It took Columbia College softball 29 games in 62 days to break a record that had been in place for 15 years.

The game that sealed the program's new longest win streak was the closest of them all. The Cougars and Central Baptist were only separated by more than one run for part of the third inning.

With two outs in the bottom of the final inning, Mustangs batter Skylar Lee stepped up to the plate to face CC's relief pitcher Alyssa Roll with the game-tying runner on third. Lee connected, but center fielder Taylor Barnes was there to end the contest with the catch.

Columbia defeated Central Baptist 4-3 on Friday at Antimi Sports Complex in Columbia, booking its spot in the American Midwest Conference title game and sealing a historic 29th straight win.

Besides making the game-ending catch, Barnes was also responsible for three of the Cougars' four runs.

She stole home plate in the first to open Columbia's scoring and later scored twice on RBI from Allison Keen.

Keen, who had three RBI in the contest, doubled in the third to drive home Barnes and Kacy Bergfeld. In her next trip to the plate, in the fifth, a single to shallow right scored Barnes again — this time for the game-winning run.

It's of little surprise that Barnes and Keen provided the power at the plate. The pair are hitting .422 and .448 on the season, respectively. Barnes leads the Cougars in runs with 38, and Keen has CC's second-most RBI on the year with 30.

Roll was credited with the win. She struck out three Mustangs in five innings pitched after replacing starting pitcher Lexi Dickerson. Columbia's pitching staff has combined for the best team ERA in the nation at 0.99.

The Cougars will face Central Baptist again in the AMC title game after the Mustangs defeated William Woods to stay alive in the double-elimination event. The title game will be played at 11 a.m. Saturday at Antimi Sports Complex in Columbia.

  • Assistant sports editor for Spring 2021. Reach me at mcandrewcalum@gmail.com, or in the newsroom at 882-5700.

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