Long Ball Lifts Columbus Past Flagler to PBC Semis 3-1
COLUMBUS, GA – Casey Googe hit a two-run homer and Taylor Turner added a solo shot as fifth-seeded Columbus State downed fourth-seeded Flagler 3-1 in the final quarterfinal game of the PBC Tournament on Saturday. With the win the Cougars (37-18) advance to Sunday’s semifinal game against #1 Armstrong at 1:30 pm. Flagler (34-17) will await the NCAA Tournament selections to see if they have received an automatic bid.
With one on and one out in the top of the first inning, Googe launched the third pitch she saw over the center field fence for a 2-0 CSU lead. The homer was her 20th of the season, tying the PBC mark for single-season home runs, last accomplished by Kennesaw State’s Cambria McKay in 2004.
Flagler answered with a run in the bottom of the first as Lauren Roudabush led off with a bunt single, then stole second. Alona Peronious drove in the only RBI of the game for the Saints with her single in the next at-bat.
Taylor led off the second with a solo home run, taking a 3-2 pitch far beyond the left-field wall. That cushion would be all CSU starter Mollie Russell (W, 18-10) would need as, after giving the two hits in the first, she would allow only one more hit the rest of the game.
Russell went the distance, allowing the one unearned run and striking out one. The complete game was her league-leading 25th of the season.
Russell was matched by Flagler’s Donna Munafo (L, 16-5) who settled in after the second inning and set CSU down in order in the third, fourth, sixth and seventh innings. Munafo struck out five and did not allow a walk.
Flagler threatened in the third, putting runners at first and third with two outs thanks to two errors. But Russell got out of it with a grounder to third, one of 15 ground-ball outs for the CSU defense.
The winner of Sunday’s 1:30 semifinal between CSU and Armstrong advances to the PBC Tournament Championship game on Sunday at 4:00. All games will be played at Cougar Field.