|Line Score (Game 1)|
|Madison Canby (W, 4-4)||7.0||8||3||2||2||1|
|Line Score (Game 2)|
|Madison Canby (W, 5-4)||4.0||2||0||0||2||0|
NEW YORK — First-year Sommer Grzybek recorded two walk-off hits, including a home run in the ninth inning of game two, leading the Columbia softball team in a two-game sweep over Dartmouth and a 2-0 start to the Ivy League season.
Prior to Saturday’s league-opening doubleheader, Columbia (9-13, 2-0 Ivy) had not beaten Dartmouth (1-20-1, 0-2 Ivy) since March of 2013. The Lions used two late rallies to change all that, scoring three runs in the sixth and walking off on a Grzybek single in the seventh to win the first game, 4-3. After facing another three-run deficit in the sixth inning of game two, Columbia scored three runs to tie things up and outlasted the Big Green in nine innings, 6-5, on Grzybek’s walk-off shot to left center.
“I was just trying not to let the pressure get to me and focused on having fun and making contact,” said Grzybek, who also hit a home run as part of Columbia’s three-run sixth in game one. “We made adjustments, as a team, throughout the game, and I thought our pitching did really well to keep us in both games. To come from behind and win both games – you can’t ask for anything better than that.”
Grzybek’s 3-for-8 Ivy League debut included two home runs and three RBIs. She got the Lions on the board with a solo blast in the sixth inning of game one before sophomore Jordan Townsend tied the game with a two-run shot down the line in left. After notching the walk-off single in the seventh, the Cooper City, Florida, native took a while to get going in game two, but sent the Lions off with a sweep by jolting a 3-2 pitch off Dartmouth’s Breanna Ethridge well over the fence in left center.
“She’s just an amazing hitter,” said head coach Jennifer Teague on her rookie centerfielder. “The biggest thing we talk about with Sommer is getting out of her own way. She is so analytical of her own swing and sometimes she overthinks the situation instead of just seeing the ball and hitting the ball. She was successful today because she saw the ball and hit the ball.”
Rookie pitcher Madison Canby (5-4) took the win in both games. She used 111 pitches and allowed just two earned runs to toss her second complete game of the season in game one. After rookie Erin Gallo went the first five innings of game two, Canby came on and shut down the Big Green over the final four, using just 33 pitches to record the final 12 outs.
“I’m really proud of my freshman pitching and hitting, and just our complete team effort on the day,” Teague added. “We’ve been in a lot of tight games this year and we’ve learned a lot from those games. This is the time of year that you really want to see the results from everything you put into the preseason. I’m so proud of the resilience and the fight we showed today. We hadn’t beaten Dartmouth in a few years and I’m so proud of the team for coming out and getting the sweep.”
The Lions turnaround to play Harvard for a doubleheader on Sunday. First pitch from the Columbia University Softball Stadium is slated for 12:30 p.m.
Game 1 Recap: Columbia 4 – Dartmouth 3 (F)
After entering the sixth inning with just one hit, Columbia’s bats lit up for seven knocks over the final two innings to earn a, 4-3, come-from-behind victory in game one of Saturday’s Ivy League-opening doubleheader.
Junior Madison Gott recorded Columbia’s only hit through five with a first-inning double. The Lions were then held hitless by Dartmouth starter Breanna Ethridge (1-12) over the next four innings.
Canby worked her way through the first four innings by allowing just one unearned run. Dartmouth’s Maddie Damore finally got to the rookie in the fifth with a two-out, two-run shot to center that put the Big Green on top, 3-0. The visitors had a chance to add to the lead in the sixth, but Canby worked her way out of a two-on, one-out jam by getting back-to-back ground outs to retire the side.
Grzybek provided the spark the Lions needed to finally get going. With one out in the sixth, the rookie tattooed the first pitch she saw to center to break though. Sophomore Bonnie Schipper followed by tripling to right, and two batters later it was Townsend who suddenly brought the game to a 3-3 tie by wrapping a 3-2 pitch around the pole in left.
Dartmouth had another chance to retake the lead in the seventh but, once again, left two runners on base. It opened the door for the Lions in the bottom half, getting the inning started on senior Kerry Cook’s leadoff double down the line in right. Dartmouth intentionally walked Got to get to Grzybek, but the rookie drove the second pitch she saw straight back up the middle to score Cook and win the ball game.
Game 2 Recap: Columbia 6 – Dartmouth 5 (F/9)
Just as they did in game one, Columbia’s bats took a few innings to defrost in game two. However, the Lions wound up with 12 hits total and earned their first season sweep over the Big Green since 2012, 6-5, in nine innings.
Back-to-back, one-out doubles by Calista Almer and Alyssa Jorgensen broke the scoreless tie in favor of Dartmouth in the third. It was the only run Columbia starter Erin Gallo allowed through five, striking out four along the way.
The Lions didn’t play from behind the entire way. Junior Taylor Troutt broke through with an infield single in the fourth that plated junior Olivia Parker for the home side’s first run of the game. Columbia took its first lead an inning later when Parker doubled to left-center to bring home Cook.
The 2-1 ball game got turned on its heels in the sixth. After Gallo got through the first five without much trouble, the first three Big Green batters reached base to load the bases for Chloe Madill. Madill took the first pitch from Gallo and doubled down the line in left, driving in two and chasing the Lion starter in favor of Canby. A sac fly and a single later in the frame completed a four-run inning and closed the book on Gallo with Dartmouth on top, 5-2.
Columbia came right back in the bottom half with the answer it needed. Sophomore catcher Alexandra Yule started things off with a single and Troutt doubled to quickly bring first-year leadoff batter Amber Swinarski to the plate as the tying run. The rookie slapper pulled through with a well-placed hit down the line in left that escaped Madill and rolled all the way to the corner for a two-run triple. The Lions tied the game, 5-5, a few batters later when reliever Tessa Grossman tossed two wild pitches, the latter scoring Swinarski from third. Dartmouth’s second reliever of the inning, game-one starter Breanna Ethridge, escaped without allowing the Lions to retake the lead.
The two sides headed for extras with both of their game-one starters back in the circle. Dartmouth advanced a runner to third with two out in the eighth, but Canby tiptoed her way out of trouble. After Ethridge had set down seven straight Lions from the end of the sixth inning on, Grzybek got ahold of one to walk things off in the ninth.