Post and Mail photos / Nicole Ott
Columbia City Head Coach Steve Cox (far left) gives senior Kaylee Parks a hug after the Lady Eaglesâ€™ loss to East Noble Monday, while Mike Vodde, far right, comforts his daughter, Allie Vodde.
HUNTERTOWN â€” Columbia Cityâ€™s softball season was cut short Monday night at Carroll.
The Lady Eagles faced Northeast Hoosier Conference foe East Noble (17-10) in the first round of sectionals and lost, 6-2.
After winning the NHC with an undefeated 7-0 record and coming of last seasonâ€™s strong tournament play â€” a trip to semi-state â€” fans, parents, players and coaches were disappointed in the early loss.
The Lady Knights scored six runs before Columbia City got on the board.
Whether it be bad luck or strong play by the Lady Knights, the end result was the same.
â€śEvery ball they hit found the hole. Every ball we hit found a glove,â€ť Cox said. â€śIt works that way sometimes. I told the kids, â€śThere are softball gods and they didnâ€™t want us to win tonight.â€™â€ť
The Lady Eagles battled until the end, scoring its first â€” and last â€” runs of the game with two outs in the seventh frame.
With two on base, Senior Megan Giffin knocked a ball to the centerfield wall for a double, sending in two runs. Hannah Schnorr tried to keep the rally going with a single of her own, but the next batter got out on a fly ball to end the game.
Mondayâ€™s game was the first time senior stand-out pitcher Cassie Vodde gave up earned runs on an NHC opponent, and it was Voddeâ€™s first loss of the season at the mound. Columbia City defeated East Noble 4-0 during the regular season, and Lady Knight Head Coach Marissa Troyer said she took a different approach to the sectional game.
â€śWe were dead last time we played them,â€ť Troyer said. â€śWe came ready to hit and we had a lot more energy this time around. â€śI told them it was going to take a full team effort and it took all 16 players in that dugout to win.â€ť
Troyer said when Columbia City beat her team earlier in the season, three starters were out due to injury.
Columbia Cityâ€™s Coach Cox, along with most other Lady Eagle fans, were disappointed in the loss after the post-seasonâ€™s high expectations.
â€śItâ€™s frustrating,â€ť Cox said. â€śWe talked about that right before we left the school. We wanted to do the same thing this year. But luck has to be on your side no matter what youâ€™re doing, and it wasnâ€™t on our side tonight.â€ť
Cox said Columbia Cityâ€™s seniors, Parks, Vodde and Megan Giffin, will be missed.
â€śTheyâ€™re just great kids,â€ť Cox said. â€śTheyâ€™ve had four years starting varsity and itâ€™s going to be hard without them.â€ť
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