DAHLONEGA, Ga. – Mollie Russell limited Augusta State to just a pair of singles as Columbus State defeated the Jaguars 2-1 Friday afternoon in the NCAA Southeast Regional at Haines & Carolyn Hill Stadium on the North Georgia campus.
With the victory, the Cougars advanced to face the winner of North Georgia-King College on Saturday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. The Jaguars will take on the Saints-Tornado loser at 4:00 p.m., Saturday.
Russell, the Peach Belt Conference Tournament's Most Valuable Player two weekends ago, held ASU hitless after the first inning and allowed just three base runners the rest of the way. She struck out six and walked two while improving to 21-10 on the season.
"Mollie's a great pitcher and she did her job to get ground balls," said ASU head coach Melissa Mullins, who has led the Jaguars to four consecutive NCAA Regional appearances and five regional trips in the last six seasons. "We didn't do our job. We had a couple of opportunities with walks and hit batters to move our runners and we didn't get our bunts down. That's just part of our game when we do that we're not going to be successful."
Casey Googe smacked a towering solo home run off ASU starter Heather Hughes (10-9) in the top of the first inning to put the Cougars up 1-0.
Columbus State took the lead for good with a two-out rally in the sixth. Kara Gordon tripled to right-center and scored on Morgan Staffins' single to left-center.
Russell retired the Jags in order in the bottom of the seventh to seal the victory and she retired the last nine batters she faced.
Hughes allowed seven hits and struck out five without walking a batter in 7.0 inning.
For information on the NCAA Southeast Regional, visit the tournament home page http://www.saintssports.com/tournament/2012softballregional/index.