NEW YORK — The Columbia softball team used a five-run fifth inning in game two of a doubleheader to earn a split against Harvard Friday afternoon. The Lions and Crimson will now meet in the rubber-game Saturday, April 7, at 2 p.m. at the Baker Athletics Complex.
|Madison Canby (L, 7-6)||X||X||X||X||X||X|
In game one, the Lions overcame a 2-0 deficit in the bottom of the sixth to take a two-run lead only to see the Crimson put up a three-spot in the top of the seventh to claim the opener.
The Crimson (14-12, 7-4) used a two-out rally to take a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Meagan Lantz doubled to the gap in right-center, stole third and came in off an Erin Lockhart base hit. Harvard's starter Kathleen Duncan struggled with control in the top of the first, hitting Maria Pagane and walking Madison Gott before Sommer Grzybek reached a check-swing single. However, Duncan got out of a jam with a pop up to keep the Crimson in front.
From there, both pitchers settled in and hits were hard to come by until Lockhart's solo home run to lead off the top of the fourth doubled Harvard's lead.
Columbia's rally began in the bottom of the sixth when Gott's liner slid underneath the Crimson rightfielder's glove to the wall for a triple. The next batter hit a roller to shortstop, but she took her eye off the ball to check Gott charging for home and bobbled it, allowing Grzybek to reach on the error. Taylor Troutt was the next hitter and she doubled down the line. Gryzbek scored all the way from first on a terrific slide to beat the tag and tie the score. Troutt was able to advance to third on the throw home and she plated the go-ahead run after a groundout. Krystin Wong added an insurance run with a knock to bring in pinch-runner Genny Sotlesz, who came on after Alexandra Yule drew a walk earlier in the frame.
However, Harvard capitalized on two errors on the same play to start its comeback in the seventh. Kaitlyn Schiffhauer hit a ball to third that was mishandled, then an errant throw put her on second. Rhianna Rich followed with a single up the middle that put runners on second and third after the centerfielder threw to home plate. Maddy Kaplan drove in both runners with a hit to nearly the same spot and moved into scoring position when Columbia tried to again make a play at the plate.
After retiring the next two hitters, Alexa Altcheck pulled a double just inside the line to put the Crimson on top 5-4. From there, Duncan retired the Lions 1-2-3 in the bottom of the seventh.
Madison Canby earned the tough decision (6-5) after tossing a complete game allowing three earned runs on nine hits with a pair of strikeouts.
Grzybek paced the offense with a 2-for-3 performance.
|Erin Gallo (W, 5-4)||5.0||3||1||0||4||3|
The Lions exacted a little revenge in the nightcap, breaking a 1-1 tie with five runs in the fifth inning to preserve the split. Harvard went in front in the top of the first again, but Columbia starter Erin Gallo held the Crimson to just one hit in her final four innings of work to improve to 5-4 on the year.
Gallo struck out three and the run she gave up was unearned when Kaplan reached on an error, moved to second on a bunt single and scored on an Altcheck knock.
In the bottom of the second, Columbia drew even nearly took the lead before an outstanding defensive play stymied the charge. Troutt led things off with a single and Max Ortega doubled to put two in scoring position for Amanda Nishihira, who had a strong day behind the plate throwing out three base-runners attempting to steal in the two games. Nishihira drove a ball to the wall in center field, butSchiffhauer jumped and kept the ball in the yard with a catch. The Lions settled for a run on the sac fly in the inning.
Ortega kicked off the big fifth inning with her second double of the contest followed by a one-out walk by Wong. Bonnie Schipper drove in Ortega with a pinch-hit double before Harvard turned back to Duncan in the circle to limit the damage. However, Pagane rudely welcomed Duncan to the ballgame with a single through the left side, bringing the score to 3-1. With runners on second and third after a Gott fielder's choice and a heads up stolen base with the Crimson pitcher outside the circle, Grzybek knocked in a pair to make it a four-run game. Troutt capped the inning with an RBI double to bring in Grzybek.
Harvard put the first two runners on in the top of the sixth, but reliever Maura Lynch came out to induce a double-play ball and fly out to keep the Crimson off the board. Lynch followed with a perfect ninth to close things out.