NEW YORK — The Columbia softball team closes out the 2017 season with a four-game Ivy League series against Penn. The first two games will take place Friday at Columbia with first pitch at 2 p.m. The series moves to Penn for the final two games on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
Senior Day is set for Friday at the Columbia Softball Stadium. The Lions graduate two seniors, Kerry Cook and Tonia Wu, and will hold a pregame ceremony honoring the careers of both. The ceremony will begin approximately 15 minutes prior to first pitch. The Columbia University Athletics Department is giving away 50 drawstring bags during the doubleheader.
Columbia (20-24, 8-8 Ivy) and Penn (18-18, 8-8 Ivy) are tied for second place in the Ivy League South Division. The Lions have a chance to break the program record for Ivy League wins (9-11 in 2014) and are in search of their first .500 mark in Ivy League play since going 7-7 in 2005. If Columbia can win the series, it would post its most overall victories (23) since 2005 (24-26).
LAST TIME OUT
Columbia split a Wednesday doubleheader with Manhattan College, winning game one, 10-2 (6), and falling in game two, 6-0. First-year Sommer Grzybek went 5 for 7 on the afternoon, which included back-to-back home runs with junior Madison Gott in the third inning of the victory. Grzybek and Gott both tied Columbia's single-season home run record (10). Sophomore Alexandra Yule drove in a team-high four runs, three of which came on a bases-clearing double in the sixth. The Lions were limited to just four hits in game two to help Manhattan walk away with the split.
HOME RUN CHASE
Junior Madison Gott and first-year Sommer Grzybek have tied junior Taylor Troutt for Columbia's single-season home run record. Troutt set the mark with 10 just last season. Gott and Grzybek drew level when they hit back-to-back home runs in the third inning of Wednesday's 10-2 victory over Manhattan. The duo shares the 2017 Ivy League lead with Cornell's Bridgette Rooney.
Junior Madison Gott has already broken Columbia's single-season records for RBIs (39) and total bases (99), and is on pace to break several more through the final four games. She is one home run from breaking Taylor Troutt's record of 10 from last season and two hits away from Alix Cook's record of 58 from 2013. The shortstop is hitting .392 and slugging .692. 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 the weekend with 22. The Weston, Florida, native also broke the career RBI record with her 83rd of the season against Manhattan. The former record of 82 belonged to Dani Pineda (2006-10) and Maggie Johnson (2007-11).
NOT TO BE OUTDONE
First-year Sommer Grzybek is well on her way to etching her name in Columbia's record books. She has already tied the single-season home run record (10) and is slugging .737 – No. 43 nationally – which would break another single-season mark (.669, Taylor Troutt, 2016). The rookie ranks just behind Gott in several offensive categories, including RBIs (35), hits (51), total bases (98) and batting average (.383). She ranks among the top five in the Ivy League in all of those categories and is also tied for second in doubles (13) alongside Gott.
Columbia leads the Ivy League in home runs (35), doubles (69), hits (332), runs (199), RBIs (179), total bases (518) and slugging (.444). The Lions have broken the previous team records in home runs (33), RBIs (171) and total bases (501), and are within reach of the team records in doubles (72), runs (201), Nationally, Columbia ranks among the top-25 percent of teams in the NCAA in home runs per game (0.99) and slugging percentage (.440), while ranking No. 16 in doubles per game (1.57).
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 11-3 (.786) 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 29 of the last 30 games in the circle, and have started 35 of the 44 games this season. Canby (12-10) has done the bulk of the work, making 23 starts and combining for 141.1 innings pitched in 33 appearances. Canby's leads the Ivy League in wins (12), starts (23) and appearances (33).
Sixteen of Columbia's 44 games have either been decided by one run or gone to extra innings. The Lions hold a 7-9 record in such games.
THE PENN SERIES
The Quakers lead the all-time series, 36-17. The two teams split both of last year's doubleheaders, but it was Columbia that won the season finale, 4-3, on a walk-off single by Krystin Wong. This marks the 10th consecutive season the Lions and Quakers have concluded the regular season against one another.
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