|Line Score (Game 1)|
|Madison Canby (W, 2-3)||2.0||1||1||0||2||0|
|Line Score (Game 2)|
|Maura Lynch (L, 1-2)||2.1||4||2||0||1||0|
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Columbia softball team played two extra-inning games on Saturday at the Jacksonville Invitational, earning a, 6-5, victory over George Mason and falling, 8-7, to tournament host Jacksonville.
Columbia (5-12) surrendered a 5-2 lead against George Mason (4-17) in the first game of the day, allowing two runs in the sixth and the game-tying run with two outs in the seventh to force the international tiebreak. First-year Genny Soltesz pulled through in the eighth, singling up the middle with one out to drive in sophomore Maura Lynch. The Patriots successfully sacrificed their tiebreak runner to third with the first out in the bottom half, but rookie pitcher Madison Canby got the final two outs without allowing the runner to score.
Canby started game two and was locked in a, 1-0, pitcher’s duel with Jacksonville (18-11) starter Taylor Thorpe through five. First-year Sommer Grzybek added two insurance runs in the sixth with a blast around the left-field foul pole, but the Dolphins struck for seven runs in the bottom half to take a commanding, 7-3, lead. The Lions did not go down quietly, using a four-run seventh to tie the game and force their second extra-inning affair of the afternoon, but could not plate the tiebreak runner in the eighth. They succumbed to JU on a game-winning sac fly.
Grzybek and junior Madison Gott each went 4 for 8, leading the Columbia offense to hit .313 on the day. Grzybek and first-year Amanda Nishihira homered and drove in three runs apiece. Nishihira launched a three-run shot in the first inning against George Mason for her first collegiate home run. Soltesz picked up her first two collegiate hits as part of the victory over George Mason, driving in a run with each base knock.
The Lions conclude the Jacksonville Invitational on Sunday at noon against the host Dolphins. The game will be available on ESPN3.
Game 1 Recap: Columbia 6 – George Mason 5 (F/8)
First-year Genny Soltesz drove in two runs with her first two collegiate hits, including the go-ahead run in the eighth that polished off a, 6-5, victory over George Mason.
Rookie pitcher Erin Gallo made her first start in the circle and impressed with six strong innings, allowing just three hits, four runs, two earned, while striking out three. She worked a 14-pitch pop out before striking out a pair and stranding two runners in the second. Aside from two unearned runs on a dropped fly ball in the third, Gallo silenced George Mason all the way until a triple plated two in the sixth inning.
First-year Amanda Nishihira provided three runs before Gallo even took the field. With two on and two down, Nishihira launched a 3-2 pitch down the line in left. The towering home run was the first of her career. Classmate Sommer Grzybek increased Columbia’s lead to 4-0 in the third, smacking a one-out triple to right and coming around to score on a ground out by sophomore Jordan Townsend.
After Mason’s two unearned runs in the bottom half, Gallo got in a groove. The Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, native set down the Patriots on five pitches in the fourth and worked around a leadoff error to retire the side in the fifth.
Columbia padded the lead to 5-1 when Genny Soltesz doubled down the right-field line in the fifth. The hit and RBI were the first of her young career.
Gallo walked two batters in the bottom half and George Mason took advantage. Madison Aker sent a triple over the head of Soltesz in right, plating the two runners to make it a one-run game. Gallo stranded the tying run 60 feet away.
With Gallo’s pitch count over 120, Madison Canby came on for the seventh. The first two runners reached base and were moved into scoring position on a sac bunt. Canby got Erin Calpin to pop up for the second out, but the Patriots tied the game when Hayley Hinton’s ground ball to short was mishandled. The winning run moved to third base, but Canby got Katherine Marsh to ground out to send the game to extras.
Sophomore Maura Lynch was placed on second in accordance with the international tiebreak rules to begin the eighth inning. Sophomore Krystin Wong successfully executed the sac bunt to advance Lynch to third. She was driven in on Soltesz’s second RBI hit of the afternoon.
Canby got another chance to seal the win in the bottom half and did not disappoint. After George Mason moved the tiebreak runner with the first out of the inning, Madison Aker reached on a slow dribbler down the third-base line, but the Marsh held at third. Sydnee Wells grounded out and Canby got Jess Culbeira to fly out to Soltesz in right to end the ball game.
Game 2 Recap: Jacksonville 8 – Columbia 7 (F/8)
A wild final few innings saw Jacksonville score seven in the sixth and outlast Columbia in extras, 8-7.
Columbia starter Madison Canby and Jacksonville starter Taylor Thorpe were locked in a pitcher’s duel through five innings. Canby allowed just three hits entering the sixth and sat Jacksonville down in order three times. The rookie retired six straight through the fourth and fifth innings, lasting 5 1-3 and striking out four.
Sophomore Bonnie Schipper’s two-out, RBI single in the first accounted for the only run by either side through five innings. The Lions had three hits in the first inning, but combined for just two over the next four.
Columbia picked it back up in a hurry in the sixth. Madison Gott singled to lead things off and Sommer Grzybek followed with a laser that shot past the foul pole in left. Her third home run of the season increased the lead to 3-0.
Jacksonville chased Canby in the bottom of the sixth. The first three Dolphins reached base, capped by a game-tying, three-run home run off the bat of Heather Roberts. Canby recorded the first out of the inning after the home run, but JU put the next three runners on base and took a 5-3 lead before head coach Jennifer Teague went to the bullpen. Sophomore Maura Lynch entered and gave up an RBI double to the first batter she faced. A sac fly later in the inning completed the seven-run outburst with the Dolphins on top by four.
The Lions picked themselves right up and responded with four runs in the top of the seventh to tie the game. After Columbia loaded the bases, Madison Gott delivered a one-out single to center to drive in the first run. Sommer Grzybek drove in the second run on a ground out to third, bringing Bonnie Schipper to the dish with two out and the tying runs in scoring position. Schipper hit a dribbler to the right side that second baseman Makenzie Buss stopped, but her underhand throw to first was off line and got past Jacqueline Hodskins. It allowed Cook to score from third and Gott to score from second, leveling the score, 7-7.
Sophomore Jordan Townsend turned a double play to get through the seventh and send the Lions to their second consecutive extra-inning game. Amanda Nishihira was placed at second base to begin the eighth, but was gunned down when she tried to advance to third on a fly ball to center. A single by Taylor Troutt extended the inning, but the Lions came up empty.
Jacksonville executed with two sacrifices in the bottom half to win the game. Buss bunted the placed runner