By Todd Parker
Columbus 3, Union 2
The Union Knights softball team almost pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the season in class 3A as they fell to the Columbus Sailors 3-2 in Waterloo in the first round of class 3A regional play. The Sailors came into the game with an impressive 32-6 record, undefeated 20-0 conference record, and having beaten the Knights in 3 previous games this season by 10 runs in each game. The Sailors are one of the top teams in class 3A in batting average, RBI’S and homeruns.
Union came out determined to pull off the upset as they scored 1 run in the first inning on a walk by Maggie Driscol and a base hit by Raini Hilmer. Columbus took the lead in the bottom of the first inning scoring 2 runs. Union fought back scoring another run in the top of the third inning on a base hit by Peyton Parker and a double by Raini Hilmer to tie the game at 2-2. Columbus took the lead again in the top of the fifth inning to take a 3-2 lead. Union put the pressure on Columbus in the top of the seventh inning getting 2 runners on base, the tying run on third, and the winning run on second base. Columbus ended the game by fielding a hard hit to the shortstop for the final out of the game.
The Knights defense along with pitcher Peyton Parker held Columbus, one of top offense teams in the state, to just 3 runs. Union gave up nine hits and committed just 1 error. Parker struck out 4 and walked 1. Union ended their season at 12-16 and tied for 3rd place in the NICL conference. They greatly improved each game during the year and played two of the best teams in the state to a 1 run games. Union will miss their 3 seniors next year: Lauren Barz, Jess Bohnstengel, and Raini Hilmer.