Quast Keeps Taylor's Win Streak Alive

Sophomore pitcher Amber Taylor earned her MIAC-leading fourth win of the year as she helped the Cobbers beat Bethany Lutheran in Game 2 on Day 1 of the Viking Classic.
Sophomore pitcher Amber Taylor earned her MIAC-leading fourth win of the year as she helped the Cobbers beat Bethany Lutheran in Game 2 on Day 1 of the Viking Classic.

MANKATO, Minn. (3/17/21)---Amy Quast's 2-out single in the sixth inning against Bethany Lutheran scored a pair of runs to help Concordia rally past the Vikings in the second game of the Viking Classic on Thursday. Quast's game-winning hit helped the Cobbers post a 6-5 victory after they dropped a 3-0 decision against Gustavus in the opening game of the tournament.

The Cobbers outhit their opponent in each game but couldn't connect hits in Game 1 to come away with the sweep.   

Senior Taylor Erholtz had a hit in each game for Concordia, including a 2-run homer in the third inning against Bethany Lutheran. Sophomore pitcher Amber Taylor was the recipient of the Cobbers' 6-run outburst in the second game. She went the distance, allowed five runs but collected her fourth win of the year to stay perfect at 4-0.

Game 1: Concordia 0, Gustavus 3 Recap
Concordia outhit Gustavus 5-4 in the first game of the day, but couldn't come up with a clutch hit and lost 3-0. The Cobbers had runners at second base in three of the final four innings but couldn't get the run across as they went 1-for-10 with runners on base and 0-for-7 with two outs in an inning.

Senior Megan Gavin, who was named the MIAC Pitcher of the Week on Monday, started the game by striking out five of the first eight batters she faced. She only allowed one hit in the first three innings of play.

The Gusties got on the board in the fourth when they came through with a 2-out single after Gavin threw out a runner trying to score from third on a ground ball.

Gustavus would tack on the two insurance runs in the fifth with a single, a walk, three stolen bases and pair of outs that scored the runs.

The Cobbers had five different players with one hit each. Riley Irmen, Valerie Kolstad, Erholtz. Riley Bergstrom and Karissa Finnigan had the base hits for CC. Bergstrome had the only extra-base hit in the game as she doubled to center field to lead off the sixth inning. Finnigan came through with her first collegiate hit. The freshman from Calgary, Alta. Pinch hit in the seventh and came up with a single through the right side of the infield.

Gavin pitched the first 5.0 innings and struck out six. She allowed three earned runs and four hits. Senior Cassie Bohnsack pitched a 1-2-3 sixth inning and didn't allow the ball out of the infield.    

Game 2: Concordia 6, Bethany Lutheran 5 Recap
The teams traded run streaks and leads before Quast's single in the sixth put the Cobbers on top for good. Concordia scored once in the second and three more times in the third to grab a 4-0 lead. Bethany Lutheran responded with four in the fourth and then a lone run in the fifth to take a 5-4 lead.

The difference in the second game is that the Cobbers were able to come up with key hits. They hit .364 (4-for-11) with runners on base and .400 (4-for-10) with two outs in Game 2.

Molly Wilde started the scoring for CC against the Vikings in the second inning. She led off the frame with a double down the left-field line and then advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt from Quast. Wilde scored when Finnigan hit a ground ball to second base.

The big inning for Concordia came in the third when they scored three runs on three hits. The Cobbers were pushed to the three runs by a triple from Gavin and the long ball from Erholtz. Gavin's triple to center scored Bergstrom after Bergstrom got on base with a 1-out walk.

The Cobbers watched their 4-run lead turn into a 1-run deficit when the Vikings came through with four runs on four hits in the fourth. The Vikings scored two of the runs with two outs in the inning.

Bethany Lutheran would unlock the 4-4 deadlock with a run in the fifth. They led off the frame with a double, advanced the runner to third with a sacrifice and then went ahead on a ground ball out to second base.

Concordia wasted little time in responding. CC strung together back-to-back hits by Gavin and Kenzie Leither. The two runners advanced to second and third on a passed ball. The BLC coaching staff decided to issue an intentional walk to Wilde and Quast came through with the game-winning single up the middle.

The Cobbers outhit the Vikings 8-7 in the game. Gavin and Wilde had multiple-hit games for CC.

Taylor gave up seven hits but only two were of the extra-base variety. She struck out four and only walked one.

ALL SHE DOES IS WIN: The victory in Game 2 was Taylor's MIAC-leading fourth of the year. She is 4-0 on the season and 5-1 in her career. The Cobbers are scoring 4.75 runs per game in Taylor's four wins on the year.    

HOME RUN CONSISTENCY: Erholtz got the team's first homer of the year when she went yard in Game 2. She now has a single homer in each of the past three seasons.

TEAM LEADERS: Irmen leads the team in hitting with a .321 average. She also has a team-best five stolen bases. Leither is tops in RBI (6) while Gavin has a team-best .471 slugging percentage and a .400 on-base percentage.

UP NEXT: Concordia will finish off the Viking Classic when they play Finlandia (Mich.) at 7 a.m. and Bethany Lutheran at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Mar. 18. Both games will be played in the Mankato State Dome.

RECAP SPONSOR: Today's recap sponsor is Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham. Concordia Athletics would like to thank Microtel for their continued support of Cobber student/athletes.