Columbia College softball sweeps

COLUMBIA, Mo. — The Columbia softball team kicked off American Midwest Conference play with a doubleheader sweep of NAIA preseason No. 4 Williams Baptist College on Friday afternoon.

The Cougars claimed a 9-1 win in the opener before using an 11-run eighth inning to earn a 15-5 victory in extra innings in Game 2.

Marli Hayes (Jefferson City) had four hits and drove in six runs, while Kristin Eiken (Blair Oaks) had five hits and an RBI to lead Columbia (7-6).

Whitni Howell (Jefferson City) was 5-for-8 and Paige Kleffner (Blair Oaks) was 2-for-5 with three RBI to help pace the Cougars, offensively.

Taylor Richter (Blair Oaks) picked up the win in Game 2 after allowing one run on four hits, while striking out three and walking two in five innings.

Tiffany Urwiler (School of the Osage) recorded her first save of the season, throwing 1 2/3 scoreless innings without issuing a hit in the nightcap.

Kleffner’s two-run home run gave Columbia a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning in Game one, and the Cougars were able to cruise from there.

Columbia led 5-1 entering the bottom of the seventh inning in Game 2, but the Eagles plated four runs in the frame. Urwiler was able to get the Cougars out of a bases-loaded jam to send it to extra innings.

Hayes capped off the 11-run eighth inning with a three-run home run to give Columbia a 16-5 lead and Urwiler shut the door in the bottom of the frame.

The Cougars will be back in action Saturday with another conference doubleheader against Lyon College. The first pitch is set for 2 p.m. at Antimi Black Field.

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