NEW YORK - With just two weekends left in the regular season, the Columbia softball team will head to Princeton for a four-game series with the Tigers from April 20-21. The clubs will have a pair of doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday both beginning at 12:30 p.m.
The Lions are winners of four-straight after taking down Cornell twice on Sunday and sweeping Marist on Tuesday. Columbia received strong performances in the circle from Emily Kenyon and Brooke Darling in the circle, with bost posting 3-1 wins. Sophomore Alix Cook went 5-for-7 in the double-dip, continuing her fine second season. With eight games remaining in Ivy League play, Columbia controls its destiny in the South Division race with series against Princeton (6-6) and Penn (10-2).
Princeton dropped four in a row and are 2-7 in their last nine games. The Tigers sit tied with Cornell and Columbia, four-games back from division leader Penn. Alyssa Schmidt leads the Princeton with a .388 batting average, while Alex Peyton is hitting .378 with a team-leading 9 home runs and 31 RBIs. Peyton is also Princeton’s top pitcher with a 2.62 ERA and a 6-6 record and 66 strikeouts.
ALL-TIME RECORD VS. THE TIGERS
Last Meeting(s): April 21, 2012
(Season Series Tied, 2-2)
Junior Emily Caruthers is having an outstanding year and is on the verge of breaking Columbia’s all-time stolen base record. She currenly has 27 steals, which ties her with Jennifer Bergeron. Her Ivy League leading 14 stolen bases in 2013 is already the highest signle-season total in program history, breaking the old mark of 12 that she previously set in 2010. Caruthers is currently tied for the team lead, hitting at .354 and is second on the team with 24 runs scored.
First-year Nicole Borchard was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week on April 8 after hitting .450 with six RBI in six games against FDU, Brown and Yale. Borchard is hitting .317 on the season and is tied for fourth in the Ivy League with 24 RBI. The second baseman is the third player to earn a major conference award this season.
With Columbia’s 5-4 win in game one against FDU on Apr. 2, head coach Kayla Noonan earned her 200th career victory. Noonan is in her 11th season at the helm of the Lions and is already the program’s leader in wins.
Sophomore Alix Cook has reached base safely in 35-of-38 games this season. She has struck out just three times in 127 at bats to rank as the nation’s seventh toughest batter to fan. In 2012, she was 14th in that category.
The Lions pitching staff has been a huge strength early this season. Columbia is currently second in the Ivy League with a 2.51 ERA collectively.
First-year Emily Kenyon has made an immediate impact for the Columbia this season, posting a 2.42 ERA with nine wins and 121 strikeouts, the most of any first-year in program history and the fifth highest single-season total. She has earned a spot on the Ivy League Weekly Honor Roll three times for her efforts.
DARLING WORKING OVERTIME
Sophomore starting hurler Brooke Darling has had a strong year in the circle, earning nine victories with a 2.41 ERA in 101.2 innings of work. She opened the year pitching a pair of complete-games that went extra innings.
Sophomore Kayla Shimoda homered in back-to-back games, serving a grand slam in the nightcap of Columbia’s series with Dartmouth on March 29 and hitting an inside the park home run in the first game against Harvard on March 30. The standout utility player currently leads the team, and is one of the Ivy League leaders, with eight doubles.
THE “GRASS” IS GREENER
Junior Emily Snodgrass became the second Lion to earn Ivy League Player of the Week status on March 19 after hitting .412 with three home runs and six RBI. She finished the Rebel Games with a scorching .438 batting average, four dingers, 12 RBI and 10 runs. She has been one of the Lions’ top offensive threat this year, hitting .311 with five homers and 24 RBI and ranks among the league leaders in most batting categories.
ISN’T SHE GRAND?
First-year Nicole Borchard’s first career home run was one to remember, a grand slam in a 6-0 victory over Rider on March 19. Borchard, who has started all 38 games for Columbia at second base, finished the game with a career-best five RBI.
First-year pitcher Tessa Kroll posted a complete-game shutout to pick up her fist career win against Rider on March 19. The tall right-hander struck out five batters and allowed just five hits in the victory. Additionally, she picked up her first collegiate save on April 16, recording the final two outs in a win over Marist.
Sopohomore utility player Kayla Shimoda was named Ivy League Player of the Week on March 12 after going 5-for-5 in two games at Rider on March 9. The Aiea, Hawai’i native, was the first Lion to earn the honor since current assistant coach Maggie Johnson took the distinction on Apr. 6, 2010.