By GREG KEIM
THE GOSHEN NEWS
First-year Concord High School girls softball coach Dawn Austin wanted a recovery from her team after a 6-4 NLC loss on Monday to Elkhart Memorial in which her team committed eight errors.
She got her recovery and then some as Concord handed the Goshen Redskins an 18-3 conference loss Wednesday evening at Goshen College. The game was moved to the college due to poor field conditions at Shanklin Park.
“Three of our four previous games we had no errors then we made all of those on Monday,” the coach said. “We were able to refocus and be aggressive enough to score runs.”
Concord scored seven runs in the first inning and followed that up with five more in both the second and the third.
“Concord is a good team and I don’t mean to take anything away from what they did, but we gave them too many runs,” Goshen coach Cassi McCormack said. “We had too many walks, but Concord did what they needed to do in order to win the game. Some times that means waiting on the pitcher to throw strikes.”
Concord got a quality pitching performance from sophomore Rae Ann Miller. She limited Goshen to six hits. She never allowed more than one in an inning until the bottom of the fifth when the Redskins got three hits and scored two of their three runs. Miller struck out nine and walked five.
“Rae Ann pitched a good game,” Austin said. “She lost her focus a little at the end, but in a game like this it’s hard to keep your focus.
“She is a sophomore and I don’t think many people expected her to be pitching as much as she is this season. She was the JV pitcher a year ago and I think the team was undefeated. She threw a lot of innings over the summer with a travel team.”
Junior Jenny Miller is the team’s other hurler.
“Jenny can play anywhere and right now she is more valuable to me at third or shortstop,” Austin said. “It’s nice knowing we have her if we have to bring her in.
“Jenny is willing to do what she has to for the team and she is doing a great job of being a mentor to Rae Ann.”
Austin, who pitched for Elkhart Central High School and Penn State University, has her outfielders play very shallow.
“As a former pitcher I always hated to see balls fall in front of the outfielders,” she said. “I have always been a fan of making the hitters earn their way on base. Of course there are some adjustments depending on the hitter at the plate. Also with the pitcher. Rae Ann throws a very heavy ball. The harder it comes in the harder it goes out.”
Goshen got only two balls beyond the outfielders as senior Lacee Mulcahey doubled in the fifth and sophomore Brooke Miller doubled in the fourth.
Leading hitters for Concord were senior Rachel Brown a double and two RBI, senior Amanda Schoeffler a double and an RBI, junior Olivia Hess a double and an RBI, sophomore Maddi Jackowiak two singles and two RBI and Rae Ann Miller two singles and two RBI.
“We were more aggressive at the plate tonight,” Austin said. “I have been telling the girls you have to take advantage of the opportunities you have. With some good pitchers the best pitch you may get to hit is the first one. If that’s the case you had better hit it.”
The Redskins scored in the fourth inning as junior Jessica DeStefano walked and Miller followed with her double. Rae Ann Miller fanned the next two hitters before walking sophomore Yadira Cabrales to load the bases. DeStefano scored on a wild pitch.
Mulcahey led off the fifth for the Redskins with her double. Senior Emily Mullet singled and junior Brittany Jones walked to load the bases. DeStefano drove in Mulcahey with a sacrifice fly and Miller singled to score Mullet.
“I’m disappointed in the way we played,” McCormack said.
“I thought this would be a closer game.”
Concord 755 01 — 18-13-2
Goshen 000 12 —3-6-6
Pitching: (Concord) Rae Ann Miller (W) nine strikeouts and five walks. (Goshen) Taylor Caouette (L) and Lexi Vanover.
Hitting: (Concord) Rachel Brown double, two RBI; Olivia Hess double, RBI; Amanda Schoeffler double, RBI; Maddi Jackowiak three singles, two RBI; Rae Ann Miller two singles, two RBI; Tori Braddock single, two RBI. (Goshen) Brooke Miller double, single, RBI; Lacee Mulcahey double, Yadira Cabrales single, Emily Mullet single, Kaylee Shepherd single, Jessica DeStefano RBI.
Records: Concord (3-3, 2-1 NLC) hosts Warsaw Friday. Goshen (3-12, 0-4) at Wawasee Friday.