cobbers will finish off the 2009 season at home when they host Bethel on Monday, Apr. 27 at 4 p.m. and then St. Kate's on Tuesday, Apr. 28 at 4 p.m.