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First-year Liz Caggiano
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Gene Boyars

Caggiano Rocks 3-Run Homer, Softball Takes Second Game vs. Princeton To Split Season Series

Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics
          Release: 04/21/2012
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NEW YORK -- After being stymied at the plate in a 2-0 loss to open Sunday's home doubleheader against Princeton, the Columbia softball team roared back to life in the second game with an 8-2 win that was powered by Liz Caggiano's three-run home run in the first inning.

The Lions (12-29, 6-10 Ivy League) and Tigers (14-27, 8-8 Ivy League) split their four-game season series.

GAME 2: Columbia 8, Princeton 2
The Columbia offense poured it on early to give the Lions control of Sunday’s second game at Columbia Softball Field.

Princeton struck first, taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning. With one out and runners on the corners, Alex Peyton hit an RBI single to left field off Columbia starter Kalli Schultea. Nicole Ontiveros scored from third on the play.

The Lions responded in a big way in the bottom of the first. Emily Snodgrass drew a leadoff walk off a 3-1 ball from Tigers starter Liza Kuhn. Three batters later, Morgan Cook drew a two-out walk on four pitches to give Columbia runners on the corners. Liz Caggiano stepped to a plate and hammered a 1-1 pitch over the wall in center field for a three-run shot and her fifth homer of the season.

Kayla Shimoda opened the second inning with a double to right field. Princeton executed pitching change and defensive switch that sent Peyton to the circle in relief. Two batters later Shimoda advanced to third on a wild pitch and Alison Lam drove her in with a hard-hit single to shallow left. Columbia’s lead grew to 4-1.

In the third inning, Columbia added another run. Alix Cook opened the frame with a single up the middle and Morgan Cook moved her to second with a sacrifice bunt. Caggiano drew a walk on a full count and Shimoda walked on four pitches two batters later. With two outs and the bases juiced, Emily Caruthers legged out an infield single to third base, plating Alix Cook.

Princeton drew to within 5-2 when Sarah McGowan hit a one-out home run to center field. After a pair of singles, Columbia swapped Brooke Darling in the circle for Schultea. Darling induced a fielder’s choice and a groundout back to the circle to leave two Tigers runners stranded.

Columbia enjoyed another three-run inning to extend its advantage to 8-2 in the fifth. Tristin Moone opened the inning with a single to center field. Alex O’Hagan entered to pinch run and advanced on a wild pitch. Shimoda ripped an RBI double down the left field line to drive in O’Hagan. Two batters later, Lam reached on an error at second, advancing Shimoda to third. In the next at-bat, Shimoda escaped a rundown to steal home and score the Lions’ seventh run while Lam went to third. Snodgrass hit into an RBI groundout to the pitcher to bring home Columbia’s eighth run of the game.

Caggiano finished 1-of-3 with the three-run home run and one walk. Shimoda was 2-of-2 with two doubles, two runs, one RBI and one walk.

Schultea allowed just one earned run over 3.1 frames. Darling (9-15) picked up the win after throwing 3.2 scoreless relief frames and one strikeout.

Kuhn (6-11) took the loss after allowing four earned runs over one inning. Peyton pitched two frames and allowed one earned run. Meredith Brown tossed three relief innings and allowed two earned runs.

GAME 1: Princeton 2, Columbia 0
Columbia and Princeton traded five scoreless innings in what was a pitcher’s duel between Brooke Darling and Alex Peyton (6-11).

The Lions left two runners on base in the second inning. Liz Caggiano drew a one-out walk on a full count and Christie Taylor reached on a fielder’s choice in the next at-bat. Emily Snodgrass knocked a single through the left side to give Columbia two runners on with two outs. Peyton escaped with a groundout to first.

Princeton generated all the offense it needed in the top of the sixth. Kelsey VandeBergh hit a leadoff double to right field and Peyton reached on a throwing error by Darling to first base. Maddie Cousens drew a walk on a full count to load the bases and Sarah McGowan drove in the first run of the game when she drew a walk on five pitches. Darling send the next two batters down swinging, but Candy Button drew another bases-loaded walk to bring in the Tigers’ second run.

Columbia left a runner on first in the sixth inning and a runner on third in the seventh.

Jennifer Bergeron was 2-of-3 in the game. Caggiano had a hit and a walk.

Darling fanned seven batters over seven innings and allowed just one earned run in the loss.

Peyton struck out four over seven shutout innings for the Tigers.

The Lions will next host Lehigh in a Wednesday doubleheader at Columbia Softball Field.

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