|Madison Canby (L, 7-5)||4.2||4||5||2||2||1|
HANOVER, N.H. — The Columbia softball team rallied for three runs in the seventh inning, but came up one run short, dropping the final game of its weekend series at Dartmouth, 5-4, Sunday afternoon at the Dartmouth Softball Park.
Columbia (11-14, 5-4 Ivy) went into the seventh trailing, 5-1, but put together a furious two-out rally. Junior Krystin Wong and first-year Kiana McCaul got it started with back-to-back singles. Senior Madison Gott then stepped up with two out and delivered an opposite-field triple, scoring both runners and slicing the lead in half.
The rally continued as Sommer Grzybek got ahead in the count and singled to right, scoring Gott and making it a one-run game. Senior Taylor Troutt made it three straight hits, moving the tying run into scoring position and putting the go-ahead run on first.
A spectacular play by centerfielder Tiffany Dyson saved the game for Dartmouth. Junior Alexandra Yule hit a two-strike pitch to shallow center, but Dyson sprinted in and dove forward, fully extending for the final out and winning the series for Dartmouth (10-13, 4-2 Ivy).
Troutt finished the game 3 for 4 at the plate to up her team-leading batting average to .408. Gott was 2 for 4 with a run and two RBIs. Sophomore Amanda Nishihira hit a solo home run to put the Lions on the board in the fifth.
Breanna Ethridge (2-5) took the win for Dartmouth. She went the first five innings and then reentered with one out in the seventh, giving up Gott’s two-run triple and Grzybek’s RBI single. Ethridge struck out five and surrendered six hits, walking one. Heather Turner came in for the final out and was credited with her first save.
Sophomore Madison Canby (7-5) took the tough-luck loss. Canby only allowed four hits while walking two across 4 2-3 innings, but Dartmouth scored five runs – only two of which were earned. The Big Green used a three-run fifth to take a 5-1 lead, but a leadoff error and a passed ball midway through the inning contributed to all three being unearned.
Columbia had its first scoring opportunity in the second when Troutt sent a 1-out double rolling to the wall in right-center. She later advanced to third on a wild pitch, but was stranded 60 feet away as the inning ended on comebacker to Ethridge.
Dartmouth caught a break in the bottom half when Taylor Ward hit a ball to right that popped out of the glove of right fielder Olivia Parker near the wall. Ward advanced to third on the play, but Canby got out of the inning thanks to a great defensive play by third baseman Max Ortega. The Big Green attempted a squeeze play, but Calista Almer’s bunt was snagged by Ortega charging in from third. She fired back to Pagane covering to double off Ward and retire the side.
The Big Green broke through with a pair of two-out runs in the third. Columbia was able to erase a 1-out double by Claire Byrd by tagging her out trying to reach third on a grounder to short. However, Micah Schroder made up for it with a triple off the base off the wall in right-center, scoring Tiffany Dyson from first. McKenna Gray added to the lead with a double over the head and outstretched glove of Sommer Grzybek in center, giving Dartmouth a 2-0 lead.
Columbia finally got to Ethridge in the fifth when Amanda Nishihira sent the first pitch of the inning deep to left for her fifth home run of the season. The homer tied her with Pagane for the most on the team.
Dartmouth came right back with three runs in the bottom half. Dyson reached on an error to start the inning and the Big Green loaded the bases with nobody out. A sac fly scored the first run before a passed ball on a four-pitch walk brought home the second run and ended Canby’s day. The Big Green scratched across their third run on a two-out RBI single by Almer.
The lead remained 5-1 into the seventh, where the Lions’ rally ultimately came up one-run short.
Columbia begins a five-game homestand on Wednesday when it hosts Saint Peter’s at 4 p.m. Harvard visits New York for a three-game series next weekend.