RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The Columbia softball team (4-9) plays the final two games of its Spring Break trip in California this Tuesday and Wednesday, taking on Cal State Fullerton and Loyola Marymount. The Lions battle the Titans Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET (6 p.m. PT), followed by the last game of the trip against LMU on Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET (12 p.m. PT).
A live video stream of Tuesday’s game will be provided by BigWest.TV. A live video stream of Wednesday's game will be available on YouTube. Live audio will also be available for Tuesday's game. Live stats are available both Tuesday and Wednesday. Fans can also follow @CULionsSoftball on Twitter for live, in-game Tweets.
UC RIVERSIDE CLASSIC
Columbia flew out to California on Friday to play four games over the weekend at the UC Riverside Classic. The Lions were defeated by Boise State, 6-1, and UC Riverside, 9-5, on Saturday. North Dakota State opened Sunday with a, 7-1, victory over Columbia, but the Lions were able to secure a win in their final game of the weekend, 7-1, over Colgate. Sophomore Madison Canby tossed a complete game in the victory and came two outs shy of a shutout. Columbia scored seven runs in the first inning to give its starter the early lead.
GOLDEN STATE HOMECOMING
Six Lions call the state of California home, which include senior Nina Mandracchia (San Jose, Calif.), junior Jordan Townsend (Yorba Linda, Calif.), sophomores Amanda Nishihira (Los Alamitos, Calif.) and Emma Trussell (Chula Vista, Calif.), as well as first-years Max Ortega (Highland, Calif.) and Kiana McCaul (Los Gatos, Calif.). Of the half-dozen, Townsend, Nishihira and Ortega hail from the Los Angeles area, where the Lions will be spending their Spring Break trip. Ortega (20 miles) and Townsend (30 miles) are the closest to Riverside.
GOTT CYCLES HER WAY TO PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Senior infielder Madison Gott was named Ivy League Player of the Week for the first time in her career last Monday after hitting .471 and slugging 1.059 to help Columbia post a 3-1 record at the District Classic. The highlight of her weekend came Sunday, when she hit for the only known cycle in the softball program’s 19 years of existence as Columbia rolled by Howard, 12-1, in five innings. Gott went 4-for-4 in the game with a career-high five RBIs, finishing the weekend with three doubles, two triples, a home run, five runs scored and seven RBIs.
PAGANE TABBED ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
First-year infielder Maria Pagane drove in five runs and scored six through Columbia’s four games in the nation’s capital to be named Ivy League Rookie of the Week. She homered in back-to-back games as part of Saturday’s sweep over Virginia and Georgetown, including a 2-for-5, 3-RBI performance against the Hoyas. She put the game away with a three-run blast in the fifth. The rookie leads the team with three homers this season.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS
Cal State Fullerton (11-11) went 2-1 over the weekend at a tournament it hosted with Long Beach State. The Titans shut out Boston U, 6-0, walked off against San Diego State in extras, 4-3, and fell, 5-1, to No. 16/19 Ohio State. Fullerton advanced to the championship series at last year’s Los Angeles Regional before falling to UCLA. Freshman Deshea Hill leads the offense so far this season with a .431 batting average. 28 hits and 14 RBIs. Sophomore Zoe Richard shares the RBI lead. Four Fullerton starters are hitting over .300. In the circle, freshman Taylor Dockins (5-3) carries the load with a 3.15 ERA in 51 1-3 innings pitched. No other pitcher has thrown more than 18 innings.
Loyola Marymount (11-12-1) went 2-2 at its home tournament last weekend, defeating Providence and Southern Utah but falling to Harvard and Florida Gulf Coast. The LMU Lions host nationally ranked Ohio State for a doubleheader on Tuesday before facing off against Columbia and Monmouth on Wednesday. Freshman Molly Grumbo has started 21 of the 22 games and is hitting a team-best .344 with four stolen bases. Senior Irma Sanchez (.340) and freshman Andrea Gonzalez (.308) are the other two Lions batting over .300. Junior Hannah Bandimere (7-4) and freshman Linnay Wilson (4-5) throw most innings in the circle. Bandimere carries an excellent 1.94 ERA with two shutouts in 73 1-3 innings pitched. Wilson has struck out 60 in 58 2-3 innings.