No. 25 Columbus State Edges by Augusta State 2-1
Augusta – No. 25 Columbus State scored a run in the first and last inning of the game to come away with a 2-1 win over Augusta State Friday afternoon in Peach Belt Conference play. The contest was played at Jaguar Field on the campus of ASU.
CSU improves to 20-10 on the season and 1-1 in PBC play while the Lady Jaguars drop to 21-6 on the year and suffered their first loss in conference action moving to 5-1.
Nina Rubio started the contest off with a single down the leftfield line and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Morgan Knight. After Casey Googe lined out to the second baseman, Kara Gordon hit a RBI single to leftfield plating Rubio for a 1-0 lead.
As they did in game one, the Lady Jaguars responded right back in the bottom half of the frame with two outs. Kristen Jones singled up the middle and moved into scoring position with a walk to Jessica Thornton. Hannah Vaughn then tied the game at 1-1 with a single to centerfield driving in Jones.
Columbus State nearly tacked on another run in the second inning but had a runner gunned down at the plate. A dropped fly ball allowed Kori Waugh to reach second to begin the inning. After a strikeout, she advanced to third on a fielder's choice. Branigan Wix stole second putting a pair of runners in scoring position. Waugh then tried to score on a ball hit in the infield but was out at the plate. The two runners on base were stranded following a strikeout.
ASU loaded the bases with just one out in the fifth inning but were unable to push across the tying run. Kacee Camp doubled to start the frame, moved to third on a Molly Walton single before the bases were filled when Jones was hit by a pitch.
Kelsey Gilliam dug down for CSU striking out the next batter before retiring the side with a line out to Kara Gordon.
Gilliam got things going in the seventh as well as she singled to centerfield. Suzanne Carney come on as a pinch runner and moved up to second via a Wix sac bunt. Caitlyn Asbell then hit a ball to the ASU shortstop who threw the ball away allowing Carney to come across all the way from second.
Augusta State had a two-out walk in the bottom half of the inning but was stranded when Mollie Russell came on in relief to secure her second save of the season.
Taylor Turner started the contest tossing 4.1 innings of one-run ball. Gilliam came on and picked up the win keeping the Lady Jaguars scoreless for 2.1 innings before Russell got the final out of the contest. Gilliam and Gordon both went 2-for-3 at the dish while Rubio had the only other hit for the Lady Cougars.
Heather Hughes was the hard luck loser falling to 7-2 on the year surrendering two runs (one earned) on five hits while striking out three. Jones had the only multi-hit performance for ASU going 2-for-3.
Columbus State has a day off before returning to the diamond on Sunday, March 18 when it travels to USC Aiken for a PBC doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.