End of the road for the Eagles

Columbia's Keeler van Breusegen made the Class 3A all-state team. (Corey Saathoff photo)

It just wasn’t supposed to end this way.

The Columbia High School softball team brought its high-flying offense and 32 victories into Tuesday’s Class 3A Centralia Sectional contest against the host squad following a thrilling regional title victory on Saturday.

The Eagles jumped out to a first inning lead, but were unable to rally late in a 5-4 season-ending loss to Centralia.

Columbia had defeated Centralia, 9-5, earlier this season.

Lexi Touchette homered and Kylie Cleveland smacked an RBI double to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead in the first inning. But Centralia homered to tie the game in the second and took the lead for good in the third.

A Chelsy Pena solo homer in the fifth cut into Centralia’s lead, and Columbia threatened with runners on in the seventh but just could not push the tying run across.

Tuesday’s loss marked the final game for Columbia head coach Rhonda Major, who accepted a teaching position in Waterloo for the next school year. In nine years, Major’s teams compiled a record of 249-41 with five regional titles and one sectional crown.

Read about Columbia’s regional title victory in this week’s newspaper.

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