Eagles soar out to 9-0 start - Republic-Times | News

Eagles soar out to 9-0 start

By on April 11, 2018 at 2:14 pm

Columbia’s Mikaela Kossina pitches during a game earlier this spring. (Corey Saathoff photo)

The Columbia softball team is continuing its winning ways, improving to 9-0 on the spring with three recent wins.

The Eagles handed New Athens its first loss of the season on Monday, winning 2-0 at home. Columbia was clinging to a 1-0 lead until the sixth inning when Lexi Touchette smashed a home run to deep left. She went 2-for-3 on the day.

But the star of the game was Columbia pitcher Kaelyn Rheinecker, who struck out 15 in a dominating three-hit shutout.

Rheinecker is 5-0 with a 1.00 ERA ans 50 strikeouts in 35 innings pitched this season.

On Friday, Columbia posted a 9-1 win at Belleville East. Calli Wibbenmeyer went 2-for-4 with two home runs for the Eagles, including a grand slam. Chelsy Pena went 3-for-5 with three RBIs.

On Thursday, Columbia blasted Wesclin, 13-3. Keeler van Breusegen went 2-for-4 with four RBIs and Touchette went 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Kylie Cleveland went 3-for-4 with four runs scored.

For the season, Columbia has outscored its opponents 88-17.

Aryn Henke leads the offense with a .542 average, .633 on base percentage, five stolen bases, 11 RBIs and 10 runs.

Keeler van Breusegen is hitting .514 with 15 RBIs, followed by Touchette at .500 with 10 RBIs.

Mikaela Kossina is hitting .464 and also pitching well, posting a 4-0 record with a 2.23 ERA.

Pena is hitting .407 with three home runs and 12 RBIs.

Columbia hosts Breese Central on Thursday, then will play at Granite City on Friday and at O’Fallon on Saturday.

Waterloo (2-6) lost three of four recent games, two of them in extra innings.

Last Wednesday, the Bulldogs dropped a 2-1 contest at Belleville West. Lindsay Merritt struck out eight over six innings and Taylor Kaufmann blasted a home run.

Waterloo won at Dupo on Friday, 10-7. Kaufmann homered again and both Skyler Barker and Taylor Downen collected three hits apiece in the victory. 

Madison Limestall earned the pitching win with eight strikeouts.

Kaufmann homered for a third straight game in a 10-6 loss at home to Collinsville on Saturday. The Bulldogs trailed 4-1 in the seventh inning before tying it on a hit by Barker. 

Collinsville rallied for six runs in the eighth inning however, aided by a dropped infield fly near the pitching circle.

Kaufmann had three hits and Barker had two hits on the day.

On Monday, Waterloo lost 2-1 in eight innings at Mascoutah. 

Downen hit an RBI double in the first inning, and the lead held up until the Indians tied it in the sixth. 

Waterloo hosts Highland on Wednesday and will be at Gibault on Thursday.

Kaufmann leads the Bulldogs in hitting at .400 with four homers and seven RBIs. Downen is hitting .379 with four doubles.

Gibault (1-2) lost 11-5 to Red Bud on Monday, committing eight errors on defense behind pitcher Sidney Wightman.

Lexi Chambers and Lexi Poepper led the way with two hits each for the Hawks, who play at Valmeyer on Wednesday, host Waterloo on Thursday and host Roxana on Saturday.

Poepper is hitting .556 with five RBIs to lead Gibault.

Valmeyer (2-4) lost at Marissa on Thursday, 14-4, and lost at Freeburg, 11-0, on Friday.

Lilly Schlemmer went 2-for-3 with an RBI and Jaynie Vanatta added a hit and two RBIs against Marissa.

Chelsea Hooker hit a double for the team’s only hit against Freeburg.

Hooker is hitting .737 this spring, which is second in the entire St. Louis area. She also has seven doubles, seven RBIs and 10 runs scored.

Others hitting well for the Pirates are Cierra Goldschmidt (.500, nine runs), Schlemmer (.474, 12 RBIs) and Guin Kohnz (.450, five RBIs).

Dupo (1-6) won 11-7 against Chester last Wednesday, with Cameron Foster going 2-for-2 with three runs and Kenzie Kloess adding a hit and three RBIs.

Regan Carner picked up the pitching win.

The Tigers lost to Red Bud on Thursday, 10-0, and dropped a 10-7 contest at home to Waterloo on Friday.

The Tigers host Marquette on Monday.

Foster leads the team in hitting at .583 with six runs, followed by Kloess at .500 with seven RBIs.

Corey Saathoff

Corey is the editor of the Republic-Times. He has worked at the newspaper since 2004, and currently resides in Columbia. He is also the principal singer-songwriter and plays guitar in St. Louis area country-rock band The Trophy Mules.