TOWSON, Md – Columbia continued to show a flare for the dramatic on the final day of the Towson Invitational, earning a 2-1 win in eight innings over Iona for its first victory of the season. Sophomore Kayla Shimoda came up with the walk-off RBI single. In the final game of the tournament, Towson won a pitcher’s duel, 3-0.
The Lions (1-4) return to action on Saturday, March 9 when they travel to Rider for a double-header. First pitch of game one is set for 1 p.m.
Columbia 2, Iona 1 (8 Innings)
Sophomore Brooke Darling earned the complete-game victory after allowing just the one run on six with four strikeouts to even her record at 1-1.
The Gaels (4-9) went on top in the second inning after a leadoff double and a walk. After a sacrifice bunt pushed both runners into scoring position, Columbia conceded one run on a groundout to prevent a potential bigger inning for Iona. The strategy worked, but the Lions found themselves trailing, 1-0.
In the bottom of the fifth, Alyssa Swearingen reached on a double to right, moved to third on a wild pitch and Emily Caruthers delivered the game-tying knock.
Darling worked her way out of trouble in the top of the eighth, when the internationally tie-breaker took effect, after Allison Hand put runners on the corners, legging out a bunt single with no outs. Hand broke up a force play by stealing second, but Darling rose to the occasion, striking out the next batter and forcing a ground to get out of the inning.
Columbia laid down a sacrifice to start its half of the eighth and followed with another ground out before Shimoda’s single up the middle to end the game.
Sophomore Alix Cook went 2-for-4 from the dish.
Columbia 0, Towson 3
First-year Emily Kenyon and the Tigers’ Ambar Hickman were both dealing in the tournament finale, with both pitchers taking a one-hitter into the sixth inning.
Towson(8-9-1) broke through with three runs, opening the scoring off a two-run single by Macie McGeehan. Emily Miller drove in the third run with an RBI base-hit immediately after to make it 3-0.
The Lions did not go quietly in their last at-bats, bringing the tying run to the plate after a leadoff walk to Morgan Cook and a single by Liz Caggiano. However, Hickman retired the final two batters via fly out to secure the win.
Kenyon falls to 0-2, but had another strong outing, striking out 10 batters and allowing five hits in six innings.