Columbia (7-18, 1-3 Ivy League) thrived in Darling’s best two starts of the season, taking wins over Rider and Yale. Darling (4-9) went 2-1 on the week, throwing complete games against Rider, Yale and Brown. Over 21.0 innings of work, Darling had a 2.33 ERA, striking out 11 batters and limiting opponent to a .231 batting average. She also fielded her position well, totaling two putouts and seven assists from the circle.
In Columbia’s 3-0 win over Rider in the back half of its home-opening doubleheader on March 28, Darling shut down the Broncs for her first career shutout. She struck out four and defended the Columbia lead after the Lions jumped out in front, 2-0, in the first inning. Darling stymied the Rider hitters over the first five frames, allowing just one hit and striking out four. She needed just 78 pitches to beat the Broncs.
Darling carried momentum from Wednesday’s win into Friday’s Ivy League home opener against Yale. She buried in the Bulldogs’ offense in the first five innings, allowing just two hits and recording three strikeouts. Darling finished with three strikeouts and just one earned run allowed over seven strong frames to lead the Lions to a 4-1 triumph in their conference opener.
Darling tossed her third complete game of the week and seventh of the season in Columbia’s 6-5 loss to Brown in Sunday’s second game. The Lions’ offense mounted a late comeback, scoring four runs with two outs the seventh, only to fall one run short of extending the game. Darling fanned four Bears batters in the loss.
Sophomore first baseman Morgan Cook was named to the Ivy League Weekly Honor Roll after she hit .353 (6-of-17) with two doubles, eight RBI and four walks last week.
Darling is Columbia’s second Rookie of the Week this season. First-year catcher Liz Caggiano was named the conference’s first Rookie of the Week for 2012 on March 6 after she hit .455 over four games at the 13th MSU Bulldog Classic.
The Lions will be back in action on Wednesday when they head to Poughkeepsie, N.Y. for a doubleheader at Marist. Columbia returns to Ivy League play this weekend when it plays doubleheaders at Harvard and Dartmouth on Friday and Saturday, respectively.