JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Columbia softball team (3-10) wraps up its 10-day spring break trip to the state of Florida with five games this weekend at the Jacksonville Invitational. The Lions will play three against George Mason and two against the host Jacksonville Dolphins.
The three-day tournament begins Friday with a doubleheader against George Mason at noon. Saturday, the Lions complete a three-game series against the Patriots at noon, followed by a 2:30 p.m. first pitch versus the host Dolphins. Columbia concludes spring break Sunday with a noon game against Jacksonville before flying back to New York.
Fans can keep up with all five of Columbia’s games by following the Columbia softball team on Twitter, @CULionsSoftball. Live stats for all games will be provided by JUdolphins.com. Sunday’s noon game will be broadcast on ESPN3.
LAST TIME OUT
The Lions were defeated, 8-0, in both ends of Tuesday’s doubleheader at North Florida. Senior Kerry Cook and junior Madison Gott combined to go 5 for 10 on the day, picking up all but three of Columbia’s eight hits.
IVY LEAGUE WEEKLY HONOR ROLL – WEEK 4
Juniors Madison Gott and Olivia Parker were named to the Ivy League weekly honor roll on Monday. Gott went 6 for 10 (.600) at last weekend’s Stetson Westin Invitational, which included a go-ahead, two-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth of Saturday’s 7-6 victory over North Dakota State. The Weston, Florida, native slugged 1.100 through three games, including a 3-for-3 outing against Stetson. Parker posted a .750 batting average (6 for 8) and scored a team-best three runs through the tournament’s three games. Parker, from Ankeny, Iowa, went 3 for 3 in Sunday morning’s game against Manhattan.
Columbia has hit 11 home runs in 13 games and ranks just outside the top 50 in the NCAA in home runs per game (0.85). The power hitting is led by junior Madison Gott, who has a team-leading four home runs and ranks No. 45 nationally in home runs per game (0.36). Gott carries an .850 slugging percentage, No. 31 in the NCAA, and is also hitting .475, No. 34 in the NCAA. The Weston, Florida, native has 16 career home runs, which is two shy of tying Columbia’s career record of 18 (Maggie Johnson, 2008-11). First-year Sommer Grzybek, sophomore Jordan Townsend and junior Taylor Troutt all have two home runs this season.
Junior Madison Gott carries a nine-game hitting streak into the weekend, which dates back to March 4 against Army West Point. She is hitting .571 (16 for 28) over the course of the hitting streak with three home runs, three doubles, five runs and six RBIs.
Six of Columbia’s 13 games have either been decided by one run or gone to extra innings. The Lions hold a 1-5 record in such games, earning their first one-run victory of the season last Saturday over North Dakota State, 7-6. Columbia dropped two one-run games on opening weekend to UAlbany and Kent State. Army West Point edged Columbia in extra innings, 8-4, at the Patriot Classic, followed by a 3-2 decision the next day. The Lions fell to tournament host Stetson last weekend in extra innings, 4-3.
SCOUTING GEORGE MASON
George Mason (3-15) dropped a doubleheader at Stetson on Wednesday, 6-4 and 4-0, and split a doubleheader at Bethune-Cookman on Tuesday, winning, 3-1, and losing, 4-2. The Patriots and Lions have met once already this season, a game which Columbia won, 3-0. Senior pitcher Tonia Wu and rookie Madison Canby took the combined shutout, while Madison Gott belted a two-run homer in the third. George Mason’s offense is led by Jess Curbeira, who is hitting .310 with a homer and five RBIs. George Mason has hit just two home runs in 17 games this season. Their pitching staff holds a 3.58 ERA. Marina Vitalich (2-5) boasts a team-best 1.92 ERA with 47 strikeouts in 54 2-3 innings pitched.
Jacksonville (17-11) has won six of its last eight, including a, 5-4, nine-inning victory over Yale on Wednesday. The Dolphins dropped the back end of the day’s doubleheader to South Florida, 9-6. Last weekend, JU went 3-1 at its Green and Gold Classic, sweeping two games against Cleveland State and splitting with St. Bonaventure. The Dolphins are fast on the basepaths, ranking No. 10 in the NCAA in stolen bases per game (2.46). Allie McCourt ranks 18th in stolen bases per game (0.77) and has totaled a team-leading 35 hits, which ranks among the NCAA’s top 25. McCourt is hitting a team-best .389. Senior pitcher Taylor Thorpe (7-2) leads the staff with 1.84 ERA in 72 1-3 innings pitched. JU’s No. 2 starter, rookie Alyssa Bilodeau (6-5), has a 4.20 ERA in 60 innings pitched.