NEW YORK - The Columbia softball team split its midweek doubleheader with Saint Peter's on Thursday at Columbia Softball Stadium, falling by a 3-0 score in game one before bouncing back with a 6-5 victory in game two.
The Lions (16-16) will kick-off Ivy League divisional play this weekend when Cornell comes into town for a four-game series, beginning with a doubleheader on Saturday, April 13. First pitch is set for 12:30 p.m.
Columbia 0, Saint Peters 3
The Peacocks (6-31) did all of their damage in the first inning, starting with a one-out single by Francesca D’Amato. After a fly out, Chelsea Crews drew a walk and D’Amato advanced to third on ball four due to a wild pitch. Nicole Olmedo deliverd a double to the gap to plate both runners and came in on a Shelby Beaver double to center.
Columbia’s best scoring chance came in the fourth inning after putting runners on first and second after an Alix Cook single and an error by Saint Peter’s first baseman with just one out. Macy Shrum’s single through the right side of the infield looked like it would give the Lions their first run of the game, but rightfielder Stephanie Galronan fired a rocket home that forced Alix Cook to hold at third.
The Peacocks’ starting pitcher Tori Feorenzo dug deep to record a strikeout and groundout to end the threat.
First-year Emily Kenyon (7-7) settled in after the first inning, allowing just three hits in the final six innings and struck out seven batters.
Columbia 6, Saint Peter’s 5
Saint Peter’s threw Feorenzo into the circle to start game two looking to build upon her success in the opener. However, this time the Lions were ready to pounce and Feorenzo lasted just five batters in through the bottom of the first.
Emily Caruthers and Emily Snodgrass singled and doubled, respectively, on first pitches to get Columbia going. Alix Cook was then beaned by a pitch, setting up first-year Macy Shrum, who cleared the bases with a double to leftfield.
The Peacocks pulled within 3-1 on a Stephanie Gilronan double that dropped on the leftfield line and kicked into the corner to score Amber Velasquez in the second.
In the bottom half of the frame, Alyssa Swearingen posted a leadoff double and Caruthers picked up another single to put runners on the corners with no outs. Snodgrass hit a deep sacrifice fly to right to bring in Swearingen and restore the three-run cushion. However, Saint Peter’s refused to go down without a fight.
With two outs in the fourth, Gilronan hit a double to essentially the same spot as her two-bagger in the second to keep the inning alive. The next batter was Lee Harrison, who lofted a long fly ball to centerfield. Caruthers moved back to make the play at the wall, but the ball fell out of her glove and caromed the fence for a double to plate Gilronan, pulling the Peacocks within 4-2.
Columbia seemed poised to put the game away in the sixth, scoring a pair of runs off Erica Colon. Mackensy Lakian was hit by a pitch while Swearingen and Caruthers singled to load the bases with no outs. Snodgrass, in turn, was plunked to bring in Lakian and Alix Cook hit a grounder to short, slow enough to bring in the sixth run of the game.
Things got a little too interesting for Columbia in the seventh when a pair of fielding errors brought the tying run to bat with no outs in the inning. Chelsea Crews singled sharply to center to make it, 6-3, and a throw to the plate allowed the other baserunners to move into scoring position.
Starting pitcher Brooke Darling recorded a fly out to shallow left for the first out, but Shelby Beaver cut the Lions’ lead to 6-5 with a single up the middle to end the sophomore’s outing.
Sophomore Kalli Schultea came out of the bullpen and struck out the only two batters she faced to earn her first save of the season.
Swearingen finished 3-for-3 and came around to score twice. Caruthers posted a 3-for-4 day in game two.
Darling allowed nine hits and two earned runs in 6.1 innings to move to 7-6 on the year.