ITHACA, N.Y. – The Columbia softball team came up with a crucial sweep of Cornell to big its four-game series on Saturday afternoon. The Lions (20-18, 7-7) eked out a 4-3 win in the opener and exploded offensively in a 10-4 win in the nightcap. Columbia remains 2 ½ games back of first place Penn in the South Division standings.
Alyssa Rodia had a monster day, going 4-for-8 with a homer five RBI in the two games.
The two teams will wrap up the series on Sunday with another doubleheader. First pitch of game one is set for 12:30 p.m.
Columbia 4, Cornell 3
Columbia exploded for nine hits in the first three innings, but had to hold on for the win after Big Red starting pitcher Alyson Onyon settled in and retired the final 12 batters in order.
After the Lions left the bases loaded in the top of the second, Sophie Giaquinto opened the scoring with a solo home run with one out in the bottom of the frame to give Cornell the early 1-0 advantage.
However, Columbia answered swiftly in the top of the third. Emily Snodgrass singled and Kayla Shimoda reached on an error while trying to sacrifice the runner over with no outs. Shelby Unger followed with a double down the leftfield line to even things up. One batter later, Alyssa Rodia notched a two-bagger in the same spot to knock in two more runs. A Kerry Cook single put runners on the corners for Macy Shrum, making it 4-1.
The Big Red’s first two batters in the bottom of the third reached base and starting pitcher Tessa Kroll issued a walk to load the bases with just one out. A fielder’s choice to second base allowed one run to touch home and Jenny Edwards pulled Cornell within 4-3 with an RBI single.
The next hitter was Giaquinto, who Kroll sent down looking on three pitches to escape further trouble.
Columbia 10, Cornell 4
The Lions’ bats came alive in game two, posting 19 hits and jumping out to a 6-0 lead after three innings. Snodgrass went 4-for-5, while Alix and Kerry Cook each had 3-for-5 performances.
Columbia notched two base hits to start the game. After a Shimoda sacrifice, Liz Caggiano ripped a single down the rightfield to bring in both runs an make it 2-0.
In the third, Alix Cook came up with two on and singled to the opposite field, bringing in Mackensy Lakian and an error on the play allowed Kerry Cook to come around. Snodgrass followed with an RBI single, pushing the margin to 6-0.
Starting pitcher Brooke Darling ran into some trouble in the fifth and sixth, and the lead shrank to 6-4, but the Lions added four insurance runs in the seventh to slam the door on a Cornell comeback.
Three base hits loaded the bases and a force play allowed the seventh run to score and Rodia did the rest, belting her sixth big fly of the year, over the wall in centerfield.
Darling improved to 9-8 on the season, giving up three runs on six hits with five strikeouts.