Russell Recognized by NFCA
Columbus – Mollie Russell was selected as one of the top performers in the nation this past week by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association it was announced Wednesday afternoon.
Russell helped lead Columbus State to their first Peach Belt Conference Tournament title since 2007 as the junior tossed every inning for the Lady Cougars. She defeated sixth-ranked Armstrong, 11th-ranked North Georgia and regionally ranked Flagler in less than 24 hours.
In the quarterfinals, the right-hander allowed an unearned run in the first inning as CSU bested Flagler 3-1. Russell surrendered just three hits and punched out one throwing just 75 pitches in the contest, 58 of which went for strikes.
A day later in the semifinals, Russell was even more dominating as she blanked top-seeded Armstrong giving up four hits. Only one runner reached second base in the contest which came with two outs in the seventh inning. She registered seven strikeouts tossing 82 pitches, with only 14 not finding the strike zone.
The Decatur, Alabama native wrapped up the tournament with a near no-hit bid over second-seeded North Georgia allowing just one hit in the fourth inning. Russell allowed an unearned run in the seventh inning as the junior battled through a 101 pitch complete game effort.
For the tournament, she finished with 21 innings pitched, two unearned runs allowed, 11 strikeouts and held opponents to just a .110 batting average.
Columbus State earned the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Division II Softball Tournament which is set to begin on Friday, May 4. The selection show is set for April 30 when the Lady Cougars will find out where they will be heading.
In the latest regional rankings that came out earlier this afternoon, CSU is ranked fifth in the Southeast Region jumping up four spots from the two previous polls.