Krista Viefhaus decided that 10 innings of softball were enough.
Viefhaus’ home run in extra innings in the first game helped Columbia College sweep a doubleheader from Lindenwood University on Thursday at Columbia College.
Columbia College won 3-1 and 5-1.
Although the Cougars (23-4) trailed 1-0 going into the bottom of the 10th inning, they made their presence known immediately. Anna Seipp began the inning on second base and advanced to third when her twin sister Amy hit a double.
According to international softball rules, when a game reaches the 10th, teams begin with a runner on second base.
With runners on second and third, Viefhaus sent an Angie Kozlowski fastball well beyond the fence in center field.
Viefhaus said her home run was a result of impatience.
“I was a little frustrated because I wasn’t hitting very well,” she said. “I kept popping everything up. (Kozlowski) pitched me a fat pitch right down the middle and I swung as hard as I could because I just wanted to get the game over with.”
Cougars coach Wendy Spratt said Viefhaus’ home run didn’t surprise her.
“Krista had a great at-bat,” she said. “She’s hitting the ball very well for us. She’s in the key spot in the lineup and she comes through in key situations.”
Viefhaus almost ended the game in the eighth inning when she drove a ball to deep center that missed clearing the fence by a few feet. She ended up with a double, but the Cougars failed to capitalize.
Monica Mueller kept the Cougars in the game with her solid pitching. Her pinpoint accuracy induced several ground balls and a number of pop flies. Mueller had a no-hitter for most of the game, but Monica Berger’s single in the eighth inning gave the Lions (9-18) their first hit.
In 10 innings, Mueller struck out six, walked one and didn’t allow any earned runs.
Although Mueller normally pitches seven innings, she said she was willing to keep pitching.
“I was tired,” she said. “I’m not going to say I wasn’t, but I probably could have (pitched) more if I had to.”
Mueller got into trouble in the eighth inning when she allowed consecutive singles to Berger and Crystal Barz with no outs. Mueller retired the next three batters, though, and got out of the inning unscathed.
“She is very steady and consistent on the mound and does a great job,” Spratt said. “This is a good team and she pitched great and kept her composure. When she gets base runners on, she gets more focused and gets it done.”
Lindenwood coach Kelly Austene said her team should have taken advantage of its opportunities.
“We just can’t get a timely hit,” she said. “We have to step up and get a hit when we need one and we didn’t do that.”
The Cougars, ranked No. 7 in the NAIA and winners of 19 of their past 20, took advantage of two errors in the first inning of the second game and jumped to a 2-0 lead.
Kerri Gapka, the American Midwest Conference player of the week, started the game and allowed four hits en route to picking up her 10th win.