Cougars end season

COLUMBIA — The Columbia College Cougars saw their season come to a close with another loss to an in-state foe in the Columbia Bracket of the NAIA National Tournament.

For the second time in the opening-round tournament, the Cougars and the Central Methodist Eagles locked horns. And the result was the same the second time around.

Central Methodist, which beat Columbia College 12-2 in five innings Monday, beat the Cougars 4-2 on Tuesday in an elimination game.

The Cougars opened the scoring in the second when Kristin Eiken (Blair Oaks High School) walked and later scored on a passed ball.

Central Methodist went up 2-1 in the third, but Columbia College tied it in the top of the fourth. The Eagles then got two in the fifth to close the scoring.

But Columbia College did make it interesting in the top of the seventh, putting runners at first and second and bringing the go-ahead run to the plate. However, a deep fly ball to right field ended the game and kept Central Methodist alive in the double-elimination event.

Whitni Howell (Jefferson City High School) and Marli Hayes (Jefferson City High School) had one hit apiece as the Cougars managed just six hits.

Taylor Richter (Blair Oaks High School) took the loss, throwing a seven-hitter. All four runs were earned and she walked two while striking out two.

The Cougars started the day with a 6-5 win in an elimination game against Morningside, Iowa.

The Cougars led throughout, getting single runs in the first and second innings. After the Mustangs got a run in the top of the third to get within 2-1, the Cougars answered back with three runs in the bottom half of that frame to go up 5-2.

Each team had a run in the fourth, before Morningside rounded out the scoring with three in the fifth. Paxton Welch (Helias High School) quelled a rally in the fifth and pitched a scoreless 2 2/3 innings overall to finish it and got the save. She did not allow a hit in that span and walked two while striking out two.

Eiken had two hits and two RBI to pace the offense, while Howell had a pair of hits and Hayes added one.

The Cougars finish the year at 31-18.

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