SEWARD, Neb. – It was a night of mixed emotions for the College of Saint Mary softball team Thursday.
The Flames suffered a tough 6-3 loss to Concordia University in the second game of a doubleheader that started Wednesday night, but then just minutes later found out they had still earned a spot in the GPAC Postseason Tournament when other scores from GPAC games started getting posted online.
"We joked that we've never celebrated like that after a loss before," CSM Coach Carolyn Todd Bray said. "We are disappointed to lose this game to Concordia. We played really pretty well.
"But we were very excited when other scores started coming in and it appeared that we have clinched a playoff spot. We are looking forward to our last two games at Dakota Wesleyan this weekend to hopefully improve our spot in the standings."
CSM took the first lead Thursday in the fourth inning when Emily Dickerson (SR/Council Bluffs, Iowa) singled to left, Whitney Chamberlain (SO/Peoria, Ariz.) advanced her with a sac bunt, Brittney Banks (SO/Elkhorn, Neb.) singled to advance Dickerson and then Dickerson scored on an error on the same play.
But Concordia tied it in the bottom of the fourth with a solo home run.
In the fifth inning, things turned sour for the Flames. Concordia took advantage of three walks, two hits and two errors to score five runs and take a 6-1 lead.
CSM added two runs in the top of the seventh when – with two outs – Cassie Dauber (SO/Firth, Neb.) singled, Alicia Baca (SO/LaVista, Neb.) belted a double to score Dauber and Autumn McDaniel (SR/Omaha, Neb.) singled to score Baca.
The Flames outhit Concordia 6-5 in the game. CSM had hits from Nicki Larsen (JR/Waverly, Neb.), Dickerson, Banks, Dauber, Baca and McDaniel.
Banks was tagged with the loss. She allowed two hits, walked six and struck out three before being relieved by Larsen. Larsen allowed three hits, didn't walk or strike out any.
The Flames (9-9 GPAC, 16-20 overall) return to action Saturday at Dakota Wesleyan University. The first game starts at 1 p.m.