NEW YORK — The Columbia softball team puts its undefeated Ivy League record on the line when it travels to Brown and Yale this weekend. The first road trip of the conference slate begins Friday with a 2 p.m. doubleheader at Brown. Saturday, the Lions play two at Yale with first pitch scheduled for 12:30 p.m.
Columbia (11-15, 4-0 Ivy) got off to its second ever 4-0 Ivy League start by sweeping Dartmouth and Harvard on opening weekend. Rookie Madison Canby earned all four wins in the circle, boasting a 0.94 ERA in 22 1-3 innings pitched to earn Ivy League Pitcher of the Week honors. She and first-year centerfielder Sommer Grzybek, who hit two walk-offs on Saturday against Dartmouth, shared the league’s Rookie of the Week honors.
Saturday’s doubleheader at Yale will be available on the Ivy League Digital Network. Live stats will be available for all four games courtesy of BrownBears.com and YaleBulldogs.com. Fans can also keep up with all four of this weekend’s games by following the Columbia softball team on Twitter, @CULionsSoftball.
LAST TIME OUT
Columbia traveled to Fairfield on Wednesday and fell in two close games, 4-2 and 2-1. The Stags jumped ahead early, scoring twice in the first inning of game one and once in each of the first two innings of game two. First year Sommer Grzybek and senior Kerry Cook each went 3 for 7 to lead the Lions offensively. Grzybek hit her Ivy League-leading sixth home run of the year in the front end and added an RBI double for Columbia’s only run in the back end. Rookie pitchers Madison Canby and Erin Gallo each earned complete games, with Gallo allowing only three hits and two runs while punching out two across six innings.
Brown (9-17, 1-3 Ivy) played three one-run games to open the Ivy League season. The Bears were swept by defending champion Princeton, 4-3 and 10-0, but split on Sunday at Cornell, winning game one, 5-4, and losing game two, 4-3. They’ve lost four of five overall, falling in the midweek to Providence, 10-0. Christina Andrews heads the offense with a .316 batting average and also owns a team-best six doubles, three home runs and 25 hits. She shares the lead in homers with three others. Kaitlin Okimoto is hitting .303 with a team-best .400 OBP. Katie Orona (5-6) owns a team-best 3.30 ERA and also leads the staff with six complete games, 36 strikeouts and 65 2-3 innings of work. Meghan Wimmer (3-6) has made eight starts and carries a 4.57 ERA. As a team, the Bears are hitting .263 and boast a 4.90 ERA.
The Lions are 18-12 all-time against Brown. The two teams split last year's season series. Columbia has won five of the last six overall.
Yale (7-19, 2-2 Ivy) swept Cornell, 5-4 (11) and 7-1, to start the Ivy League season 2-0, but was handed two losses the next day by defending champion Princeton, 9-1 (5) and 2-0. The Bulldogs lost nine of 10 in the non-conference season before winning three of their last four over Central Connecticut State and Rider heading into league play. Francisca Casalino is the only Bulldog hitting above .300, entering the weekend at .326 with a home run and six RBIs. Shelby Kennedy is second on the team with a .299 average. The slapper owns 23 hits, all singles, and has stolen a team-high 11 bases. Catcher Madison Sack has hit a team-high three home runs. In the circle, its Casalino (2-6), once more, who leads the team with a 3.91 ERA. The dual threat has struck out 53 batters in a 53 2-3 innings pitched. Terra Jerpbak (1-6) has started the most games (12) and worked a team-most 56 2-3 innings with a 4.94 ERA. Lindsay Efflandt (3-6) owns a 4.85 ERA in 52 innings. The Bulldogs are hitting .224 as a team with a 4.78 staff ERA.
Yale holds an 18-15 lead in the all-time series. Columbia began last year's Ivy League season with a ninth-inning, walk-off home run off the bat of Krystin Wong to defeat the Bulldogs, 3-2. Columbia has won seven of the last eight overall.
- First-year Sommer Grzybek is hitting .366 with four home runs, eight extra-base hits, 10 runs scored and 11 RBIs over her last 12 games.
- Senior Kerry Cook is hitting .400 with three doubles, five runs and five RBIs over her last seven games.
- Junior Taylor Troutt is hitting .462 with two runs and two RBIs over her last five games.
- Sophomore Alexandra Yule is hitting .444 with two RBIs over her last five games.
IVY LEAGUE STANDINGS (South)
Thirteen of Columbia’s 26 games have either been decided by one run or gone to extra innings. The Lions hold a 6-7 record in such games, earning three victories last weekend in sweeps over Harvard and Dartmouth. Fairfield took a one-run decision in game two of Wednesday’s doubleheader.
CANBY, GRZYBEK TAKE WEEKLY HONORS
Rookies Madison Canby and Sommer Grzybek were honored as Ivy League Co-Rookies of the Week on Monday. Canby was also selected as the Ancient Eight’s Pitcher of the Week, marking the first time a Lion took the honors since Maggie Johnson on April 27, 2011. The National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) highlighted Canby as a “Top Selected Performance” of the week. Canby posted a 4-0 record and dominated in the circle with a 0.94 ERA in 22 1-3 innings pitched. She tossed two complete games and added 8 1-3 shutout innings in relief. Grzybek hit .333 on the weekend and slugged .917 with two home runs, three runs and three RBIs. The center fielder went 3 for 8 on Saturday against Dartmouth, including a walk-off single in game one and a walk-off home run in game two.
Columbia earned three walk-off wins last weekend to start 4-0 in the Ivy League. The Lions walked off in both of Saturday’s games against Dartmouth, and again in Sunday’s second game against Harvard. In all three walk-off wins, the Lions trailed by three runs entering the sixth inning. Sommer Grzybek hit a walk-off single in the seventh of Saturday’s first game, followed by a ninth-inning, walk-off home run in Saturday’s second game. Sunday, Columbia trailed 5-2 entering the seventh of game two against Harvard, only to score four runs and walk off on Madison Gott’s two-run single to right.
IVY LEAGUE POWER
Columbia leads the Ivy League with 20 home runs, six more than the next-highest total of 14 from Brown. The Lions rank No. 66 in the NCAA at 0.77 home runs per game. First-year Sommer Grzybek leads the way with an Ivy League-best six long balls. The rookie is also second in the league in RBIs (17). Junior Madison Gott is second in the league in home runs with five. Jordan Townsend (3) and Taylor Troutt (2) round out the Lions with multiple home runs on the campaign.
FEELIN’ RIGHT AT HOME
The Lions opened the home schedule on March 24 with a two-game sweep over Monmouth and have proceeded to win each of their first six at Columbia Softball Stadium. It marks the team’s longest home winning streak since 2014, when the Lions rolled off their first 12 home games.
ROOKIES IN THE CIRCLE
Rookies Madison Canby and Erin Gallo have combined to start each of the last 12 games in the circle, and have started 18 of the 26 games this season. Gallo owns a team-best 3.53 ERA, just ahead of Canby’s 3.93. Canby (7-5) has done the bulk of the work, making 13 starts and combining for 82 innings pitched in 20 appearances. Canby’s seven wins and 20 appearances lead the Ivy League, while her 82 innings of work are second.
IVY LEAGUE WEEKLY AWARD WINNERS
Player of the Week – March 20 – Sommer Grzybek
Rookie of the Week – March 20 – Sommer Grzybek
Rookie of the Week – March 27 – Madison Canby
Rookie of the Week – April 3 – Sommer Grzybek, Madison Canby
Pitcher of the Week – April 3 – Madison Canby
IVY LEAGUE WEEKLY HONOR ROLL
February 27 – Bonnie Schipper, Tonia Wu
March 6 – Tonia Wu, Madison Gott, Madison Canby
March 13 – Madison Gott, Olivia Parker
March 20 – Madison Gott, Bonnie Schipper, Erin Gallo
March 27 – Kerry Cook, Olivia Parker
April 3 – Taylor Troutt