NEW YORK – Princeton used strong pitching and defense to come away with two victories over Columbia on Sunday to take the four-game series, three games to one. The Tigers (13-19, 6-4) took game one, 3-2, and finished the set with a 6-2 triumph.
The Lions (16-18, 5-7) return to action on Thursday, Apr. 17 for a twinbill at Saint Peter’s. Game one is slated for a 3 p.m. start.
Columbia 2, Princeton 3
Tessa Kroll (2-2) pitched a strong opening game for Columbia, allowing seven hits and no earned runs to go with five strikeouts, but took the decision.
Some defensive miscues cost the Lions in the top of the third. Rachel Rendina started the frame with a sharp single off the glove of Tessa Kroll in the circle. With one out, Kayla Shimoda tried to get the lead runner, but bobbled the ball on the play to put two on. Cara Worden took advantage of the opportunity and knocked in her fourth run of the series with a base hit to begin the scoring. Princeton made it 2-0 after a passed ball with a runner on third.
After taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning in yesterday’s opener, the Tigers’ Shanna Christian was dominant again in the first two innings, retiring the first six batters without issuing a ball on 15 pitches.
Kerry Cook jumped all over the first pitch she saw in the bottom of the third and reached on a double to left. With two outs, Kayla Shimoda trimmed the deficit in half with a knock through the left side of the infield.
Princeton used the third Columbia error of the day to add an insurance run in the sixth. Skyle Jerpbak notched a leadoff double and scored after Libby Crowe singled to right and Mackensy Lakian misplayed the ball, allowing Jerpbak to cross home.
Liz Caggiano made it a one-run ballgame with her third dinger in as many games in the bottom half of the frame. Alyssa Rodia and Kerry Cook followed with singles, but the Tigers called to the bullpen and Claire Klausner retired the side with a pop up.
Klausner sent down Columbia in order in the seventh to pick up the save.
Columbia 2, Princeton 6
A two-out error in the top of the first left the door open for Worden, who lofted her second homer of the series over the wall in rightfield to make it 2-0. The Lions nearly got it all back in the bottom of the first, loading the bases with two outs and Alyssa Rodia made good contact, but her long fly ball was caught in centerield at the warning track.
Kayla Shimoda delivered a solo blast to kick things off in the top of the third to make it 2-1. Two walks and an error later in the inning brought Kerry Cook to the dish, who hit a soft grounder to the hole towards second base. Alyssa Schmidt made a diving stop and reached out and touched the bag with her glove to deny Columbia from gaining any more ground.
After the Lions stranded two more baserunners in the fourth, Princeton gained more ground in the top of the fifth, putting up a four-spot to extend its lead to 6-1.
An RBI single by Alix Cook cut the margin down to four and tried to chip away even more with two on and two outs. However, Haley Hineman halted the rally with a nice grab on a hard line drive moving to her right and Princeton went on for the Sunday sweep.
For the game, Columbia left 11 runners on base. Shimoda and Unger each went 2-for-3.
Tonia Wu was effective out of the bullpen for the second consecutive game, throwing 2.2 scoreless innings with a pair of strikeouts. Kayla Maloney dropped to 1-2 on the season, giving up three earned runs in 4.1 innings.