NEW YORK — The Columbia softball team will play a doubleheader against Manhattan on Wednesday at the Columbia Softball Stadium. The games were originally scheduled to take place at Manhattan, but a decision was made Tuesday afternoon to move them to Columbia due to turf issues with Manhattan's field. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m.
Manhattan will be the designated home team for both of Wednesday's games.
Columbia (19-23, 8-8 Ivy) is seeking its first .500 season since 2014 (22-22). The Lions would need to win five of their final six games, which includes a four-game, Ivy League home-and-home series on Friday and Saturday against Penn. The two sides are currently tied for second in the South Division at 8-8.
Manhattan (26-14, 10-4 MAAC) is tied for first place in the MAAC with Iona (10-4). Siena (9-5) and Monmouth (9-5) are both one game back. The Jaspers split doubleheaders against Marist and Siena last weekend and have six conference games remaining, including a doubleheader at Iona to close out the regular season.
Live stats will be available for both of Wednesday's games courtesy of GoJaspers.com.
LAST TIME OUT
Columbia played a four-game series at Princeton last weekend, dropping three of four to the Tigers. The Lions hit four home runs in Friday's series opener, but Princeton scored four runs in both the fourth and sixth innings to come from behind and win, 9-6. The Tigers swept the day with an, 8-0, five-inning win in game two. Columbia was able to salvage the final game of the series on Saturday, 9-4, thanks to 15 hits, a four-RBI game by Madison Gott and five solid innings out of the bullpen from junior Maura Lynch. Princeton walked off in Saturday's first game, 6-5, scoring four runs in the bottom of the seventh after the Lions had taken a 5-2 lead.
Junior Madison Gott has already broken Columbia's single-season records for RBIs (38) and total bases (94), and is on pace to break several more through the final six games. Gott is one home run behind junior Taylor Troutt's record of 10 from last season and four hits away from Alix Cook's record of 58 from 2013. The shortstop is hitting .397 and slugging .691. Both of those marks would break the current records of .368 (Kayla Lechler, 2010) and .669 (Taylor Troutt, 2016).
Gott broke Columbia's career home run record earlier in the season and heads into Wednesday with 21. The Weston, Florida, native tied the career RBI record with a four-RBI game in the series finale at Princeton. Gott is tied with Dani Pineda (2006-10) and Maggie Johnson (2007-11) at 82 career RBIs.
Columbia leads the Ivy League in home runs (33), doubles (63), hits (314), runs (189), RBIs (169) and slugging (.440). The Lions have tied the team record in home runs from a year ago, and are within reach of the team records in doubles (72), runs (201) and RBIs (171). The Lions rank among the top-25 percent of teams in the NCAA in home runs per game (0.79) and slugging percentage (.440).
Junior Madison Gott and rookie Sommer Grzybek share the Ivy League lead with nine home runs apiece. Gott also heads the Ancient Eight in RBIs (38), total bases (94) and hits (54). The junior shortstop is No. 2 in doubles (13), No. 3 in slugging (.691) and No. 3 in batting average (.397). Grzybek ranks second to Gott in RBIs (33) and total bases (88), while also ranking second in slugging (.698). The centerfielder is among the league's top five in doubles (11) and on-base percentage (.449).
Rookies Sommer Grzybek (April 10-16) and Madison Canby (March 27-April 2) have garnered national recognition as NFCA Top Performances of the Week during the season. Grzybek hit an impressive .579 (11 for 19) with a .667 on-base percentage and .947 slugging percentage in six games to earn her selection. The rookie centerfielder hit a home run with four doubles, four runs scored and nine RBIs. She also showed off her defensive skills, coming up with a diving catch and helping turn a pair of double plays from the outfield in a pair of wins over Cornell. Canby earned the distinction by posting a 4-0 record through Columbia's first four Ivy League games. She dominated in the circle with a 0.94 ERA in 22 1-3 innings pitched, tossing two complete games and adding 8 1-3 shutout innings in relief.
FEELIN' RIGHT AT HOME
The Lions are 10-2 (.833) this season at home and are on pace to post their best home winning percentage in program history. The 2014 team started 12-0 at home before finishing the season a program-best 15-6 (.714). Columbia opened the home schedule on March 24 with a two-game sweep over Monmouth and proceeded to win each of their first eight at Columbia Softball Stadium. It marked 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 28 games in the circle, and have started 34 of the 42 games this season. Canby (11-10) has done the bulk of the work, making 22 starts and combining for 135.1 innings pitched in 32 appearances. Canby's leads the Ivy League in wins (11), starts (22) and appearances (32).
Sixteen of Columbia's 42 games have either been decided by one run or gone to extra innings. The Lions hold a 7-9 record in such games.
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
Rookie of the Week – April 17 – Sommer Grzybek
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
April 10 – Madison Gott, Sommer Grzybek
April 17 – Madison Gott, Madison Canby, Jordan Townsend
April 24 – Madison Gott, Sommer Grzybek, Bonnie Schipper, Maura Lynch