In a rematch of last year’s thrilling regional final won by Waterloo in walk-off fashion, the Bulldogs did it again to their cross-county rival on Friday.
After watching Columbia take the lead with three runs in the top of the seventh inning, the Waterloo softball team plated two in the bottom half to give the Eagles their first loss of the season, 6-5.
“It was a well-fought game,” Waterloo head coach Matt Mason said afterward. “We’re happy to come out on top.”
Waterloo led 4-2 heading into the final frame, but the Eagles stole the momentum from the home team with the three-run seventh. Courtney Weilbacher and Calli Wibbenmeyer collected two hits apiece in the game to spark Columbia’s offense.
But Erica Schaab was the star of the day. She went 3-for-4 with five RBIs for the Bulldogs, including the game-winning, two-run single in the seventh.
Katy Polacek led off the seventh with a single, followed by an Emma Snodgrass single. A Columbia fielding error loaded the bases for Schaab, who came through in the clutch. Snodgrass executed a perfect slide to avoid a tag attempt by Columbia catcher Kalli Farmer.
“She had one of her best hitting games so far this year,” Mason said of Schaab. “It was clutch, for sure.”
The Eagles drop to 5-1 with the loss. Waterloo improved to 3-4 on the spring heading into a Saturday doubleheader with Collinsville.
“We kind of solved a few of our problems on defense that we’ve been having the past few games. We fielded the ball a bit better today,” Mason said of his team. “Overall, we battled out there and the girls never quit.”