'Not done yet': Concordia softball still wants more
MEQUON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The Concordia University Softball team is soaring to new heights this season. The Falcons have made it farther in the postseason than ever in their 33-year program history.
CUW has advanced to the NCAA Division III Super Regionals, claiming their first ever Regional Championship over the weekend in Oshkosh.
"I really felt that this was the year," said Gina Followell, a fifth-year senior pitcher.
"Coach (Crook) has been here for I think 24 years so just to make it happen for him, it was definitely just a really emotional moment," said Claudia Utz, Concordia senior catcher.
The Falcons are led by a program record four National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-Region selections. Senior pitcher Gina Followell, the school's only three-time selection, is 26-0 this season with 230 strikeouts and made the first team.
Senior catcher Claudia Utz leads the team with 44 RBI and 9 Home Runs and is on the first team. Senior outfielder Sydney Erdmann is the team leader with 67 hits and is on the first team. Sophomore shortstop Jess Pozezinski is first on the team with 13 doubles and tied for second with 5 home runs and is on the third team.
This season, the Falcons are Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference regular season and conference tournament champions for the first time in back-to-back years. In now adding a regional championship, CUW has a program-record 40 wins.
"There's a lot of execution, there's a lot of calmness and preparation," said Stev Crook, Concordia Wisconsin head coach. "It's both physical and mental that they were prepared to go this far."
You could say the Falcons have been building to this point. Coach Crook has 540 wins in his career at Concordia and a quarter of those wins have come in the last five seasons, increasing each year since 2021.
"We've built a sense of confidence that we are that good of a team and we are here for a reason. And we deserve to still be playing right now," said Madi Wheat, junior outfielder.
"Everything has built up to this. So, understanding that we're made for this, and we're here so let's not take it for granted," said Utz.
That's why the Falcons are taking their team mantra to heart heading into this weekend.
"We just want more. I know that this is the farthest that any team in Concordia has made it, but that doesn't mean we're done," said Followell.
"This is not enough. We still want more. We still want to win more games, we still want to score more runs in games. We're not done yet," said Wheat.
The stage is going to be bigger, but Coach Crook thinks his team is ready.
"Yes, it means a little more when you know you're going home if you lose. But it's got to be play the same way and I believe that's what they'll do," said Crook.
Concordia heads to Indiana to take on Trine in a best-of-three series in Super Regionals starting Friday, May 26 at 1 p.m.
The winner advances to the Division III Finals at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, Texas from June 1-7.
There will be two brackets of four teams at double elimination followed by a best-of-three championship series.