MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. — The Columbia softball team earned its first victory of the 2017 season by defeating Eastern Michigan, 5-1, Saturday afternoon at the Madeira Beach Invitational. The Lions (1-3) split the day’s doubleheader, falling to Kent State, 3-2, in the back end.
Junior Madison Gott had a three-hit day, including a two-run home run in the first inning against Eastern Michigan (4-6) to give the Lions an early 3-0 lead. All three of her hits came against the Eagles, finishing the game 3 for 4 at the dish.
In the circle, Maura Lynch (1-0) picked up the win with two shutout innings in relief of first-year Madison Canby. Fellow first-year Erin Gallo earned her first collegiate save, closing the door over the final inning and two-thirds.
Junior Taylor Troutt and sophomore Bonnie Schipper each launched their first homers of the season against Kent State (5-7). Troutt’s came with two out and nobody on to break up a scoreless game in the fourth. Schipper led off the fifth with a solo shot and drove in two on the day, adding an RBI double against EMU.
Columbia returns to action next Saturday and Sunday with four games at the Patriot Classic in Fairfax, Virginia. The tournament is hosted by George Mason.
Game 1 Recap: Columbia 5 – Eastern Michigan 1 (F)
Junior Madison Gott went 3 for 4 with a two-run home run and Columbia’s pitching staff allowed just four hits as the Lions earned their first victory of the season, 5-1, over Eastern Michigan early Saturday afternoon.
Columbia struck for three quick runs before EMU ever recorded an out. Sophomore Reilly Metzger led off the game with a single and first-year Amber Swinarski walked to bring Gott to the dish. A wild pitch and an illegal pitch during the at-bat scored Columbia’s first run, before Gott belted her first long ball of the season and 13th of her career over the fence in left.
Rookie pitcher Madison Canby earned her second start and allowed one run and one hit over 3 1-3 innings. She was relieved by junior Maura Lynch, who made her 2017 debut in the circle by allowing one hit over 2 innings. Lynch entered with the bases loaded and one out in the fourth, escaping the jam by allowing only one inherited runner to score. Lynch (1-0) went on to earn the win.
First-year hurler Erin Gallo relieved Lynch after the junior surrendered back-to-back one-out walks in the sixth. With the tying run on deck, Gallo struck out the first batter she faced and retired the side by getting Ariana Chretien to hit into a fielder’s choice. Gallo went on to close out the game and was credited with her first collegiate save.
Game 2 Recap: Kent State 3 - Columbia 2 (F)
Senior Tonia Wu got the start and got through four shutout innings. Troutt’s homer in the fourth and Schipper’s to lead off the top of the fifth put Columbia in front, 2-0.
Wu surrendered a leadoff double to Kent State’s Vanessa Scoarste in the bottom of the fifth. The senior was relieved by Erin Gallo, who got herself into a bases-loaded, two-out situation with the Lions still leading 2-0. A wild pitch scored Kent State’s first run, before Ronnie Ladines smacked a two-out, two-run double to left-center, putting the Golden Flash on top.
Columbia had a great opportunity to answer in the sixth. Amber Swinarski got on to lead off the inning and first-year Sommer Grzybek hit a one-out double to put two Lions in scoring position. However, they were left stranded.
Reilly Metzger worked a two-out walk in the seventh, but Ladines went the distance for Kent State, earning the complete-game victory.