Lady Cougars Take Season Opener 5-2 Versus Georgia Southwestern
COLUMBUS– The Columbus State softball team scored three runs in the first two innings and tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the seventh inning to defeat Georgia Southwestern 5-2 Wednesday afternoon at Lady 'Canes Field in Americus, GA.
Morgan Knight got the game started with a single to centerfield. She moved up to third base on Branigan Wix's groundout and crossed the plate on a RBI groundout by Kara Gordon for an early 1-0 lead.
An abbreviated version of the homerun derby erupted in the bottom half of the inning as Gabby Buck hit a two-out homerun down the leftfield line tying the game at 1-1.
CSU hit the next two homeruns as Kristi Bullard helped her own cause as the pitcher began the top half of the second inning with a solo homerun. The Lady Cougars hit their second homerun of the inning when Morgan Staffins hit another solo homerun giving the visitors a 3-1 lead after an inning and a half.
The Lady Hurricanes hit the final homerun of the contest in the bottom of the third inning which came off the bat of leadoff hitter Heather Hodge. That brought GSW within one, 3-2 after three innings of play. Georgia Southwestern threatened in the fifth inning which began with Hodge hitting a double down the leftfield line and moved up to third on a wild pitch. Mason Moreland then grounded out to third base and Hodge tried to score after the throw to first but was gunned down at the plate for the double-play.
Staffins drew a one out walk before Keeley Kennedy came on to run for her as a pinch runner. After a flyout, Knight ripped a triple to left-centerfield plating Kennedy. Knight would later score on a wild pitch.
Bullard struckout the side in the bottom half of the inning to pick up the complete game victory. She allowed two runs on five hits and walked just one hitter. The senior also struckout 12 in the contest. Knight paced the offense going 2-for-4 scoring a pair of runs and adding a RBI as well. Staffins finished the day 1-for-2 while Bullard, Wix and Rocky Hemmer each went 1-for-3.
Hodge led Georgia Southwestern going 2-for-3 as she was the only Lady Hurricane to have a multi-hit game. Buck, Nichole Griffin and Katie Maddox also had one hit on the afternoon. Christie Shankle suffered the loss in her first collegiate start working all seven innings. The righty surrendered five runs on six hits and two walks while striking out three.
Game two of the doubleheader is currently underway. CSU will host the Hughston Sports Clinic Classic this weekend beginning on Friday, February 11 when they take on Miles College. Thirteen total games are scheduled to be played at Cougar Field over the weekend including six by the Lady Cougars.