The Pumas advanced to the sectional for the fourth straight season and 19th in program history with the win over arch-rival Columbus.
The Pumas had a chance to score in the first inning when second sacker Ashia Meister led off with a single and was moved to second on a great sacrifice bunt by freshman Morgan Gunderson. The solid strategy appeared to be working when Brooke Steinhorst hit a sharp single up the middle but Meister was held up at third and Columbus pitcher Emma Peck worked out of trouble by retiring Holly Lowenberg on a strikeout and coaxing a fly ball to center off the bat of Kassidy McCaffery.
Meister led off the Pumas' third with a sharp double but was stranded here when Gunderson popped up to shortstop, Brooke Steinhorst hit a liner right at the right fielder and Lowenberg grounded out shortstop to first base.
In the Pumas' fourth the fresman McCaffery opened with a double and was replaced at that bag by Cedi Lapacek. Freshman catcher Emma Gavinski drew a base on balls before senior rightfielder Abby Klink laced a double to score Lapace and move Gavinski to third. When junior first sacker Laken Wagner singled both runners touched home plate safely for a 3-0 lead.
In the top of the sixth the Cardinals threatened when Lowenberg surrendered a leadoff single to the last batter in the order C. Meyers. A. Hayes then moved the runner to second on a ball back to Lowenberg with a throw to first for the out. Valeskly then singled to score the run making it 3-1 with runners on the corners and two outs. The Pumas gambled and intentionally walked G. Kelm which moved Valesky to second and loaded the bricks. That sent F. Adam to the plate where Lowenberg struck her out with four pitches to end the thr
In the bottom of the sixth the Pumas answered back when Gavinski singled and gave way to her twin sister Grace as the courtesy runner. Klink, hitting in the catbird seat in the 7th spot followed with a single, her second hit of the day. Wagner followed with her third hit of the game sending Grace Gavinski scampering home. Peck struck out the next batter and got Meister to pop out and got another fly out to end the inning.
The top of the seventh was a bit wild as Lowenberg with two outs, gave up a double to Kelly the #8 batter and Myers, the #9 singled her home. A flyball to Klink in right ended the season for Columbus and sends the Pumas on to the sectional semi-final against the winner of the Cambridge at Brodhead game, one that was scoreless after two before a suspended game due to rain.
The Pumas were led at the plate by the two seniors, Meister and Kink who had four hits combined including a double each. Wagner had went 3x3 Mcffery, Brooke Steinhorst and Emma Gavinski each had a hit.
The Pumas are 16-5 on the season.