Owls win title

COLUMBIA — The William Woods Owls qualified for the NAIA National Tournament by capturing the title Sunday in the American Midwest Conference Tournament.

In the event’s championship game, the Owls cruised to a 6-0 win over the Park Pirates.

William Woods, the fourth seed, rode the stellar pitching of MacKenzie Bowden (Jefferson City High School) on Sunday. Bowden (13-7) twirled a one-hitter, striking out 13, and did not walk a batter. The only flaw on her blotter was a seeing-eye single in the fifth inning.

The Owls jumped out to a 1-0 lead when Lindsey LeCuru (Helias High School) walked, stole second and scored on a single.

William Woods then made it 3-0 in the third inning when Shelby LeCuru (Helias High School) singled and later scored when Lindsey LeCuru smacked a home run to right-center field.

The Owls got another run in the fourth and two in the seventh to finish it out.

William Woods (24-14) landed five members on the AMC all-conference teams that were recognized after the event. Included in that were Bowden and Shelby LeCuru on the first team and Lindsey LeCuru on the honorable mention team.

William Woods will find out its destination for the NAIA Tournament when the field is announced Tuesday.

Earlier Sunday, second-seeded Park advanced to the final with a 4-2 win over third-seeded Columbia College.

Columbia took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on a sacrifice fly by Whitni Howell (Jefferson City High School), only to see Park get two in the bottom of the frame.

Howell singled and scored in the top of the fourth to tie the game, but the Pirates got the run back in the bottom half of that inning.

Park got the game’s final run in the sixth.

Tiffany Urwiler (School of the Osage High School) took the loss for the Cougars, allowing four runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innigns of work.

Marli Hayes (Jefferson City High School) was named first-team all-conference for Columbia, while Kristin Eiken (Blair Oaks High School) was named honorable mention for the Cougars (22-18).

On Saturday, Columbia split a pair of games, beating Park 5-4 before falling to William Woods 4-3.

In the win over Park, Hayes had an RBI single in the third inning to pull the Cougars within one run, then she scored to tie the game at 4. Hayes then drove in the winning run in the seventh.

Hayes ended up with two hits and three RBI.

Urwiler relieved Taylor Richter (Blair Oaks High School) in the second and allowed just two hits over the final six innings to earn the victory.

In the loss to William Woods, Eiken had one hit and one RBI.

Urwiler worked the final 2 2/3 innings to take the loss, giving up three earned runs on four hits.

Prior to the win over Columbia, William Woods snagged a 2-1 win over Williams Baptist, with all of the game’s runs being scored in the eighth inning.

Bowden got the win, throwing a complete-game six-hitter. The run was earned and she struck out 13.

Lindsey LeCuru ahd one hit and one RBI in the victory.

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