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NEW YORK – The Columbia softball team will look to stay atop the South Division standings as they head to Dartmouth and Harvard this weekend for a pair of doubleheaders.
Both games can be seen on the Ivy League Digital Network. Registration is required to watch the live stream.
The Lions had their program record 10-game winning streak snapped in game two against Manhattan on Tuesday, but are still a perfect 4-0 in Ancient Eight play for the first time in school history.
Shelby Unger and Alix Cook provided clutch hits to lift Columbia to a walk-off 5-4 win over the Jaspers in game one on Tuesday. With the bases loaded, Cook ripped a bases clearing triple to tie the game and one batter later, Unger came up with a bloop single to win it for Columbia.
The Big Green check in at 14-13 overall and are also 4-0 to start conference play after sweeping Cornell and Princeton last weekend.
Kelsey Miller leads the Ivy League, hitting .405 and has two homers to go with 15 RBI and five stolen bases. Karen Chew and Katie McEachern are Dartmouth’s top run producers. Chew leads the club with 18 RBI while McEachern has four dingers and 16 RBI.
In the circle, Kristen Rumley – the reigning Ivy League Pitcher of the Week - boasts a 9-6 record with a 2.13 ERA and 111 strikeouts in 19 appearances this season. Morgan McCalmon and Ashley Sissel are Dartmouth’s other primary starters. McCalmon is 3-3 with a 3.72 ERA and 38 K’s in 37.2 innings of work, while Sissel is 1-3 and has a 4.58 ERA.
The Crimson is 13-11 overall and have not played an official Ivy League contest due to uncooperative weather. Harvard comes in with a four-game winning streak after a sweep of Boston College on April 1.
Senior Kasey Lange is Harvard's top hitter in a number of categories, including batting average (.367), runs (18), doubles (7), home runs (4) and RBI (21). Columbia will need to keep an eye on Andrea Del Conte when she gets on the base paths as she leads Harvard with eight steals on the year.
The duo of Laura Ricciardone and Taylor Cabe have combined to throw 137 of the 172 innings the Crimson have played. Ricciardone holds a 2.38 ERA and has 47 strikeouts, while Cabe has been nearly as effective with a 2.54 ERA and 34 K's.
The Lions’ bats have been the strength of the team this season. Columbia currently leads the Ancient Eight in team batting average (.300), slugging percentage (.465), on base percentage (.380), runs (119) and triples (5). In the latest national rankings, the Lions are eighth in the NCAA in doubles per game, averaging 1.77.
First-year Shelby Unger has made quite an impression to begin her Ivy League career. In her first four Ancient Eight contests, Unger hit .545 with five RBI and was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week on Apr. 1. The centerfielder is riding a team-high 10-game hitting streak and ranks among the conference leaders in several categories.
THE GRASS IS GREENER
Senior Emily Snodgrass will undoubtedly go down as one of the top offensive players in Columbia history. She ranks among the all-time leaders in batting average (.301), hits (150), runs scored (78), home runs (8) and RBI (66). Additionally, she has 33 doubles for her career which is six shy of tying the record held by Marisa Marconi ‘05CC.
TWO COOKS IN THE KITCHEN
Junior Alix Cook has been a staple in the lineup all three years for the Lions and continues to be one of the most productive players in the Ivy League with a batting average of .346 and 14 runs scored this season. Earlier this season, she had a 14-game hitting streak and has reached base safely in 19 consecutive games.
The younger Kerry Cook, Alix’ sister, has also started to come on of late, hitting a game-winning pinch-hit home run in the bottom of the sixth inning in game one against Brown last Saturday.
Junior Brooke Darling notched back-to-back complete game shutouts in a pair of game twos against Brown and Yale last weekend. Against the Bears, the Springville, Pa., native tossed a four-hitter in seven innings of work. The next day vs. the Bulldogs, Darling gave up just two hits to go with four strikeouts in an abbreviated five-inning contest. Darling has seven wins on the year to lead the team and rank second in the Ivy League.