Columbia Christian School won its third straight Arkansas Association of Christian Schools state title on Tuesday with a 12-2 win over Ridgway Christian.
Columbia scored four runs in the bottom of the third and six runs in the bottom of the sixth to enforce the mercy rule.
“We just weren’t quite ready,” Ridgway head coach Pam Turner said. “In the past week, we have played three awesome games and we beat this team last Tuesday.
“It was kind of a letdown.”
Columbia’s Andie Bolt led off the sixth with a single. With one out, Madison Miller reached on a walk to put runners on first and second. An error at shortstop allowed Bolt to score and for Megan Morton to reach. A passed ball plated Miller and Columbia followed with a walk to Rayli Toms.
Alex Whaley hit a single and Madilyn Hornaday followed with a RBI single. An error at third by Ridgway (14-3) allowed the final runner to score.
“We just weren’t ready on defense,” Turner said.
Ridgway advanced to the title game on Monday with a win over Garrett Memorial in nine innings. Turner said the extra-inning win did put a bit of a strain on the team.
“That probably had a little to do with it,” Turner said. “They were a little wound up.
“Excited over that. It was a tiring and stressful game.”
Columbia defeated Ridgway last year in the title game, too. Turner expects a return trip for next season.
“We got everybody coming back but one,” Turner said. “I just have one senior, the rest are 10th grade or below.”
Ridgway finally broke through in the top of the sixth inning.
Crystal McVay reached on a fielder’s choice and a single by Taylor Allen put runners on second and third with just one out. Lauren Rose grounded out to third to plate McVay and cut Columbia’s lead to 6-1.
An RBI single by Madison Heflin scored Allen and the lead was cut to four.
Morton was credited with the win for Columbia after she pitched six innings, allowing two runs (both earned) on four hits with six strikeouts and no walks.
“That was a problem,” Turner said. “She get two strikes and then throw that off-speed,” Turner said. “It got most of them.”
Whaley hit a three-run triple in the third and later scored on an error to give Columbia a 5-0 lead. Columbia also scored a run in the second and a run in the fifth.
Coming into Tuesday, Ridgway’s only two losses this season were to Garrett Memorial and Columbia.
“We have had an awesome season,” Turner said. “We only lost two games and other than those two games, we’ve run-ruled every team.
“We have had a great season, can’t complain about the season. Just had a bad today.”
Rose, who was named AACS All-State, was tagged with the loss. She pitched 5 1/3 and allowed nine runs on seven hits with six strikeouts and five walks.
Allen, who finished 1 for 3 with a run scored, was also named AACS All-State.