The Columbia College softball team lost 2-1 to Belhaven (Miss.) University on Saturday at the NAIA national softball championships at Wilson Morgan Park in Decatur, Ala.
The Blazers' Heather Pace came up with a clutch one-out single in the bottom of the seventh inning to drive in Jessica Eggold from third for the winning run. Both teams has scored single runs in the first inning on wild pitches.
Torri Long and Valerie Teter both had singles in the Cougars' first, and Samantha Stringer, who had reached on a fielder’s choice, scored their lone run in the frame.
Columbia College threatened in the top of the fourth when Teter singled to open the inning, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Rachel Coleman, then moved to third on a double to left center from catcher Tori Gelhert. With one out and runners on second and third, Belhaven pitcher Sarah Burns induced a pop out to second by Kacey Rehagen followed by a foul out off the bat of Krista Vlasak to get the Blazers (52-8) out of the inning.
Teter (30-7) suffered her first loss on the mound in her past eight starts. She gave up three hits and one walk while striking out seven.
Columbia College (37-18), which falls to 1-1 in pool play at the tournament, plays next at 9 a.m. on Monday against Northwood (Texas) University.