Columbus State Softball Wins 3-2 in Eight Innings Over UNC Pembroke
Columbus – Kristi Bullard did not allow an earned run over eight innings and went 2-for-3 at the plate to lead Columbus State to a 3-2 victory versus UNC Pembroke in a Peach Belt Conference tilt Friday afternoon at Cougar Field. With the win, CSU improves to 26-7 on the year and 6-1 in conference while UNC Pembroke falls to 14-13 this season and 2-3 in PBC action.
The Lady Cougars got on the board in the second inning which started with a one-out walk to Kara Gordon. She then stole second base before moving up to third on a wild pitch. Branigan Wix followed that up with a walk of her own and got caught in a run down which allowed Gordon to slide into home safely for a 1-0 advantage.
With one out in the top of the fourth inning, Courtney Hill smacked a ball off the centerfield fence for a single. Hill tried to stretch the single into a double but was gunned out on the play by Morgan Knight. Bullard struck out the next hitter to retire the side.
UNC Pembroke finally cracked through in the fifth inning due to a costly fielding error. Morgan Patrick led of the inning with a single to leftfield and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Loren Bartz. On the play, the ball was bobbled and Bartz was able to beat out the throw putting runners on first and second. A bunt single by Lynn Grantham loaded the bases full of Lady Braves with no outs.
After the next two batters were retired, UNCP got an RBI single off the bat off of Schanique Barrett tying the game at 1-1. Taylor Cloninger gave the visitors the lead with an RBI single of her own to rightfield. Wix came up firing to home plate catching the UNCP runner in a rundown who was eventually tagged out.
CSU threatened in the fifth and sixth inning but both times left runners stranded in scoring position.
Columbus State was able to tie the contest in the seventh inning when Gordon blasted a solo homerun to straightaway centerfield with one out. Wix reached later in the frame on a fielder's choice and stole second base with two outs. It looked like Morgan Knight had hit the game-winning hit but the UNC Pembroke shortstop jumped in the air snagging the line drive to end the inning.
Casey Googe started the game-winning rally in the bottom of the eighth inning with a two-out walk. Kori Waugh then singled to leftfield before Morgan Staffins also worked a free pass to loading the bases. Gordon came up to the plate and had much easier at-bat this time as she walked in the winning run for the Lady Cougars.
Bullard improved to 10-3 on the year in the complete game effort striking out seven batters while allowing just six hits. Gordon went 1-for-2 as the sophomore hit the tying homerun, scored twice and drove in two runs for CSU. Nina Rubio also chipped in with two hits.
Hill had the lone multi-hit performance for UNC Pembroke going 2-for-4. Grantham and Patrick both went 1-for-3 at the plate and scored a run each. Starr Gilley started the game in the circle for the Lady Braves working 6.1 innings. She did not factor in the decision as she surrendered two runs on six hits and two walks. Caroline Newman fell to 1-3 on the year allowing one run in 1.1 innings of action.