|Line Score (Game 1)|
|Madison Canby (W, 6-4)||7.0||4||1||1||2||2|
|Line Score (Game 2)|
|Madison Canby (W, 7-4)||4.1||2||0||0||0||1|
NEW YORK — Behind rookie Madison Canby’s top-notch pitching and a four-run, walk-off rally, the Columbia softball team completed its first weekend of the Ivy League season a perfect 4-0, sweeping Harvard by scores of 3-1 and 6-5 Sunday afternoon at the Columbia Softball Stadium.
Canby (7-4) tossed her second complete game of the weekend in game one, taking a shutout into the seventh and allowing just four hits and a run, which was more than enough to claim the victory. Columbia (11-13, 4-0 Ivy) went down, 5-1, in game two before Canby came on as the second reliever in the third. She blanked Harvard (9-12, 1-3 Ivy) over the final 4 1-3 innings, keeping the Lions around long enough to rally for four runs in the seventh and walk off for the third time in four games.
“It meant a lot to help the team as much as I could,” said Canby, who went a combined 4-0 over the weekend with a 0.94 ERA through 22 1-3 innings pitched. “It’s always great having teammates like Sommer Grzybek and Maddie Gott in the lineup, knowing they can always score another run and get on base.”
It was Gott who delivered the game-two winner. Trailing, 5-2, entering the seventh, Columbia’s seven, eight and nine hitters all reached base to spark the rally. First-year Amber Swinarski worked a walk to bring in the first run before senior Kerry Cook grounded out to bring in the second. Gott came to bat with the tying run on third and winning run on second, and drove an 0-1 pitch through the right side that ate up right fielder Maddy Kaplan, easily scoring the game-winning runs.
“I tell this team all the time that the game doesn’t know who is supposed to win,” said head coach Jennifer Teague, whose team now rides a six-game winning streak. “The best team that day is going to win and we happened to be the best four times this weekend. We came from behind three times and it’s just awesome to watch.”
The season sweep marks Columbia’s first over Harvard since 2007. Combined with Saturday’s victories over Dartmouth, Columbia pulled off its first 4-0 record over the Crimson and Big Green in program history.
After posting a 6-0 record through their first six home games, the Lions begin a six-game road swing on Wednesday with a non-conference doubleheader at Fairfield. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m.
Game 1 Recap: Columbia 3 – Harvard 1
Madison Canby mowed right through Harvard’s lineup, spattering just four hits and a run through seven innings to lead the Lions to a, 3-1, game one victory.
Canby used 90 pitches for her second complete game in as many starts. She set down six of the Crimson’s first seven batters and surrendered just two hits going into the sixth inning. Her bid at a shutout was spoiled with one out in the seventh when Olivia Giaquinto went deep on a 3-1 pitch to left center.
The homer didn’t matter much. Columbia got to Harvard starter Kathleen Duncan (2-5) for six hits over 4 2-3 innings, including a two-run single by Alexandra Yule that plated the first runs in the fourth. First-year Sommer Grzybek and sophomore Bonnie Schipper reached base to begin the frame before Yule pulled through with a two-out bloop to center.
Troutt finished the game 2 for 3 out of the nine hole. She added a much-needed insurance run with two down in the sixth, driving a pitch to right that plated pinch-runner Reilly Metzger from second to increase the lead to 3-0.
Game 2 Recap: Columbia 6 – Harvard 5
Game two played much like Saturday’s come-from-behind victories over Dartmouth, as the Lions stormed back from a three-run deficit for their third walk-off win of the weekend, 6-5.
Harvard got to Columbia starter Erin Gallo for two runs on five hits over two-plus innings. After the Crimson scored in each of the first two innings, Gallo exited when Elizabeth Shively led off the third with a single. Junior Maura Lynch came on in relief, but could only get two outs and surrendered three unearned runs before Canby took the reins. The rookie got the first batter she faced to ground out to retire the side with Harvard on top, 5-1.
Senior Kerry Cook provided a lift in the bottom half, driving the first pitch she saw with two down high in the air and over the wall in left. The home run was Cook’s first of the season, cutting the margin to 5-2.
Canby settled in and gave Columbia plenty of opportunities to get back into the game. Harvard threatened with a leadoff double in the fifth, sacrificing the runner to third, but Canby got Kaitlyn Schiffhauer to pop out and leadoff batter Rhianna Rich to ground out to escape the jam. The rookie ended the game by setting down nine straight following the double.
Columbia was stifled by Harvard starter Taylor Cabe most of the way. She allowed just two hits entering the final inning, but her team began to unravel when their fourth error of the game allowed Jordan Townsend to reach to begin the seventh. Cabe reacted by walking Alexandra Yule on five pitches and head coach Jenny Allard went to the pen for Sarah Smith.
Smith’s first pitch was driven through the right side by Taylor Troutt, putting the tying run on and loading the bases for leadoff hitter Amber Swinarski. The rookie from West Palm Beach, Florida, walked on five pitches to plate the first run and keep the merry-go-round in motion. Cook followed with a ground out to second, driving in the second run of the inning and setting up Gott, who sent the Lions into celebration mode.