The No. 1-ranked Concordia Eagles celebrated Senior Day at Eagles Field, Tuesday, April 16, with a doubleheader sweep (18-0, 11-0) of the visiting Arizona Christian Firestorm. Concordia honored seniors Breanna Silzer, Katie Cotta, Morgan Reiter, Shainna Groom, Courtney Young, and Bryana Simpson pregame.
For the fifth-consecutive week, Concordia (Calif.) latches on to the No. 1 position in the 2013 NAIA Softball Coaches' Top 25 Poll, announced by the national office Tuesday. The Eagles pulled in 19-of-21 first-place votes and 590 total points in the fifth regular-season edition. With a 42-3 overall record, Concordia is one of two teams in the NAIA with 40-or-more wins.
The sixth regular-season Top 25 and the 2013 Softball National Championship Opening Round host sites will be announced on April 23.
With 40-plus wins in five-straight seasons, Concordia tops the NAIA in ERA (0.620) and opponent batting average (0.130). Offensively, the Eagles are third in runs scored (321) and fifth in batting average (.380). The Eagles are primed to host the Unaffiliated Group (Golden State Athletic Conference / California Pacific Conference) Tournament April 25 – 27. No. 1 Concordia (Calif.) has now held the No. 1 position in 11 of the last 13 polls dating back to the 2012 season. No. 2 Lubbock Christian (Texas) and No. 14 William Carey (Miss.) are tied for second with 50-consecutive mentions and No. 1 Concordia is right behind at 41-straight polls. This year, two teams have held the No. 1 ranking: Cal State San Marcos (1) and Concordia (5)
In game one on Tuesday, senior Katie Cotta (18-2) made her last regular season start for the Eagles, going five innings, allowing one hit and no runs, as she pitched her 10th shutout of the year. She threw 12 strikeouts on Tuesday, accounting for all but three of the outs. Emily Craig hit her eighth home run of the year, Hannah Howell hit her fifth, and senior Morgan Reiter hit her fourth. Senior Shainna Groom had two doubles, two singles, and five RBI. Caitrin Debaun and Jasmin Dresser each had a double. Debaun, Kristen Shiotani, Groom, Craig, senior Bryana Simpson, Dresser, and Hannah Howell all had multi-hit games as the Eagles had 19 hits for 18 runs.
Debaun started the game with a double and scored on Groom's single through the right side. Concordia scored four runs in the second inning. Dresser doubled to lead off and Howell followed with a homer over the left field wall. Groom doubled two home to make it 5-0. The Eagles added another six in the third. Wild pitches and errors got the inning going, and Craig hit a two-run bomb to center. Reiter made it back-to-back with a homer to left. CU scored seven in the fourth inning. Concordia used eight singles to score the seven runs.
Cotta struck out the first nine batters in her first time through the lineup. He no-hit bid was broken up with a single with two-out in the fourth.
In game two, senior Courtney Young (14-1) stared for CU and went four innings, allowing two hits for her sixth shutout of the year. She had one K and didn't walk anybody. Jorgenson hit her 10th home run of the year, tied for the team lead, and Simpson hit her sixth. Seniors Reiter and Simpson both had two-hit games, as coach Rosenthal emptied the bench and everyone saw playing time.
CU scored five in the second, as Reiter doubled two home and Merjano doubled to get the scoring started. Simpson homered to center to score two more. They tacked on another six in the third. Reiter led off with a double, Simpson singled, and Howell doubled to right. With two runners on, Jorgenson homered over the center field fence.
Concordia wraps up their regular season with a perfect 16-0 GSAC record and 42-3 record for their second straight GSAC Championship. The Eagles will host the Unaffiliated Group (Golden State Athletic Conference / California Pacific Conference) Tournament April 25 – 27 at Eagles Field.