NEW YORK – First-year Kerry Cook belted a pinch-hit two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning to lift the Columbia softball team to a 3-1 victory over Brown in game one of a doubleheader on Friday afternoon. The Lions (11-9, 2-0) used a four-hit complete-game shutout from Brooke Darling to pick up a 3-0 victory, the club’s seventh straight triumph.
Columbia will host Yale on Sunday, March 30 for a two-game set beginning at 12:30 p.m.
Columbia 3, Brown 1
The Lions had a golden opportunity to take the lead first in the third inning, loading the bases with one out. However, Brown’s starting pitcher Jessica Cherness wiggled out of the jam to keep Columbia off the board and the Bears took advantage in the top of the fourth.
Janet Leung and Christina Andrews posted back-to-back doubles to nearly identical parts of right field to take a 1-0 lead. With Andrews on third and no outs, Emily Kenyon buckled down to retire the side without further incident.
After stranding a combined four baserunners in the next two frames, the Lions finally busted through in the sixth. Shelby Unger hit a solo shot to even things up with one swing of the bat. Later in the inning, Liz Caggiano drew a walk to set the table for Kerry Cook’s game-winning blast.
Kenyon picked up the win (3-2) after tossing a complete-game, allowing just three hits and the one run to go with four strikeouts.
Columbia 3, Brown 0
Columbia wasted no time in the nightcap, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first after putting runners on first and second with one out. Alyssa Rodia brought in two runs with a double to the gap in right-center and Unger followed with a two-bagger to the other gap to make it 3-0.
That would be all Darling would need, who only found herself in one jam in the top of the sixth. Brown put runners on the corners with two outs, but the crafty junior induced a pair of ground outs to slam the door on any possible comeback.
Darling struck out two batters to move to 5-4 on the season.