LIZ CAGGIANO - POSTGAME INTERVIEW
NEW YORK – The Columbia softball team erased a two-run deficit to claim a 3-2 victory over Cornell and used a six-hit shutout by Brooke Darling to take game two, 7-0, to split a four-game series with the Big Red.
The Lions (18-18, 6-6) will host Marist for a twinbill on Tuesday, April 16. First pitch of game one is set for 3 p.m.
Columbia 3, Cornell 2
Cornell (16-18, 6-6) wasted little time getting things going offensively, loading the bases with two outs in the top of the first. Linda Laeufer pulled a single that just stayed fair down the third base line to score two runs and put Columbia in an early hole.
In the bottom of the inning, Emily Caruthers led off with a single and came all the way in from first base after an errant throw by starting pitcher Alyson Onyon on a sacrifice bunt attempt. With Emily Snodgrass on second after the miscue, Macy Shrum tied the score, 2-2, with a single off the glove off the Big Red’s first baseman.
With two outs in the bottom of the third, Alyssa Swearingen reached on an infield single to set the table for Caruthers. The speedy junior poked a double over the head of the leftfielder, who was playing shallow, to give the Lions a 3-2 lead.
First-year Emily Kenyon ran into some trouble in the fifth, trying to get through the middle of the Cornell lineup. Emily Weinberg singled and Meg Parker wound up on first on an error trying to field a sacrifice bunt. After a wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position, Kenyon issued a walk to fill the bases, but escaped the jam by getting Kristen Towne to ground out to shortstop.
Kenyon retired the next six batters in order to even her record at 8-8. The Monmouth Ore. native allowed seven hits and struck out nine.
Caruthers was 2-for-3 with the game-winning RBI.
Columbia 7, Cornell 0
The flood-gates opened for Columbia in the bottom of the third, plating six runs all with two outs. Snodgrass was hit by a pitch to set up another sacrifice situation for Alix Cook, who laid down the bunt. The Big Red’s third baseman bobbled the ball and her throw to first was late. Christina Villalon noticed Snodgrass leaning off the bag at second and threw over to pick her off, but the shortstop dropped the throw, allowing her to move to third.
Nicole Borchard plated Snodgrass with a deep fly ball to bring in the first run, but the Lions were not even close to being done.
Swearingen singled to knock in pinch-runner Summer Secrest and Caruthers hit a well-placed triple, putting the Lions ahead, 6-0.
An RBI single by Shrum in the fourth completed the scoring as Columbia salvaged a split of the series.
Darling only needed 85 pitches to improve her record to 8-7. She struck out six batters and walked just one batter.
Caruthers and Caggiano each went 2-for-3 in the triumph.