PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Columbia softball team earned its first three-game Ivy League series sweep, besting Brown in games two and three on Saturday, 7-0 and 5-3, at the Brown Softball Field.
Sophomore Madison Canby used 107 pitches to toss her first collegiate complete-game shutout in the day’s opener, allowing just four hits and two walks while striking out three. Columbia backed her up with a three-run first – one of two three-run innings on the afternoon – and padded the lead on home runs by sophomore Sommer Grzybek and first-year Maria Pagane.
“We consistently talk about the three facets of the game – defense, offense and pitching – and all weekend we had it,” head coach Jennifer Teague said. “I’m extremely proud. After last weekend we had an opportunity to get better or kind of crumble, and they decided to get better, and we became a better team this weekend.”
Pagane scored four runs across the two games and went 4 for 6 at the plate. She reached base in six of her eight plate appearances, while senior Taylor Troutt also went 4 for 6 with two doubles and three RBIs. Troutt reached base five times, extending her on-base streak to 21 consecutive games. Senior Madison Gott joined Troutt with a three-RBI day.
“It’s great to have a team like this behind me,” Canby said. “It’s nice to go there and throw loosely when I know Sommer, Taylor, Maddie Gott and so many other players will step up and drive in runs.”
Columbia improves to 17-16 on the season and 9-6 in the Ivy League, while Brown falls to 8-21 with a 2-10 mark in conference play. The weekend sweep gives Columbia nine wins in its last 11 games against the Bears.
The Lions head to Monmouth for a non-conference game on Wednesday before returning home for a three-game weekend series against Princeton. The Columbia softball Hit-A-Thon is scheduled for Saturday, April 21, following the doubleheader. Senior Day will take place Sunday.
|Madison Canby (W, 9-7)||7.0||4||0||0||2||3|
Taylor Troutt went 3 for 3 and reached base in all four plate appearances, driving in a pair as part of the three-run first. Grzybek launched her fourth homer of the season to lead off the third and Pagane tied the Ivy League lead with her seventh long ball on the first pitch of the fourth. Pagane went 2 for 2 with three runs, also reaching base four times with two walks. First-year Max Ortega also had a two-hit day, driving in one.
Madison Canby (9-7) took a three-run lead before ever stepping foot in the circle and it was all she needed. The sophomore from Pembroke Pines, Florida, allowed just four hits with no Brown player ever reaching third base. She struck out three a joined classmate Erin Gallo as the two Lions to toss shutouts this season.
Brown starter Katie Orona struggled early and the Lions took full advantage. She walked Pagane, hit Amber Swinarski and walked Madison Gott to load the bases with nobody out. A batter later, Troutt delivered the opening tally with a two-run double that hit halfway up the left field fence. Ortega kept the merry-go-round in motion with a single that snuck through the left side, scoring Gott from third to make it a 3-0 lead. The Lions reloaded the bases with one out for Amanda Nishihira, but Brown got out of the inning by turning a 6-4-3 double play.
Canby entered the circle with a three-run lead and never surrendered it. She retired three of four batters faced in each of the first three innings before retiring the side in order in the fifth. Brown put two on base in both the fourth and sixth, but Canby worked out of it both times and completed the shutout with a 1-2-3 seventh.
Columbia padded the lead with leadoff homers in the third and fourth innings. Grzybek tagged Orona’s second pitch of the third over the fence in left center. The Bears went to reliever Emily Waters midway through the inning, who was able to strand two on base, but Pagane scorched the first pitch of the fourth off the scoreboard in left to increase the lead to 5-0. It was Pagane’s seventh home run of the season, tying her with Nishihira for the Ivy League lead.
Both pitchers settled in over the next few innings. Canby got in a little trouble as Brown put a couple of two-out baserunners on in the fourth before inducing a force out at third to retire the side. Waters and Canby then threw their first 1-2-3 innings of the day in the 5th.
The Lions cracked Waters by manufacturing a run in the sixth. Pagane led off with a single through the left side, reaching base for the fourth time, and entered scoring position by stealing second. Swinarski moved her to third on a groundout to the right side and Gott brought her home on a groundout to short.
Brown put two on with one out in the bottom half, but Pagane made a couple of nice flips on grounders at short to Ortega at third for the final two outs of the inning. Canby polished off the shutout with no trouble in the last.
|Maura Lynch (W, 2-4)||4.0||4||2||2||1||0|
The Lions put together another early three-run inning to jump ahead, but had to hold off a Brown rally to complete the three-game series sweep, 5-3.
First-year Maria Pagane and senior Olivia Parker each had two-hit games. Parker drove in two as part of the three-run third and later scored in the fifth. Gott also drove in a pair, one in the fifth and one in the seventh, to put the Lions back in front.
Sophomore Erin Gallo started in the circle and lasted three-plus innings. She only surrendered two hits and an unearned run, but hit two batters to load the bases in the third before walking the leadoff batter in the fourth. Senior Maura Lynch got the ball in relief and went the final four innings, earning the victory (2-4) by allowing just two runs on four hits and walking one.
Columbia fired the opening tally with a three-run second. Sommer Grzybek and Taylor Troutt led off the inning with back-to-back doubles that looked nearly identical to the left-center field gap. Troutt’s extended her on-base streak to 21 games and brought home Grzybek. After Amanda Nishihira moved two into scoring position with the second out, Parker pulled through by slapping a 3-2 pitch over the shortstop to score Troutt and first-year Max Ortega.
Brown grabbed its first bit of momentum all series in the fourth. Annie McGregor put down a bunt in an attempt to move the leadoff runner over. Third baseman Max Ortega fielded it and tried to get the lead runner, but her throw to second sailed into center field. A bunt single loaded the bases with nobody out before Grace Ladd hit one deep enough to right to plate the unearned run on a sac fly. Grayson Metzger kept the line moving with an RBI double to right center and Kaitlin Okimoto tied the game with a single to center.
Lynch kept it a tie game by getting the final two outs and Columbia took the lead right back in the fifth. Maria Pagane singled with two down before stealing second and advancing to third on the throw, which hit off her helmet and deflected into left field. After Swinarski walked, Madison Gott drove a pitch through the right side to bring home Pagane and put Columbia up, 4-3. Gott padded the lead with her 29th RBI of the season in the seventh.
Lynch retired 10 in a row before a two-out walk in Brown’s last run at-bat. The Bears made it interesting as Cat Seitz singled to put the tying run on, but Lynch got pinch-hitter Katie O’Leary to ground out to Max Ortega on the first pitch to complete the weekend sweep.