No. 23 Columbus State surprises No. 14 Georgia College in 12-0 win
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -– No. 23 Columbus State put together a dominating performance defeating No. 14 Georgia College 12-0 in the Peach Belt Conference championship game Sunday afternoon at Flagler Field in St. Augustine, Fla.
Columbus State earns the PBC's automatic berth to the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional at a site to be determined and improved to 39-16 while Georgia College falls to 36-15.
Tournament MVP and PBC Pitcher of the Year Mollie Russell (22-8) was dominating in the circle for the Lady Cougars. She had a no-hitter through 4 1/3 innings and tossed a two-hit shutout. Russell fanned nine batters and walked just one as she picked up her 13th shutout of the season.
Combined with her 2012 PBC Tournament MVP performance, Russell has tossed 42 innings in the past two conference tournaments allowing just one run.
After the first four hitters were retired for the Lady Cougars, they erupted for six runs in the second inning. Breen Nowlin got things going with a one-out walk followed by a Taylor Turner single to rightfield. Kodi Ricketson then hit the first of three CSU homeruns in the game as she hit her sixth homer of the season deep over the leftfield wall for a 3-0 advantage.
Things kept rolling along in the inning as Nina Rubio and Morgan Knight both reached base before Georgia College made a pitching change. After taking the first pitch for a ball, Kori Waugh welcomed Marisa Boyette to the game smacking her PBC leading 18th long ball of the year.
Columbus State was held scoreless in the next three innings as they left five runners on base but Branigan Wix quickly tacked on to the lead in the sixth. She lead off the frame with a solo blast to rightfield making it 7-0. The Lady Cougars loaded the bases again in the sixth but couldn't push across another run.
The CSU bench did their part in the seventh as they sent four consecutive pinch-hitters to the plate loading the bases as Suzanne Carney and Kaycee Meeks picked up base hits and Sammy Anderson was hit by a pitch. A fielder's choice and strikeout put two outs on the board but Nowlin walked to force in a run. Turner then hit a hard shot down the line which the third baseman couldn't handle scoring another run to make it 9-0. Ricketson, Rubio and Carney then hit three consecutive singles to close out the scoring.
For CSU, they picked up a season best 15 hits in the ballgame and set a PBC championship game record with 12 runs scored. It was also the largest margin of defeat in a title contest.
Kodi Ricketson went 3-for-5 with the homerun and four runs batted in for Columbus State. Waugh was 2-for-4 with a homerun and three RBI while Branigan Wix singled and homered. Taylor Turner singled twice and scored two runs.
Dani Gallucci (15-6) tossed 1 1/3 innings, allowed three hits and four earned runs for the Bobcats. Kelsea Martin and Becca Olson each hit singles for Georgia College.