Cougars’ batters struggle

Tuesday, April 27, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 7:51 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Columbia College bats made a windy day even windier.

The Cougars often swung and missed and failed to score any runs for Central Missouri State swept a doubleheader Monday at Columbia College.

Columbia College lost the first game 1-0 and the second 3-0 in eight innings.

The Cougars, ranked No. 7 in the NAIA, had six hits and struck out 14 times in the two games.

Cougars coach Wendy Spratt said the lack of hitting was partially self-inflicted.

“(Central Missouri State) has very good pitching,” Spratt said. “It is about swinging at good pitches early in the count and we didn’t. That is very uncharacteristic of us.”

Despite the abysmal hitting, the Cougars (37-9) had opportunities to steal a victory.

Their best chance came in the bottom of the seventh inning of the second game when they had runners on first and second with no outs.

Ashley Perrigo tried to advance the runners with a sacrifice bunt but got under the pitch and popped out to the pitcher.

The Cougars’ chances still looked good, but Cindy Fotti hit a hard line drive to shortstop Kassie Long who caught the ball and threw out Lang at first for the double play that sent the game into extra innings.

“We didn’t execute with the runners in scoring position,” Spratt said. “We hit the ball hard, but it just didn’t go through.”

Central Missouri State’s (33-16) bats came alive in the eighth when they hit four consecutive singles to score three runs.

The Cougars couldn’t match the Jennies’ offensive output and went down in order to end the game.

Jennies coach Rhesa Sumrell said the games could have easily gone either way.

“They have a great team and we always have really close games with them,” she said. “We didn’t make very many mistakes and they made a couple and it cost them some ballgames.”

Lauren Young, a freshman pitcher for the Jennies, used a change-up to baffle the Cougars in the second game. She allowed only two hits and had 10 strikeouts, including five in a row in the second and third innings.

Sumrell said Young’s off-speed pitch caught the Cougars off-guard.

“They must not see that good of a change-up that often,” she said.

Cougars outfielder Anna Seipp agreed.

“We weren’t seeing it very well,” she said. “She threw that change-up in there a couple of times and that really killed us.”

Monica Mueller and Kerri Gapka pitched well for the Cougars. They combined for 13 strikeouts and four walks, but couldn’t get any run support.

“They did an exceptional job,” Spratt said. “Not too many times this year have we not scored a run for them. We just didn’t get it done offensively.”

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