Russell Tosses Gem, Columbus State Wins 3-0
Columbus – Mollie Russell stymied the UNC Pembroke offense to just two hits to propel Columbus State to a 3-0 victory over the visitors in the first game of a Peach Belt Conference doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Cougar Field in Columbus, Georgia.
CSU improves to 32-17 on the year and 7-8 in PBC play while UNCP falls to 14-30 this season and 3-14 in league action.
The Lady Cougars nearly got on the board in the second inning but wound up stranding a pair of runners before pushing across two runs in the third to go up 2-0. Kristen Gregory was hit by a pitch to start off the frame and following a strikeout, Morgan Knight tripled to centerfield plating Gregory all the way from first. Casey Googe then ripped the first pitch she saw off the leftfield wall doubling in Knight.
Two innings later, Kara Gordon drew a two-out walk and scored when Morgan Staffins doubled to the left-centerfield making it a 3-0 contest.
UNC Pembroke got their first hit of the ballgame in the third inning when Kellie Van Dyke beat out an infield hit.
Their lone threat came in the sixth which started with Morgan Davis striking out but reaching first on the wild pitch with one out. A ground out advanced her to second base before a single through the left side put runners on first and third. Russell induced a grounder to end the rally attempt.
Googe and Taylor Turner both went 2-for-3 at the plate to lead the offensive attack for the Lady Cougars. Staffins went 1-for-2 with a walk while driving in a run while Gregory was also 1-for-2 and scored a run.
Russell tossed her 22nd complete game and her 12th shutout of the season. She surrendered just two hits without issuing a walk and punched out five.
Starr Gilley suffered the loss working six innings allowing three runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out six. Van Dyke and Ashley Harrell picked up the Lady Braves lone hits on the afternoon.
*Spades "threw" out the ceremonial first pitch*