Orioles softball starts season off with winning streak
The first pitch of the Concordia High School Orioles softball team’s season was thrown on Monday, March 18, and it didn’t take long for them to find their groove, winning their first seven games and making it to the Santa Fe Snowflake Classic’s championship match before finally taking their first loss.
They will try to start a new winning streak this upcoming week, as they are slated to take the field three times to wrap up their March schedule.
Monday, March 18 — Nonconference — Concordia HS
It didn’t take long for the Concordia Orioles to get their first runs of the season, jumping out to a three-run lead before recording their first offensive out in their season-opener against the Smithton High School Tigers.
After a clean one-two-three defensive start, freshmen Hali Deatherage (walk) and Cate Cooper (single) reached base in their first varsity at-bats. Deatherage would score on Cooper’s single thanks to an error, and Cooper — advancing on the same error and a subsequent stolen base — would eventually score on a passed ball before the conclusion of sophomore Lauren Fiene’s at-bat, a hit-by-pitch. Fiene, too, would score just two at-bats later, when senior Jacey Smith singled to left field.
Smithton would eventually score two runs in the third inning, but the Orioles immediately bounced back with three runs of their own when junior Kailey Ohrenberg drove in Fiene and senior Justice Workman. Ohrenberg herself scored on an error two at-bats later.
The Orioles would tack on two insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth when Cooper (triple) and Fiene (double) went for back-to-back extra base hits, with Deatherage and Deatherage crossing the plate.
Fiene and Cooper each went 2-4 from the plate, with Fiene contributing two doubles and Cooper smacking a triple. Each had one RBI and two runs apiece. Jacey Smith reached base three times, collecting two doubles and a single.
Fiene got off to a great start from the rubber, racking up 15 strikeouts in her four-hit complete game. She walked just one while allowing two runs, neither of which was earned.
The Orioles started off their season 1-0 (0-0) with the season-opening victory, while Smithton fell to 0-1.
Tuesday, March 19 — Nonconference — Concordia HS
Green Ridge 0
It wasn’t quite as easy sailing for the Concordia Orioles in their second game of the season, but the Orioles would advance to 2-0 with the 3-0 victory over the Green Ridge High School Tigers on Tuesday.
Freshman Cate Cooper led the squad offensively, collecting two RBIs and scoring the other run herself as part of a 2-4 performance with one double. The O’s weren’t as dynamic offensively in their second contest, but they secured the lead in the third inning and never gave it back up when sophomore Lauren Fiene doubled to right field, driving Cooper in.
The score would hold at 1-0 until the bottom of the sixth inning, when senior Alexis Borgstadt and sophomore Caley Smith would score on a two-strike double from Cooper.
The two extra runs would ultimately prove to be unneeded, as Fiene dominated from the circle to the tune of nine strikeouts over seven innings, allowing just four hits and a single walk in her second complete game in as many opportunities.
The victory moves Concordia to 2-0 (0-0), while Green Ridge fell to 1-1 with the loss.
Wednesday, March 20 — I-70 Conference — Lone Jack HS
Lone Jack 0
In their first crack at an I-70 Conference victory, the Concordia Orioles cruised through their match with the Lone Jack High School Mules, putting up nine early runs and cruising to the 10-0 spread. Sophomore Lauren fiene went for her third-straight complete game — and second-straight complete game shutout. She allowed two hits over five innings, striking out seven along the way while concluding without a single walk allowed.
Four runs in the first inning were followed by five in the second for the Lady O’s. Senior Jacey Smith led all hitters with three hits (two singles and a double) in three at-bats, driving in three and scoring two runs. Fiene went 2-3 from the plate, stroking a single and double apiece while also walking once, driving in two and scoring three runs herself. Smith and freshmen Hali Deatherage and Cate Cooper scored twice each, as well.
The easy conference victory advances the Orioles to 3-0 (1-0), while the Mules fall to 0-2 (0-1).
Thursday, March 21 — Nonconference — Northwest (Hughesville) HS
In a tale of two tapes, the Concordia Orioles turned an early 3-1 deficit into a big lead with an eight-run fourth inning and never looked back, tacking on a handful of insurance runs en route to a 13-3 mercy rule-shortened matchup against the Northwest (Hughesville) High School Mustangs.
The Orioles got ahead early when freshman Hali Deatherage scored on a groundout by sophomore Lauren Fiene, but would cough the lead back up in the bottom half of the inning.
Still 1-1 heading into the bottom of the third inning, the Mustangs picked up two runs to jump ahead 3-1.
Trailing for the first time on their young season, the Orioles could not have had a better response, collecting eight runs in the top of the fourth. Seven Orioles scored in the inning, including two by senior Jacey Smith.
Ahead 9-3 after four innings, the O’s tacked on three more in the fifth inning and one in the sixth, bringing the score to 13-3 and, ultimately, the final score.
Sophomore Teagan Powers got her first start from the pitcher’s circle of the season. She went 2.1 innings and gave up two earned runs, three total. She also collected a strikeout before Fiene came in to finish the game out. Fiene would go 3.2 innings, recording eight of her 11 outs via strikeout. No Mustang hitter reached base on Fiene.
The nonconference victory advances Concordia to 4-0 (1-0) with the victory.
Northwest (Hughesville) fell to 0-2 with the loss.
Friday, March 22 — Santa Fe Snowflake Classic (Game 1) — Santa Fe HS
In a matchup between “familiar” opponents, the Concordia Orioles collected their second win against the Northwest (Hughesville) High School Mustangs in two days, defeating the Mustangs 8-1 in their first game of the Santa Fe Snowflake Classic tournament.
Four runs in the top of the first guided the Orioles to victory. They would collect four more runs over the remaining two innings before the tournament time limit ultimately nixed the game early. The Orioles drew 10 walks in the matchup compared to collecting only threehits, but the blame for that falls on the Mustangs’ pitchers moreso than the Concordia hitters — a group that struck out only twice in the matchup. Sophomores Lauren Fiene and Caley Smith joined frosh Cate Cooper in the hit column, while Fiene was the only Oriole to score twice. Cooper and Smith also tallied the team’s only RBIs, while senior Justice Workman walked three times.
From the circle, Fiene allowed just one hit and one run (unearned) over her three innings. She also struck out seven batters, signaling another dominant performance.
Five up, five down for the Orioles, moving to 5-0 (1-0) with the win.
Northwest (Hughesville) fellto 0-3 with the loss.
Friday, March 22 — Santa Fe Snowflake Classic (Game 2) — Santa Fe HS
Cole Camp 0
In their second game of the afternoon and sixth of the week, the Concordia Orioles delivered another dominant outing, knocking off the Cole Camp High School Lady Bluebirds 7-0.
The Orioles whittled a lead for themselves via one run each in the first three innings. The 3-0 lead would hold until the top of the fifth, when the O’s would blow the game open with a four-run top half, extending the lead to the eventual-final score of 7-0.
Freshman Cate Cooper collected two of her team’s six hits, going 2-2 with a triple and a walk. She also scored three runs. Senior Alexis Borgstadt walked twice, scoring one run along the way.
Sophomore Lauren Fiene went the entire distance for the Orioles on the mound, striking out 13 of the 15 batters she retired. She walked four while allowing one hit.
The Orioles kept their perfect season alive, moving to 6-0 (1-0) with the win.
The Lady Bluebirds slipped to 0-3 before picking up wins in their next two games.
Saturday, March 23 — Santa Fe Snowflake Classic (Game 1) — Santa Fe HS
Despite a quick offensive start for the Orrick High School Bearcats, the Concordia Orioles were able to bounce back and take care of business in the third game of the Santa Fe Snowflake Classic, winning 7-3.
Allowing three runs in the top of the first inning certainly wasn’t the start the Orioles had visualized, but putting up four runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning erased the early hole. They would pin a few insurance runs on over the second and third innings before ultimately skating away with the 7-3 victory.
The Orioles collected just three hits but also drew six walks. Sophomore Lauren Fiene, Senior Alexis Borgstadt, and junior Kailey Schnakenberg collected a hit apiece and one walk each. They also each drove in one run, as did sophomore Teagan Powers.
Powers had a solid appearance from the mound as well, allowing five hits and a walk while striking out five en route to the four inning complete game. It was her first complete game of the season. The Orioles moved to 7-0 (1-0) with the victory.
Orrick fell to 0-3 (0-0) with the loss.
Saturday, March 23 — Santa Fe Snowflake Classic (Game 2) — Santa Fe HS
Despite an impressive week with seven straight victories to start the season, the week’s eighth game finally caught up to the Concordia Orioles, falling to the Wellington-Napoleon High School Tigers, 11-0.
After starting the second inning with a 3-0 deficit to battle back from, the Orioles just couldn’t keep WellNap off the scoreboard throughout the remainder of the matchup, allowing two runs twice (third and fourth innings) before allowing four runs in the fifth.
Freshman Cate Cooper went 2-2 in the matchup, while sophomore Lauren Fiene went 1-1 with a double.
Fiene allowed seven hits and two walks from the circle, also striking out 10. Despite allowing 11 runs, only three were earned. The Orioles also gave away too many runs defensively, perpetrating a whopping eight errors in the matchup.
Chalk it up to tired legs, or perhaps it was just an off-game, but regardless, the Orioles’ winning streak ended at seven games. They moved to 7-1 (1-0) with the loss.
Wellington-Napoleon cemented themselves among the I-70 Conference’s most competitive softball teams with the victory, moving to 6-0 (2-0).