Central Methodist picked up a win in its first game of the 2015 NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round on Monday. The top-seeded Eagles defeated No. 4 seed Columbia (Mo.) 6-3 in the first round of the Central Methodist Bracket in Fayette.
Central Methodist (42-8) was the visiting team on the scoreboard and picked up three runs in the first inning before Columbia came to bat. Lauren Geringer from O’Fallon, Mo., started the Eagles’ scoring with an RBI single up the middle, scoring Hannah Blackmon to make the score 1-0. Later in the inning, with the bases loaded, Alyssa Lilly reached on an error to score another Central Methodist run. That was followed by a bases-loaded walk to Nicole Beck, making the score 3-0 in the Eagles’ favor.
Columbia (29-17) battled back and scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to tie the game at 3-3. The Cougars scored all three runs with two outs, starting with a two-RBI double to left-center field by Kaylee Brueggeman. The next batter, leadoff hitter Carly Spalding, hit a single to score Brueggeman and tie the game.
The game did not stay tied for long. In the top of the sixth inning, with runners on second and third base and one out, Geringer hit a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Jessie Wilmes to give the lead back to Central Methodist at 4-3.
The Eagles added two more insurance runs in the seventh inning. With the bases loaded and two outs, Michele Rupard lined an opposite-field single into left field to score Beck and Lindie Adair, giving the Eagles a three-run lead heading into the bottom of the seventh inning.
(Story courtesy of cmueagles.com)
The Eagles will play Bellevue, Neb. at noon. Columbia plays Cardinals Stritch Wisconsin at 2:30 in a must win game.
Avila University, who beat Central Methodist in their conference championship game, got rained out in Oregon, they play this morning at 10am.