Columbia College Splits with No. 5 Williams Baptist
COLUMBIA -- The Cougar Softball team split an American Midwest Conference doubleheader with fifth-ranked Williams Baptist College Saturday afternoon, falling 8-6 in game one and winning game two 5-3. With the split, Columbia moves to 13-14 overall on the season and 8-2 in conference play. The Cougars give the No. 5 Eagles their first loss in conference play this season as they sit atop the AMC standings at 15-1.
The Cougars got on the board in the first inning of game one as Jamie Holmes led off with an infield single and came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Taylor Atwood. Sophomore Jessica Hardy followed with a three-run home run to left center field with two outs as Columbia grabbed a 4-0 lead. The Eagles answered with a run in the third and six in the fourth to take a 7-4 lead against Cougar starter Taylor Richter. Senior Chelsie Crain pulled Columbia within two with a solo shot in the bottom of the fourth, but Williams Baptist would stretch its lead back out to 8-5 with a run in the sixth. Kristin Eiken connected on a solo home run with two outs in the seventh to complete the scoring.
Richter suffered her first defeat in four starts, allowing seven runs (six earned) on eight hits in 3.2 innings. Freshman Amber Boehme relieved Richter in the fourth and allowed a run on just one hit over the final 3.1 innings. Crain collected two of the Cougars' eight hits in the contest and Hardy added a team-high three RBI.
After three scoreless innings to start game two, Columbia got on the board in the top of the fourth following a one-out double by Howell and an RBI single by Hardy. The Cougars would tack on two more runs in the fifth as Holmes tripled home Karina Veit and later scored to make the score 3-0. The Eagles battled back with two runs in the bottom of the frame, but Columbia was able to answer with two runs in the sixth to regain a three-run lead, capped off by another RBI triple from Holmes. Starting pitcher Tiffany Urwiler worked around a pair of hits to start the bottom of the seventh to secure the 5-3 victory after Eiken made an overhead catch to get the second out and doubled off the runner at first to end the game.
Urwiler picked up her second straight complete game victory, allowing three runs on eight hits. The Cougars finished the contest with 12 hits, led by three hits each from Hardy and Veit. Holmes added two hits and two RBI out of the leadoff spot for Columbia as well.
The Cougars will travel to conference foe Benedictine University of Springfield on Monday, April 15th. First pitch for the doubleheader is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. in Springfield, Ill.