Columbia College Battles to Beat Park, Falls to William Woods
COLUMBIA -- The Cougar Softball team split two games in the American Midwest Conference Tournament on Saturday afternoon as they defeated Park University 5-4 before falling to William Woods University 4-3. With the split, Columbia moves to 22-17 overall on the year.
Columbia fell behind early in game one as the Pirates scored three runs in the first inning and another in the second against starter Taylor Richter to take a 4-0 lead. The Cougars then picked up a pair of runs in the top of the third to pull within 4-2. After a scoreless fourth inning, Jamie Holmes led off the fifth with a base hit and came around to score on a single to center by Marli Hayes. Taylor Atwood would follow with an RBI double to right to bring home Hayes and tie the score at 4-4. Holmes got things started once again for Columbia with a single to center to begin the seventh and would move up to second base after a sacrifice bunt by Kristin Eiken. Hayes came to the plate with one out and again delivered, lining a 1-1 pitch to left field to give the Cougars a 5-4 advantage heading into the bottom of the seventh. Freshman Tiffany Urwiler allowed two runners to reach base with one out, but retired the final two batters to close out the victory.
Urwiler relieved Richter in the second and allowed just two hits over the final six innings to earn her sixth win of the season. Holmes led the Columbia offense with three hits and three runs scored to go along with two hits and three RBI from Hayes.
In the second game of the day, the Cougars squared off against William Woods after the Owls defeated Williams Baptist College 2-1 in eight innings. Both teams picked up a run in the first as Atwood singled home Holmes to even the score at 1-1 after an inning of play. William Woods broke the tie with two runs in the top of the third and added another run in the fifth for a 4-1 lead. Columbia responded with a run in the bottom of the fifth on a two-out RBI single by Eiken that brought home Karina Veit. After holding the Owls in the sixth and seventh, Kaylee Brueggeman was hit by a pitch and Veit blooped a single to center to put runners on first and second with nobody out to start the seventh. Both runners moved up a base following a groundout by Holmes and Brueggeman would come home on a wild pitch to bring the Cougars within a run at 4-3. However, Columbia was unable to do any more as Veit was stranded on third to end the game.
Urwiler got the start in game two and took the loss after giving three runs on four hits in 2.2 innings in the circle. Sophomore Maria Imhoff took over in the third and allowed a run on just one hit over the final 4.1 innings. Veit finished a perfect 3 for 3 to lead Columbia, who finished the contest with six hits.
The Cougars and Pirates will square off tomorrow at noon in an elimination game after Park defeated Williams Baptist 6-0. The winner will advance to take on William Woods in the tournament championship game. Both games will be played at Antimi Black Field in Columbia.