Columbia Softball Sweeps Benedictine to Finish Regular Season
COLUMBIA - The Cougar Softball team closed out the regular season Monday with a doubleheader sweep of conference foe Benedictine University of Springfield. Columbia won game one 6-0 and took game two by a score of 9-1 (six innings). The Cougars complete the regular season with an overall record of 19-16 and a 14-4 mark in American Midwest Conference (AMC) play.
Columbia took a 1-0 lead in the second inning of game one following a leadoff double by Whitni Howell, who came around to score following a sacrifice bunt by Maria Imhoff and an error by the Bulldogs centerfielder with two outs. The Cougars took advantage of two more errors by Benedictine in the top of the fifth as Kaylee Brueggeman and Kristin Eiken scored to give Columbia a 3-0 lead. The Cougars tacked on three more runs in the sixth inning on a two-out RBI single from Karina Veit and two-run double by Jamie Holmes.
Freshman Tiffany Urwiler earned her fifth win of the year after allowing three hits over six shutout innings. Kristyn Caldwell worked around a one-out hit in the seventh to complete the shutout victory. Holmes and Howell combined for four hits, two runs scored, and two RBI to lead the Columbia offense.
The Cougars led 1-0 after two innings of play in game two as Jessica Hardy worked a two-out walk and came around to score on a single to center by Brueggeman. Columbia picked up another two-out RBI in the bottom of the third as Taylor Atwood singled home Eiken to put the Cougars in front, 2-0. Chelsie Crain would reach base on an error with one out in the fourth and later score on a sacrifice fly by Brueggeman as Columbia took a 3-0 advantage at the end of four innings. The Cougars scored for the fourth straight inning as Holmes tripled to lead off the fifth and came home on a sac fly by Eiken. The Bulldogs finally got on the board in the top half of the sixth against Columbia starter Amber Boehme, but the Cougars answered right back with five runs in the bottom of the frame to close out game two, 9-1.
Boehme picked up her team-leading seventh win of the season, allowing one run on three hits over six innings. Eiken and Atwood combined for four hits and five RBI at the plate for the Columbia offense, which finished with 11 hits.
The Cougars will be the No. 3 seed in the AMC postseason tournament that begins on April 26th. The first round consists of a best-of-3 series with a doubleheader kicking off at 2:00 p.m. on Friday and an if necessary game on April 27th at 2:00 p.m. Games will be played at Antimi Black Field in Columbia.