Lady Cougars split twinbill with Division I Oakland - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Lady Cougars split twinbill with Division I Oakland

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COLUMBUS, Ga. – The Columbus State Lady Cougars split a doubleheader with Division I Oakland University on Monday afternoon in their home opener. CSU won the opener 4-0, losing the nightcap 1-0.

In game one, senior Mollie Russell struck out 17 batters to tie the CSU single-game record.

The 17 strikeouts bested her previous career high of 15 which she set last year against Nova Southeastern on February 24.  Amber Browning originally set the mark on March 16, 2007 against Lenoir-Rhyne as she tossed nine shutout innings in the 1-0 extra inning victory.

CSU would get all the offense it would need in the third inning as Kori Waugh hit a two-run homerun to centerfield.  Branigan Wix scored on the play as she laced a one-out single into rightfield.  For Waugh, it was her fourth longball of the year.

Russell carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning until Alivia Nikolaus reached on a one-out infield single.  Following a strikeout for the second out, Chelsea Carena also had an infield hit but the rally was thwarted there as the next hitter grounded out.

Columbus State put the game away in the bottom half of the inning as Casey Googe, who set the Peach Belt Conference single-season record with 22 homers a year ago, launched her first homerun of the season over the centerfield wall. 

After the homerun, CSU  loaded the bases with one out as Taylor Turner walked, Bree Nowlin singled through the left side and pinch-hitter Suzanne Carney was hit by a pitch.  Kristen Carr then hit what appeared to be a routine sacrifice fly, but the centerfield dropped it allowing her to reach but forcing Carney out at second.  Turner scored on the play to make it 4-0.

Russell closed the door in the seventh inning punching out the final two betters to tie the school record.  She upped her record to 3-3 on the year allowing just four singles in the contest.

Turner paced the Columbus State offensive attack going 2-for-2 with a walk and a run scored while Waugh and Googe each went 1-for-3 with a homerun.

Laura Pond suffered the loss for Oakland as she tossed 5.1 innings allowing all four runs on six hits and a walk.  She also registered five strikeouts.  Carena, Nikolaus, Erin Galloway and Shannon Cleveland each had a base hit for the Grizzlies.

OU got the only run in the nightcap in the sixth inning which began with Erika Polidori beating out a two-out infield single.  Erin Galloway then doubled off the centerfield wall plating Polidori all the way from first as she slid in just as the throw was reaching home.

In the fifth, Morgan Knight drew a two-out walk and stole second but was stranded there.  An inning later, Kaycee Meeks led off the frame with a two-base error when the leftfielder dropped the ball.  Unfortunately for the Lady Cougars, the next three hitters all struck out.

Bree Nowlin broke up Oakland's bid at a no-hitter with a two-out double off the left-centerfield wall in the seventh but like the previous two innings, the game-tying run was stranded.

Erin Kownacki made the one run stand as she turned in her best game of her young collegiate career.  She tossed seven innings of one-hit ball striking out 13 batters and walking just two.  It was the freshman's first career shutout as she improved to 3-1 on the year.

Taylor Turner suffered the hard luck loss as she dropped her first decision of the season and stands at 3-1.  The sophomore allowed six hits but didn't issue a free pass while striking out five.  It was just her second earned run allowed this season as she currently boasts a 0.58 earned run average.

Jackie Kisman and Erin Galloway paced the Oakland offensive attack as they both went 2-for-3 in the ballgame including Galloway's game-winning hit.  Polidori and Shannon Cleveland had the other two hits for the Grizzlies.

Columbus State will hit the road to take on Albany State in non-conference action on Wednesday afternoon.  First pitch of the doubleheader is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. ET.

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