FAIRFAX, Va. – The Columbia softball team (1-3) will play four games at the Patriot Classic this weekend, hosted by George Mason. The Lions are scheduled to play two games against Army West Point, one against Fairfield and one against the host Patriots.
PATRIOT CLASSIC SCHEDULE:
George Mason Softball Complex – Fairfax, Va.
Friday, March 3:
Mason vs. Army – 3 p.m.
Saturday, March 4:
Columbia vs. Army – 10 a.m.
George Mason vs. Army – 12:30 p.m.
Columbia vs. Fairfield – 3 p.m.
George Mason vs. Fairfield – 5:15 p.m.
Sunday, March 5:
Columbia vs. Army – 9 a.m.
Army vs. Fairfield – 11:30 a.m.
George Mason vs. Columbia – 2 p.m.
George Mason vs. Fairfield – 4:15 p.m.
IVY LEAGUE HONOR ROLL
Sophomore Bonnie Schipper and senior Tonia Wu were both named to the Ivy League weekly honor roll on Tuesday. Schipper went 3 for 5 with two RBIs at last weekend’s EMU Madeira Beach Invitational, which included her first home run of the season, a solo shot against Kent State. All three of Schipper’s hits were extra-base hits. Wu started two games in the circle and pitched to a 3.72 ERA in 9 2-3 innings. The senior lefty struck out seven, including four Albany batters in just 2 1-3 innings in relief.
Columbia hit four home runs on opening weekend as juniors Madison Gott and Taylor Troutt, sophomore Bonnie Schipper and first-year Sommer Grzybek all went deep. Gott’s was a two-run shot as part of a three-run first inning that helped Columbia pick up its first win, 5-1, over Eastern Michigan. Troutt, Schipper and Grzybek all hit solo home runs. Last year, Troutt broke the program record for home runs in a season with 10.
FIRST HIT HOMER
First-year Sommer Grzybek picked up her first collegiate hit in style with a solo home run last Friday against Albany at Madeira Beach. Grzybek’s homer came in the third inning and put the Lions on top 3-1.
Six Lions made their collegiate debuts on opening weekend. First-year pitchers Madison Canby and Erin Gallo stepped into the circle, with Canby earning her first two starts against Albany and Eastern Michigan. Gallo made her debut in 2-3 of an inning in the season opener against Army West Point. Rookies Sommer Grzybek and Amber Swinarski earned their first hits. Amanda Nishihira and Genny Soltesz made their debuts in substitute roles.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS
Army West Point (6-4)
Columbia gets two more cracks at Army West Point after falling to the Black Knights in the 2017 season opener, 8-0, last Friday. Army rides a six-game winning streak into the tournament after going 5-0 down in Madeira Beach. Sophomore pitcher Renee Poirier was named Patriot League Pitcher of the Week after posting a 0.69 ERA while allowing just one run in 13 innings of work, which included a five-inning no-hitter. Columbia still leads the all-time series 5-4.
The Stags are still in search of their first win after going 0-5 at last weekend’s Green & White Tournament, hosted by Charlotte. Fairfield dropped a pair of games to both Robert Morris and La Salle, as well as a 12-4, five-inning game against the host 49ers. Amanda Ulzheimer went 5 for 10 on opening weekend and Tori Reed impressed by going 8 for 19 (.579), including a homer. Destinee Pallotto heads the pitching staff through the early going with a 2.57 ERA in 7.0 innings pitched. Columbia leads the all-time series 4-3.
George Mason (1-5)
The Patriots got into the win column with a 2-1 victory over Buffalo in their lone game last weekend. Sophomore Marina Vitalich picked up the win by tossing a complete game and allowing just one unearned run. George Mason went into the bottom of the sixth trailing, 1-0, before scoring the go-ahead runs. They opened the season two weeks ago at the River City Invitational (Feb. 10-12), hosted by Jacksonville, and went 0-5 with losses to the host Dolphins, College of Charleston and Appalachian State. Columbia defeated George Mason the only other time the two teams met, 8-0, on March 16, 2005.