SEWARD, Neb. – (RV) Midland University softball dropped its Great Plains Athletic Conference opener to (RV) Concordia University on Sunday afternoon but salvaged the split with a 3-0 victory in game two behind a three-hit shutout from freshman pitcher Aliyah Rincon.
Midland’s record moves to 20-7 overall and 8-2 in the GPAC while Concordia sits at 19-6 overall and 5-4 in the league.
Game One: Concordia 6, Midland 3
Concordia got ahead in the opening inning, taking a 1-0 lead after a sacrifice fly scored a runner from third. Midland responded in the second when a single from Diana Nisbett scored Roni Foote and Sierra Athow. The Bulldogs were able to pick up a strikeout to end the threat, but the Warriors held a narrow 2-1 lead. Momentum swung back in the way of the Bulldogs as a single up the middle plated two in the bottom of the inning, giving the lead back to the home team at 3-2.
The Warriors continued to fight, and a pair of singles led off the third inning for the heart of the lineup. Athow stepped up with a single to centerfield to score Andrea Cespedes from third to tie things up at 3-3. Starting pitcher Hailee Fliam held the Concordia offense in check until the fifth inning when five hits scored three runs to give the Bulldogs a 6-3 advantage. Midland hit the ball hard in the following innings but the team was unable to string anything together, falling by a final score of 6-3.
- Diana Nisbett: 1-of-3, 2 RBI
- Emily Prai: 2-of-4
- Sierra Athow: 1-of-3, 1 RBI, 1 run
- Hailee Fliam: 6.0 IP, 9 hits, 6 ER, 4 K
Game Two: Midland 3, Concordia 0
The game was a classic pitcher’s duel from the jump with Midland’s Aliyah Rincon picking up three strikeouts through the first two innings. Midland was able to register a couple hits, including a single up the middle from Kiera Painter, but the Warriors couldn’t move runners into scoring position. The Warriors looked to have a prime opportunity in the fourth when Bobbi Singleton singled to center with one out. Roni Foote followed with a single to put runners on first and second. The Bulldogs buckled down defensively and erased the threat with a groundout to third.
The windy conditions continued to stymie Midland’s chances for extra-base knocks as popups and flyouts highlighted the fifth frame. Concordia got a runner aboard in the bottom of the sixth on an infield single, but the threat was erased when Midland’s catcher Ali Smith gunned the runner down in a steal attempt.
Midland took to the top of the seventh and led things off with a single from Foote. A well-executed sac bunt from Carly Pfitzer moved Foote into scoring position with one out. The following batters were walked to load the bases. Andrea Cespedes stepped up and put a tough ball in play which was misplayed by the second basemen and cleared the bases, giving Midland a 3-0 edge. Concordia picked up a two-out single in the bottom of the seventh, but a pop-up to third base secured the 3-0 win for the Warriors.
- Bobbi Singleton: 2-of-3
- Roni Foote: 2-of-3, 1 run
- Kiera Painter: 1-of-2, 1 run
- Aliyah Rincon: 7.0 IP, 3 hits, 7 K
Midland (20-7, 8-2 GPAC) will continue its road stretch with a pair of games against Dakota Wesleyan University (9-15, 1-7 GPAC) on Friday, April 16 in Mitchell, South Dakota. Game one will kick off at 3 p.m. with game two to follow.