Cougars sweep McKendree

Wednesday, April 7, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 2:41 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 16, 2008

While watching her sister Anna Seipp bat in the eighth inning, Amy Seipp was getting angry in the on-deck circle.

After falling behind in the count, McKendree (Ill.) pitcher Amy Maurer got two close calls for strikes before Anna Seipp grounded to second on the 3-2 pitch.

“I was pretty upset so my sister said, ‘Get it done,’” Amy Seipp said. “I pretty much felt it before I got up to the plate.”

Amy Seipp hit three long foul balls before landing one fair beyond the left field fence to win the game 1-0 for the Cougars at Columbia College.

Columbia also won 6-3 in the second game of an American Midwest Conference doubleheader Tuesday. Monica Mueller pitched into extra innings in the first game, and Krista Viefhaus’ two home runs led Columbia’s offense in the second game.

Neither Mueller nor Amy Maurer, allowed a hit through the first three innings. Maurer carried a no-hitter into the sixth, when Heather Lang’s bloop single with two outs landed in front of a diving Stacy Baer in center field.

Mueller gave up two hits while striking out 10, and Maurer had nine strikeouts and three hits allowed.

“Those are probably two of the best pitchers in the conference,” Cougars coach Wendy Spratt said. “I thought Monica did a super job for us and she was really composed.”

Amy Seipp’s home run broke the tie in the bottom of the eighth inning to win the game for the Cougars (28-7, 8-0 AMC).“I wasn’t ready for it,” Maurer said. “It just took me by surprise. One bad pitch and it just ruined the whole game.”

Despite the ending, Mueller’s steady pitching was the story.

Mueller retired the side in order in six innings and struck out the side in the seventh. She said she wasn’t tired despite pitching into extra innings.

“The adrenaline rush was going so much that I really didn’t think twice,” Mueller said.

A junior, Mueller allowed a ground ball through her legs in the fourth inning and a bloop single in the eighth and did not walk a batter.

Viefhaus, a senior center fielder, said Maurer’s pitching frustrated her in the first game but she didn’t have the same problems against Rachael Reed in the second game.

Viefhaus went 4-for-4 with two home runs and a pair of doubles and five RBIs after hitting 0-for-2 against Maurer.

Viefhaus’ three-run home run in the eighth was her 11th of the year and tied Columbia’s season record that Amy Seipp set last season.

Unlike Seipp, Viefhaus said she does not look to hit home runs.

“I’m just looking to get a good hit and sometimes they come off the bat very well because they’re right down the middle,” Viefhaus said.

Kerri Gapka had the difficult job of following Mueller’s two-hit performance.

“Monica’s a great pitcher, so coming into the second game was kind of hard,” Gapka said. “You want to make sure you do well.”

Maurer started at first base in the second game and hit a two-run home run in the first inning to give the Bearcats the lead.

“The first home run, obviously, makes you a little shaky, but you’ve got to shake that off and go in and throw your game,” Gapka said.

After Anna Seipp doubled home Cindy Fotti in the third inning, Viefhaus’ two-run home run gave the Cougars the lead.

McKendree (21-12, 1-3) nearly tied the game in the fourth when Megan Kalakowski singled with pinch runner Rachel Ferguson on second base, but Viefhaus threw Ferguson out at the plate to end the inning.

Gapka settled in and threw four scoreless innings before giving up three singles in the sixth inning. Kalakowski’s RBI single brought McKendree within 6-3, but Gapka got Baer to fly to center and strand runners on first and third.

“Sometimes it’s hard to pitch a doubleheader, especially against this team,” Spratt said. “We had some base runners and some tough situations and (Gapka) always came back. No matter what was going on she kept her composure and finished strong.”

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