Softball Makes Trip To Garden State For Midweek Doubleheader At Fairleigh Dickinson
Wednesday’s twinbill will start at 3 p.m. and feature free live statistics through FDUKnights.com. Fairleigh Dickinson will also have a free live blog covering the game action that can be accesssed here.
The Lions (10-25, 4-8 Ivy League) and the Knights (23-16, 5-9 NEC) squared off earlier this season at the Rebel Spring Games down in Kissimmee, Fla. FDU took an 11-3 win in six frames on March 17 at the Osceola County Softball Complex.
Columbia went 1-3 in its four-game series at Cornell last weekend. Sophomore Tristin Moone was the Lions’ top offensive performer, hitting .417 with two homers, one double and four RBI against the Big Red.
Fairleigh Dickinson is coming off four losses last weekend in home doubleheaders against Monmouth and Quinnipiac. The Knights were outscored 22-7 in the losses. FDU hit just .172 as a team in those four games while Monmouth and Quinnipiac combined to hit .344 against the Knights’ pitchers.
The all-time series between the teams is knotted at 6-6. FDU won the last meeting down at the Rebel Spring Games in March. Columbia last defeated the Knights on April 13, 2010, in a 12-8 slugfest in Hackensack.
Sophomore Tristin Moone was named to the Ivy League Weekly Honor Roll for the second consecutive week on Tuesday after another dominant showing at the plate.
Moone as 5-of-12 with two homers, one double, four RBI, two runs scored and two walks in Columbia’s four games against Cornell. She played a major role in the Lions’ win in the third game of the series on Sunday. With two outs and runners on first and second, Moone hammered a 2-0 pitch off Big Red starter Jenna Stoller over the wall for a three-run home run, giving Columbia some early momentum.
Tristin Moone remains the Lions’ most efficient hitter and top run creator after another strong week at the plate. She is averaging a team-best 7.09 runs created per seven innings. Her .956 OPS (.377 on-base percentage, .579 slugging percentage) is off the charts.
Sophomore Emily Caruthers has also had a hot bat since she has returned to the lineup from injury. Caruthers played in all four games at Cornell and made three starts in left field. She batted .500 last week, going 5-for-10. Over nine appearances this year, Caruthers is hitting .438 (7-of-16) with two runs scored.
Emily Snodgrass had one double last week and remains among the nation’s leaders in doubles per game. Her 0.33 doubles per contest average is tied for 16th among all NCAA Division I players. Her 11 doubles are tied for the most in the Ivy League.
Lions lead three defensive categories in the Ivy League. Morgan Cook leads the conference in putouts with 247. Jennifer Bergeron’s 77 assists is a league best and Liz Caggiano’s eight runners caught stealing is also tops among Ivy League catchers.
SCOUTING FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON
Fairleigh Dickinson is 23-16 on the year and 10-8 in away games. The Knights have struggled as of late, losing four of their last five and seven of their last 10.
Despite their recent struggles at the plate and in the circle, FDU is built on power hitting and solid pitching. The Knights are batting .305 as a team this season with 62 doubles and 25 homers. They are averaging 4.95 runs per game and holding opponents to 3.67 runs per game. In the circle, Fairleigh Dickinson pitchers have combined to have 3.66 ERA with a .262 opposing batting average.
The Knights boast a lineup that has seven batters who are hitting .313 or better. Senior Caitlin Bradac is having a monster season in the batters box, leading the team with a .413 batting average, seven homers and 34 RBI. Bradac is a tough out and has an incredible 1.187 OPS. First-year leadoff hitter Caitlin Zamudio is batting .381 and has one homer, six doubles and 13 RBI. Senior Kirsten Shreve is another deadly power hitter opponents have to take account of as she is hitting .320 with six home runs, four doubles and 28 RBI.
FDU’s ace is first-year Megan Reiner. Reiner is 13-6 with a 2.28 ERA. She has 111 strikeouts in 122.1 innings of work and has 12 complete games in 18 starts. Bradac (4-4, 4.90 ERA) and junior Maire Shaughnessy (6-6, 4.91 ERA) have split the remaining 21 starts as the Knights’ second option.
Reiner earned the win in FDU’s 11-3 win over Columbia at the Rebel Spring games, tossing six frames while allowing two earned runs on eight hits with four strikeouts. Six Lions batters recorded a hit against Reiner. Liz Caggiano went 3-of-3 against her with a solo home run to lead off the second inning. Morgan Cook had a two-RBI single in the same inning.
Fairleigh Dickinson went 26-22 in 2011 and finished the season seventh in the NEC with a 9-11 conference record.
The Lions return to the friendly confines of Columbia Softball Field on Saturday when they open a four-game series against Princeton. The doubleheaders against the Tigers on Saturday and Sunday are scheduled for a 12:30 p.m. start.