NEW YORK - The Columbia softball team will take the diamond at home for the first time this season when they welcome Dartmouth and Harvard to the Baker Athletics Complext this weekend to open Ivy League play.
The doubleheader against the Big Green will begin at 2 p.m. on Friday, March 29, while the twinbill against the Crimson is slated for a 12:30 p.m. start.
The Big Green are coming off a pair of losses to Sacred Heart on Tuesday and have dropped four-straight. Katie McEachern leads Dartmouth offensively, battng .381 with a pair of home runs and 12 RBI. Kristen Rumley has been the Big Green’s primary pitcher, posting a 9-4 record with a 1.84 ERA and and Ivy League best 91 strikeouts.
ALL-TIME RECORD VS. THE BIG GREEN
Last Meeting(s): April 7, 2012
(Columbia, 9-0 (6) - Columbia, 7-1)
The Crimson swept a twinbill with Rhode Island on Tuesday to halt a four-game slide. Kasey Lange is Harvard’s top run-producer with three dingers and 12 RBI. Morgan Groom is off to a solid start in her rookie campaign, recording a 2.24 ERA with 42 strikeouts in 50 innings.
ALL-TIME RECORD VS. THE CRIMSON
Last Meeting(s): April 6, 2012
(Harvard, 8-0 (6) - Harvard, 4-0)
The Lions returned to the northeast to take on Manhattan for a doubleheader on Tuesday. Columbia exploded for six runs in the first inning on its way to an 11-1 win in game one. In game two, the Lions overcame a 4-0 deficit to take a two-run lead. After the Jaspers tied the score later in the game to force extra innings, Columbia took an 8-6 lead, but Manhattan strung together a two-out rally to come away with the win.
With a win at Manhattan on Tuesday, head coach Kayla Noonan earned her 198th career victory, making her two shy of 200. Noonan is in her 11th season at the helm of the Lions and is already the program’s leader in wins.
First-year Nicole Borchard has been on a tear of late and is coming off a huge day at Manhattan. The second baseman went 5-for-8 with five RBI against the Jaspers on Tuesday in two games. In her last three games, Borchard is hitting a scorching .636 wiht three doubles and has taken over the team batting lead at .364.
HONORS KEEP ROLLING IN
Junior Emily Snodgrass became the second Lion to earn Ivy League Player of the Week status after hitting .412 with three home runs and six RBI. She finished the Rebel Games with a scorching .438 batting average, four dingers, 12 RBI and 10 runs. She is also boasting a seven-game hit streak and has reached base safely in 12 consecutive contests.
The Lions pitching staff has been a huge strength early this season. In last week’s NCAA rankings, Columbia ranked 40th in the country with a 2.05 ERA through games played on March 24.
Sophomore Alix Cook has reached base safely in all 19-of-20 games this season. She comes into the weekend riding a seven-game hit-streak. In addition, Cook has struck out just two times in 67 to rank 21st toughest batter to fan. In 2012, she was 14th in that category.
First-year Emily Kenyon has made an immediate impact for the Columbia this season, posting a 2.49 ERA with a team-best four wins and 61 strikeouts. She has earned a spot on the Ivy League Weekly Honor Roll twice for her efforts.
DARLING WORKING OVERTIME
Sophomore starting hurler Brooke Darling has also
gotten off to a strong start, earning four victories with a 1.41 ERA in 44.2 innings of work. She opened the year pitching a pair of complete-games that went extra innings.
ISN’T SHE GRAND?
First-year Nicole Borchard’s first career home run was one to remember, a grand slam in a 6-0 victory over Rider on March 19. Borchard, who has started all 20 games for Columbia at second base, finished the game with a career-best five RBI.
First-year pitcher Tessa Kroll posted a complete-game shutout to pick up her fist career win against Rider on March 19. The tall right-hander struck out five battes and allowed just five hits in the victory.
Sopohomore utility player Kayla Shimoda was named Ivy League Player of the Week on March 12 after going 5-for-5 in two games at Rider on March 9. The Aiea, Hawai’i native, was the first Lion to earn the honor since current assistant coach Maggie Johnson took the distinction on Apr. 6, 2010.
COLUMBIA IN SEASON OPENERS
The Lions fell to 5-9 all-time in season openers after dropping a slim, 1-0, decision to Iona at the Towson Invitational on March 1.
ALL-IVY HONOREES RETURN
Sophomores Liz Caggiano and Kayla Shimoda each impressed during their rookie seasons in 2012, earning All-Ivy League Honorable Mention status. Caggiano was named conference Rookie of the Week twice and hit .265 with five homers and 17 RBI. Shimoda used a hot-streak down the stretch to finish with a .280 batting average and belted five doubles.