Columbus completes sweep of IMS
Columbus softball was firing on all cylinders early on Thursday night.
The Wildcats jumped out to a 14-1 win in four innings in the first game of their doubleheader against Iowa Mennonite, but IMS turned things around in the second game.
Iowa Mennonite took a late lead picking up two runs in the top of the seventh, but Columbus rallied in the bottom half of the inning, walking off with a 4-3 victory to complete the sweep.
“Courtney Orr had to pitch both games, being one pitcher down, and it was huge,” Wildcat head coach Tim Milder said. “This type of win, no matter who you are facing and what type of record the other team has, is a good win for anybody.”
IMS was also down a pitcher for the doubleheader, and in game two relied on its only senior, Jacayla Litwiller, who had never pitched a high school game in her career.
“(Jacayla) did a fantastic job pitching tonight,” IMS head coach Kim Wood said. “She was a senior and a leader. I’ve been saying this whole time that we may lose a lot of games, but we will never, ever give up. We might lose, because we’ve got a lot of young, inexperienced players, but we will never give up.”
In the first game, Columbus started the game fast, picking up two runs in the first inning off RBI singles by Tarah Bean and Claire Hamilton.
The Wildcats plated four runs in the second inning, with the first four batters in the inning coming around to score.
The game broke open in the fourth inning, when Columbus loaded the bases with no outs, and brought seven runners around to score.
In the first game, Bean, Bailey Stroud, and Brooklyn Milder all scored three runs for the Wildcats, while Statia Majerick scored the lone run of the game for IMS in the second inning.
“Everybody feeds off of everybody and the second game was proof,” Tim Milder said. “We couldn’t get the rolls going or get moving, so we had to grind out the second game. When they are having fun, it makes winning a lot easier.”
In game two, the Wildcats offense was stifled by Litwiller, until the third inning when they loaded the bases with no outs. IMS got out of the jam with little damage, using a double play to only allow one run in the inning.
Columbus added another run in the fifth, but in the top of the sixth, IMS broke through.
Summer Shrock led off the inning with a single and came around to score on an RBI by Natalie Graber to make it 2-1.
In the top of the seventh, McKayla Brush and Demi Brezina came around to score on RBI hits by Schrock and Majerick, to give IMS the 3-2 lead.
A lead-off walk followed by a hit batter started the bottom of the seventh for Columbus, and Hamilton drove in the game-winning run with a one-out single to center field.
“Once we had runners on, we knew we just had to get the one (hit),” Milder said. “I kept telling the girls to wait on the pitches. That’s the biggest thing was making the contact so we could get those two runs at the end.”
Despite the late inning loss, Iowa Mennonite’s coach couldn’t have been more proud of her young
“Even in (the first game) we didn’t give up. We were down a little bit, but I wanted us to prove to them it wouldn’t be an easy win (in game two) just because they beat us in five innings,” Wood said. “We’ve gone seven, nine innings before and we’ll lose, but I always tell them, it’s not about the score, because if they give me everything they have, it doesn’t matter what the score is.”
Columbus takes on New London on Friday night, while IMS will take on Danville for its next game.