HOUSTON – The Columbia softball team was three outs away from knocking off Houston, but the Cougars tallied four runs in the bottom of the seventh to come away with a dramatic, 5-4, win to close day two of the Houston Hilton Plaza Invitational on Saturday. The Lions (0-4) were topped by Nicholls State, 10-2, in six innings earlier in the day.
COLUMBIA 2, NICHOLLS STATE 10 (6 Innings)
The Colonals (5-9) used a solo shot by Brittany Marcet to jump out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first and two errors aided four insurance runs to score, making it 5-0 heading into the bottom of the second inning.
Alyssa Rodia cut the deficit to three with a two-run home run, the first of her career, but Nicholls State pitcher Jackie Johnson surrendered just one hit the rest of the way and the Colonals put the game away with five runs in the top of the sixth inning.
Tonia Wu picked up the tough-luck decision (0-1), throwing two innings allowing five runs, but just one earned. Macy Shrum and Kerry Cook were the only other Columbia players with hits in the contest.
COLUMBIA 4, HOUSTON 5
The Lions went right to work in a rematch with Houston, scoring three runs on a pair of long balls in the top of the first inning. With one out, Emily Snodgrass belted her first dinger of the season to give Columbia the lead and Shelby Unger made it 3-0 with a homer of her own that also plated Rodia.
In the bottom of the second, the Cougars rallied with two outs to pull within two runs after a pair of singles and an RBI double down the leftfield line by Selena Hernandez.
Macy Shrum made it 4-1 with her first long ball of the season in the top of the fifth before Houston’s offense came alive in the seventh.
Hernandez started things off with a base knock, followed by a Kayla Holland double. Haley Outon followed with another two-bagger to make it a one-run ballgame. After a walk was issued to put the game-winning run on first, an errant throw on a ground ball allowed both runners to score and end the contest.
Brooke Darling suffered the loss (0-2) after giving up three earned runs on 10 hits to go with four strikeouts.
Columbia closes its opening weekend with a 10:30 a.m. contest against North Dakota State.