March 31, 2011

The Fuller File

When you have been around sports as long as I have you tend to notice trends that develop. There is always that one team that surprises everyone. They come out of nowhere and when everyone says that they finally hit their peak, they tend to take their game to a higher level. Well here at Columbus State University that team is without a doubt the Lady Cougar Softball team. CSU was voted to finish eighth in the Peach Belt Conference by the head coaches this season and no one would have expected them to be tied for first with No. 4 North Georgia. The nation is also taking notice of the Lady Cougars (30-8) as CSU garnered votes to be ranked in the National Fastball Coaches Association Top 25 Poll for three straight weeks. Not only has the softball team been playing the most exciting games in the city, Coach Brad Huskisson is doing it with local talent.

One of the cardinal rules in recruiting is not letting the local talent get out of town. Well Coach H is taking that to heart. Six out of the 16 ladies making up the roster played their high school ball in town. All six of these young ladies have made an impact on the team. One of the key members of that group is Kristi Bullard who played her high school ball at Pacelli High School and has been a member of the Lady Cougar softball team for the past three seasons. Bullard is having her best season by far compiling a 10-4 record with an ERA of 1.22.

Coach Huskisson is not afraid of putting young talent out on the field as well. One of the backbone members of this year’s squad is freshman Casey Googe. Googe, who is also a local product, has been absolutely fantastic and has proven to be one of the leaders of the team. The freshman is batting .330 with three homeruns and is leading the Peach Belt Conference with 15 doubles.

Other local players are Jennifer Isasi (2-0 0.58 ERA), Keeley Kennedy (.342 9 SB), Morgan Knight (.316 5 HR) and Melanie Trevathan (.444 on-base percentage, 1.000 fielding percentage).

The Columbus State softball program has had a proud past with 10 trips to the postseason in the past 15 seasons. Coach Huskisson is trying to restore the program with a steady pipeline of local talent. With some teams, the question of “how much do they care” comes into the equation, but with this group of girls you can throw that out of the window. The Lady Cougars show their emotion on their sleeves and have a flare for the dramatics. CSU has won five games this season in their final at-bat.

The Lady Cougars have an important home stand this weekend playing six games in three days. On Friday, King College comes to town for a doubleheader beginning at 3:00 p.m. On Saturday, conference opponent Lander University stops by Cougar Field for a doubleheader to take on the ladies at 2:00 p.m. On Sunday, the Lady Cougars take on two-time defending Southeast Regional champions and nationally ranked North Georgia in a doubleheader starting at 1:00 p.m. Columbus State and North Georgia are currently tied atop the Peach Belt Standings. 

Come out and support Coach Huskisson and the Lady Cougars this weekend. You do not want to miss any of the action.

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