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Discoverers finish season as district runner-up

October 9, 2016

LA VISTA — The Columbus High softball team saw its season come to an end Saturday at the District A-1 tournament in La Vista.

Columbus won two of three games Friday to reach the district final, but couldn’t get past top-ranked Papillion-La Vista on Saturday.

The Monarchs defeated the Discoverers 6-4 to claim the district title and move their win streak to 17 straight games. Papillion-La Vista (29-3) hasn’t lost since Sept. 12 against fourth-ranked Millard North.

CHS didn’t go down without a fight, though.

The Discoverers loaded the bases in the first inning before Marika Spencer drove in Kennedy Jones and Alyssa Turner scored on a passed ball to give CHS the early 2-0 lead.

Columbus head coach Paul Braun said the team did a nice job of maintaining its energy level from the previous day, when the Discoverers beat Omaha Benson and Fremont to reach Saturday’s final.

Telegram Super Senior Alayna Allen made the CHS lead stand until the bottom of the third inning, when Papillion-La Vista hit back-to-back home runs to go on top 4-2. The Monarchs scored runs in the fourth and fifth innings to push their lead to four.

But Columbus High fought back in the sixth.

Back-to-back singles by Telegram Super Senior Alycin Braun and Spencer set up Allen, who singled home a run. Kate Smith, a pinch runner for Spencer, scored on a passed ball to cut the deficit to 6-4, but Papillion-La Vista pitcher Courtney Wallace struck out the next two batters to strand a runner at third.

Coach Braun said his goal during the district tournament was to have a chance to win at the end.

The Discoverers had that opportunity Saturday, however, Wallace retired the CHS lineup in order in the seventh to seal the victory.

“We played four quality games the last two days,” said coach Braun, who took note of the Discoverers’ solid defense and ability to play as a team.

“There was that sense of family we talked about all year — being there for each other,” he said. “The girls took that to heart during districts and applied that to their play.”

Alycin Braun went 2 for 3 at the plate against the Monarchs while Spencer and Allen were both 1 for 3 with an RBI.

Columbus High finishes its season with a 14-21 record and the district runner-up trophy.

“The girls need to keep their heads high,” coach Braun said. “All year they have been a team that never gave up, kept coming at you. And to finish the season on such a positive note, they should be proud.”