Softball, like baseball, is a very simple game, borrowing a page from “Bull Durham.” You throw the ball, you catch the ball and you hit the ball.
The St. Mary’s Colgan softball team did two of the three well enough to win and it was hitting the ball which cost the Panthers during a doubleheader sweep Friday evening at the hands of the Columbus Titans at Cheryl Stice Field, 3-1 and 6-1.
In the opener, Colgan stranded three runners in the first inning, a sign of innings to come. Starting pitcher Ali Noyes sat the Titans down with no runs after the first three innings and Colgan, officially the road team Friday, took a 1-0 lead in the top half of the third when Abbie O’Brien reached on a single, stole second and scored on a bad throw into center, running three bases on a lone stolen base.
The fourth and the fifth innings were central in the first game.
Colgan pieced together three hits, including bunt singles in the fifth by O’Brien and Katie Kolarik, but stranded four runners, including the bases loaded in the fifth.
Meanwhile, the Titans scored two in the fourth and one in the fifth. Landin Soper and Madi Evans delivered the RBI doubles which eluded the Panthers.
Colgan outfielders Amanda McBride and Brooke Main, who made some good catches on fly balls in the early innings, simply could not catch everything and the Titans went for three extra-base hits in the fourth and fifth innings to build a 3-1 lead and close out the scoring.
With momentum on its side, Columbus jumped ahead early in the nightcap, scoring four in the second and one in the third.
Lauren Anderson singled to lead off the second and Tera Spear plated Anderson with a RBI double. Katie Vanatta added a RBI single.
In the third, Kylie Jones managed to score before her teammate Soper was tagged out by O’Brien on a rundown between second and first.
Katelyn Flood drove in the lone Colgan run with a RBI groundout in the fourth but Columbus scored its sixth and final run on a Breana Mogle RBI double.
The Panthers dropped to 4-8 overall and 1-7 in Crawford-Neosho-Cherokee League play. Colgan plays Labette County in Altamont next Tuesday, of course weather permitting.
On the diamond at JayCee Ballpark, Colgan extended its winning streak to eight with a doubleheader sweep of Columbus, 11-1 and 7-1. The Panthers have surrendered five runs over their last 56 innings during this streak.
Offense was the story of the first game as Colgan scored five in the first, two in the third, one in the fourth and three in the fifth to force an early opener.
Page 2 of 2 - Grant Normand led the hit parade with three and Ryan Cedeno and Tully Yoakam each picked up two. Colton Gilbert, Christian Cedeno and Normand each drove in two runs.
Senior center fielder Nate Grimaldi made a rare pitching appearance for an inning, striking out two during his short work against the Titans.
Grimaldi helped Colgan earn the sweep with three hits and three RBI.
Tully Yoakam and freshman Chase VanBecelaere combined to keep the Titan offense in check with Yoakam completing the first six innings. VanBecelaere struck out three during his one inning, throwing 11 strikes in 12 pitches and putting across his first pitch to all four batters for a strike.
Colgan (8-3) plays KC Bishop Ward today and Seneca (Mo.) on Monday, both road games before a home doubleheader next Thursday against Southeast.
Columbus softball 3, St. Mary’s Colgan 1
SMC 001 000 0 — 1 4 2
COL 000 210 X — 3 7 1
Ali Noyes and Katelyn Flood. Breana Mogle and Kylie Jones. WP: Mogle. LP: Noyes. E: Brooke Main, Abbie O’Brien; Jones. 2B: Landin Soper, Erin Bond, Madi Evans. SB: O’Brien, Flood. LOB: SMC 8, COL 5.
Columbus 6, Colgan 1
SMC 000 100 0 — 1 8 1
COL 041 100 X — 6 7 1
Faith VanBecelaere, Ali Noyes (4) and Katelyn Flood. Breana Mogle and Kylie Jones. WP: Mogle. LP: VanBecelaere. E: Abbie O’Brien; Mogle. 2B: Tera Spear, Mogle. SH: Flood; Haley Touchton. SB: O’Brien, Katie Kolarik; Madi Evans. CS: O’Brien. HBP: Mogle, Jones, Evans. LOB: SMC 6, COL 8.
Colgan baseball 11, Columbus 1 (5 innings)
COL 100 00 — 1 6 1
SMC 502 13 — 11 10 2
Ty Spear, Ben Jones (5) and Kendal Hale. Drew Dawson, Nate Grimaldi (5) and Aaron Twarog. WP: Dawson. LP: Spear. E: Trey Robinson; Grant Normand, V.J. Piccini. 2B: Christian Cedeno. SF: Dawson. SB: Grimaldi, Cedeno, Tully Yoakam. CS: Normand.
Colgan 7, Columbus 1
COL 000 100 0 — 1 5 3
SMC 151 000 X — 7 8 1
WP: Tully Yoakam. LP: Nate Bole. E: Brendon Billesbach 2, Trey Robinson; Aaron Twarog. 2B: Bole. SF: Javohn Morrill; Ryan Cedeno. SH: V.J. Piccini. SB: Nate Grimaldi 2, Colton Gilbert 2, Cedeno, Nate Brown. CS: Christian Cedeno.