The Pi Kappa Cobras snapped the Alpha Omega Delta Lions’ two-year softball championship streak, winning the best two out of three games Tuesday night.
Both teams entered the contest with perfect records. The Lions, who had won the championships in 2013 and 2014, were hoping to win their third straight championship game and were certainly favored to do so.
During the regular season they had averaged 17 runs a game and looked like a lock to win the championship series. But the night did not play out as Omega hoped, as the team won the first game 5-4, but fell 8-7 in the second game and 20-13 in the third.
The first game of the series was a defensive game. Omega began the scoring in the first inning on a sac fly by Camden Jones that brought in Caleb Armstrong from third base, but the Cobras then grabbed a 3-1 lead.
The Lions, determined not to let this game slip out of their grasp, came back with four runs in the fourth inning that ultimately led to a 5-4 Omega victory. Though the Cobras scored one run in their final inning, it was not enough to complete a comeback victory, so they would have to win the next two games in order to win the championship series.
The second game also looked to be going the Lions’ way early on, as they had a 2-1 lead going into the fourth inning. Pi Kappa, however, started to build momentum in the fourth inning and was able to score six straight runs in the game before Omega finally got another run on an RBI single by third baseman Conner Welby.
By that time, the score was 7-3 in favor of the Cobras. All the Cobras had to do was get three outs in the bottom of the seventh to win the game and force a tiebreaker. But the Lions refused to be put away so easily. After the Lions brought the deficit to 7-4, Caleb Armstrong hit a home run, bringing home two more runners to tie the game at 7-7.
After two singles put base runners on first and third, Omega failed to bring the runners home, and the game went into extra innings. The Cobras’ first batter in the top of the eighth inning, Michael Albert, hit a solo shot that would end up being the game-winning home run for the Cobras, forcing a third game to determine who would take home the softball trophy for the year.
After two games that had been all about defense and keeping the other team from scoring, the championship-deciding third game became a slugfest between two teams with power hitters all throughout their lineups.
Through the first three innings, the Lions again seemed as if they would dominate the game, jumping to an early 7-2 lead, fueled by another big home run from Caleb Armstrong, who finished the series with nine RBIs.
The Cobras’ bats, however, came alive in the bottom of the third inning when they scored six straight to take an 8-7 lead over the Lions. Omega then had back-to-back home runs by Sam Nelson and Connor Welby to take their final lead of the game, 11-8, before the Cobras came back with a vengeance in the bottom of the fourth. Home runs by Mika Maunula and Blake Counts and the exclamation grand slam from sophomore Micah Mortensen, who had already hit a three-run home run earlier, contributed to a 12-run inning that resulted in a 20-13 victory for the Pi Kappa Cobras.