NEW YORK – The Columbia softball team held off Dartmouth, 9-6, in game two of a twinbill to earn a split in its Ivy League opening series on Friday. The Lions (11-11, 1-1) dropped the first game by a 5-1 decision in their first home contest of the season.
The Lions host Harvard for another Ivy League double-dip tomorrow, March 30, beginning at 12:30 p.m. at the Columbia Softball Stadium.
Columbia 1, Dartmouth 5
The Big Green (11-13, 1-1) did the bulk of their work in the top of the first, taking a 3-0 lead on a bases clearing double by Kristen Rumley, who was also Darthmouth’s starting pitcher in the opener.
First-year Alyssa Swearingen notched a one-out single in the third and stole second to set the table for Columbia’s top run producer Emily Snodgrass. Snodgrass dropped in a single to shallow left field for her 18th RBI to cut the deficit to two.
However, the Big Green tacked on two more in the top of the seventh off a two-run home run by Katie McEachern to put the game out of reach.
First-year pitcher Emily Kenyon (4-5) took the decision, allowing five runs on nine hits with nine strikeouts.
Columbia had just five hits of the lefty Rumley, who struck out seven batters for the day.
Columbia 9, Dartmouth 6
Sophomore Kayla Shimoda started the nightcap off with a bang, belting a grand slam to propel the Lions to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. It was Shimoda’s first long ball of the year and the second for Columbia on the season.
After cruising early on, sophomore pitcher Brooke Darling found herself in a bit of trouble for the first time in the top of the fifth.
Back-to-back singles to start the frame along with a fielder’s choice put runners on the corners with one out. McEachern hit a grounder to second base that the Lions tried to turn into a double play, but McEachern beat the relay to drive in the Big Green’s first run of the nightcap.
Brianna Lohmann made it a one-run ball game with a two-run homer in the sixth, but that would be as close as they would get.
Columbia responded in the bottom half of the inning with five runs and chased Dartmouth’s starting pitcher from the game. Mackensy Lakian came up with a huge pinch-hit solo home run to swing the tide back into the Lions favor. A single and a Dartmouth error led to an RBI single by Alix Cook, and Nicole Borchard delivered a towering three-run blast to extend the margin to 9-3.
The Big Green refused to go quietly, though, recording three runs in the top of the seventh, but Kalli Schultea recorded the final three outs to finish out the win.
Darling picked up the victory (5-3), tossing six innings of nine-hit ball, allowing six runs to go with a pair of strikeouts.