Columbus State Softball Falls Late to Tusculum, 4-1
Greeneville, TN – Tusculum scored four runs in the final two innings to rally for a 4-1 victory over Columbus State University Friday night in a non-conference matchup in Greeneville, Tennessee at Red Edmonds Field.
Despite not putting up a run in the first three innings, CSU had several opportunities to score but were unable to capitalize. Casey Googe drove two balls to the warning track of the spacious right-centerfield gap but both were caught at the wall that prevented the Lady Cougars getting on the board. Googe had hit a homerun in each of the last three games for CSU.
Columbus State finally cracked through in the fourth inning which was started by Kori Waugh lacing a two-out single to centerfield. Taylor Turner then came up to bat and smacked a ball off the left-centerfield wall for a double that brought in Waugh for the first run of the game.
Mollie Russell was cruising along until the fifth inning when Tusculum was able to manufacture a run to knot the game at 1-1. Katy Stuckwish led off with a single up the middle then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Next up was Kaytlin Stroinski who sacrificed her over to third base. After Katie Gross went down swinging, Nicole Ball came up with a clutch two-out hit singling through the left side plating Stroinski.
An inning later, Lindsey Umberger drew a leadoff walk setting the table for Ashley Burke who ripped the first pitch she saw into the right-centerfield gap for a triple. Umberger scored the eventual winning run giving the hosts a 2-1 lead. In the next at-bat, Burke crossed the plate beating a throw from the shortstop pushing TC to a two run lead. They would score their final run later in the inning on a RBI single by Stroinski.
"Tusculum was better than us in every aspect of the game today," stated head coach Brad Huskisson. "They out-coached us and out-played us."
"We have to be a lot tougher mentally when things get tough. In the Peach Belt Conference, every game is going to be a battle and we need to dig deep to come up with a clutch hit or clutch pitch when we need it. We have a long way to go still"
Russell suffered the loss falling to 2-2 on the year. She gave up four runs (three earned) on six hits and one free pass. The right-hander also struck out seven as she hurled her fourth complete game effort of the season. Her three earned runs allowed were the first of the season for Russell who now sports a 0.84 earned run average.
Turner was the lone bright spot offensively for the Lady Cougars going a perfect 3-for-3 at the dish while driving in the only run. Waugh, Kara Gordon and Sydney Finley all went 1-for-3 while Waugh scored the lone run.
Morgan Staffins saw her six-game hitting streak come to an end as she went 0-for-3
Elizabeth Johnson picked up the win for Tusculum improving her record to 3-3. She allowed just one run on six hits with one walk while striking out seven in the complete game effort. Burke went 2-for-3 at the plate scoring a run and driving in one as well.
Columbus State is right back in action tomorrow when they take on Carson-Newman in a non-conference doubleheader. Game one was pushed up an hour earlier beginning now at 12:00 p.m. with impending in-climate weather in the forecast.