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ST. LOUIS – [GAME 1 BOX] [GAME 2 BOX] Missouri Baptist couldn't slow down the red-hot Columbia Cougars Saturday afternoon. The Cougars won their 12th and 13th straight games after defeating the Spartans 5-0 and 7-2.
Right-hander Paxton Welch limited the Spartans (7-9, 2-2) to four hits in her game one complete game shutout. The top three in the Columbia (17-3, 6-0) lineup combined for seven hits in 12 at bats and got things going in the second inning.
Carly Spalding broke the scoreless tie with a bases-clearing triple to put Columbia ahead 2-0. Theresea DeCosty also singled to make it 3-0 one batter later. The Spartans threatened in the fourth inning after Andrea Chessor and Kayla Thoron both singled. However, Welch held them scoreless throughout.
Columbia tacked on two more runs the rest of the way to pick up the 5-0 win. Emily Robinson and Meghan Mollett also picked up hits in game one. The Cougars entered the game averaging nearly 10 runs per game (9.8), so the home team held them well under their average. The Spartans just weren't able to produce enough offensively.
Chessor had a big two-out two-RBI single in game two to put the Spartans on the scoreboard. Scoring proved tough against Columbia ace Lauren McCroskie, who entered the game with a 0.91 ERA.
It was too late for MBU however, after Columbia opened the game ahead 7-0. A six-run third inning put the game nearly out of reach early. Back-to-back infield singles started the rally before DeCosty came through with an RBI single with one out. The next batter Molly Carter homered to left field to put five on the board and Columbia added the sixth the very next at-bat.
The Spartans had a runner reach second in four different innings, but capitalized only in the fifth when Chessor singled. Chessor went 2-2 in the game and Meagan Elder also posted a multi-hit game.
The Spartans will head out of conference play for two series, beginning with a home doubleheader against MacMurray College on Tuesday. First pitch is set for 2:00 pm.