COLUMBUS, Ga. – In the first doubleheader of the season at Cougar Field, the Columbus State University softball team earned two victories over Emmanuel on Friday. Columbus State (5-1) took the opening game 8-1, before wrapping up the doubleheader with a 9-5 victory in game two.
“We swung the bat well,” head coach Brad Huskisson said. “We still had some defensive lapses that we need to get corrected, but our offense was able to make up for that tonight.” The Lady Cougars will now head into play in the 2017 Cougar Classic starting on Saturday. CSU will take on West Florida at 4:30 p.m. before hosting Albany State at 7 p.m.
Friday’s opener was all about missed opportunities for both teams through the first four and a half innings. CSU left two runners on in each of the first three innings, while Emmanuel (2-2) left a combined eight runners on through the first five frames.
After the Lions stranded the bases loaded in the top half of the fifth, Columbus State finally broke through with one big swing in the bottom of the inning.
Calli Star poked a one-out single through the left side to get the rally started. McKenzie Fagioli and Kia Smith followed with walks and Elizabeth Perdue lined a 3-1 pitch just over the wall in left to bring everyone home.
EC got a solo home run in the sixth to break Peyton Sorrells’ shutout attempt, but the Lady Cougars were just getting rolling offensively. Savanna Turvy led off the sixth with a single and Johanna Beyer cleared the wall in centerfield for a two-run homer. Not to be outdone, Keeli Waugh homered three pitches later to extend the lead to 7-1.
Another run came home later in the inning as Lee Anne Rees walked with the bases loaded.
Sorrells moved to 3-0 on the season with six innings in the circle. The sophomore allowed one run on six hits. Darby Demarest tossed a scoreless seventh. Smith had the only multi-hit showing in the opener, going a perfect 2-for-2 at the plate with a pair of walks.
The nightcap started with a bang for the Lady Cougars. Helen Snavely, making her first start of her collegiate career, worked a perfect first inning to set the stage for the CSU offense.
Waugh drove the first pitch of the inning way over the left field wall for her second homer of the day. Kayleigh Briant later singled home Smith, starting a game to remember for the sophomore. Columbus State continued its home run assault in the second inning getting a solo shot from Beyer and Fagioli’s first homer of the season, a two-run shot. Things got dicey for the Lady Cougars in the third, as CSU committed four errors and allowed Emmanuel to tie the game at five-all. CSU finally broke the tie in the fourth, getting a three-run home run from Briant to give the Lady Cougars a small amount of cushion. Elizabeth Perdue brought home the final run of the game with a sacrifice fly in the fifth.
Briant was the star of the game for the Lady Cougars, going 4-for-4 at the plate and hitting for the cycle. She also drove in four runs in the win. Fagioli was also 3-for-3 at the plate, while Smith added another two-hit game. Sydney Barker pitched a scoreless fourth inning to earn her first win of the season. Snavely picked up a no decision after three innings of work. The freshman allowed five runs, but all were unearned. Harley Dawson and Demarest each turned in scoreless work, with the latter earning her second save.