After a pair of wins last week against the Southwest Minnesota State Mustangs, the Bulldogs looked to stay hot as they took on the Concordia-St. Paul Golden Bears. In game one, the Golden Bears struck first, scoring off a double in the first inning. The Bulldogs tied it up in the third on an unconventional fielder’s choice. After that, the Golden Bears took over the game, scoring four more to go up 5-1.
Sophomore infielder Heather Woyak scored the second run on an error in the fifth inning, and that’s as good as it got for the Bulldogs. The Golden Bears added three more runs before winning 8-2.
“We were inconsistent at the plate and couldn’t get into a rhythm,” Coach Jen Banford said. “Defensively we played well, but Concordia was gritty at the plate. They hit gaps and got the bounces, versus when we did hit the ball well, it was right at them every time.”
Sophomore pitcher Sam Hartmann had a rough day on the mound, throwing a complete game but letting in eight runs, seven earned, seven walks and 12 hits. Hartmann fell to 5-1 on the season.
In game two, junior pitcher Cayli Sadler took the mound for the Bulldogs as they looked to bounce back from the previous outing. Sadler looked solid in the first two innings, but the Golden Bears once again struck first with a two-run home run in the third. The Bulldogs got one run back in the fourth to make it 2-1.
After the Golden Bears scored one more in the fourth to make it 3-1, it looked as if the Bulldogs were going lose their first back-to-back games of the season. In the fifth, they were able to get one more before coming into the seventh inning down 3-2.
In the top of the seventh, down by one, senior infielder Jordan Rice stepped up to the plate with two on and did the unbelievable. Rice smacked the ball clear over the fence to give the Bulldogs the lead going into the bottom of the seventh.
“Jordan’s clutch three-run home run to put us ahead 5-3 going into the bottom of the seventh inning was a major boost,” Banford said. “It’s fun to see her step up and lead by example as a senior captain. This was huge for us to come back and earn the split. I think that was a big confidence booster for us heading into Florida.”
The Bulldogs will head down to Clermont, Florida for 10 games against seven teams from all over the country in a matter of just five days. Their first game will come against the Wayne State Warriors on March 15. The Bulldogs will return home March 24 to play the St. Cloud State Huskies.
BY RYAN DEPAUW