Story by Chad Waller, Director of Athletics Communications & Media
Pictures courtesy of Cindy Potter
CLERMONT, Fla. – (Box Score) (Bracket) The first three batters went 6-for-12 and scored all runs to send No. 2 Columbia (Mo.) to a 5-2 triumph against No. 8 Southern Oregon in an elimination bracket game Tuesday at the 2017 NAIA Softball World Series at Legends Way Ballfields. The 37th annual event is hosted by PFX Athletics for the first time. Follow along on social media with #NAIASBWorldSeries on Twitter (@NAIA), Facebook (@PlayNAIA) and Instagram (@playnaia).
Columbia advances in the elimination bracket to match up with No. 5 LSU Alexandria (La.) Wednesday at 4 p.m. EDT. Southern Oregon wraps up its first-ever World Series with a 46-15 record.
With the score tied 2-2 in the top of the fifth inning and Columbia batting, the Cougars' Carly Spalding was on second base after a bunt single and steal. Southern Oregon pitcher Karlee Coughlin was called for a balk and Spalding advanced to third. The next batter – Molly Carter – singled to right field and after Spalding scored, the Cougars led 3-2.
Columbia moves to 17-33 all-time in the World Series in this its 16th appearance… The trio of Carly Spalding, Theresa DeCosty and Molly Carter at the top of the Columbia batting order went a combined 6-for-12 with five runs scored and two RBIs… With three stolen bases, Columbia now pushes its season total to 144, good for No. 3 in the NAIA… With two RBIs, Columbia's Molly Carter increased her single-season school RBI record total to 85… Southern Oregon ends its first World Series appearance with a 2-2 mark… Raiders' pitcher Karlee Coughlin allowed five earned runs on nine hits in 7.0 innings – the runs given up were the most since she allowed seven against Eastern Oregon on April 29.
Player of the Game:
Columbia senior outfielder Carly Spalding went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and a stolen base. Spalding scored the winning run in the fifth inning. The Monroe City, Mo., native now is hitting .583 (7-for-12) with four runs scored in three World Series games. She already holds two single-season school records in stolen bases (57) and hits (93).
How to Watch:
Stretch Internet, the NAIA's official video-streaming company of NAIA national championship events, will be broadcasting all 19 games of the 2016 NAIA Softball World Series on the NAIA Network. The All-World Series package can be purchased for $29.95 or the day package for $9.95. For more information, including how to register for an account, click here.