NEW YORK – The Columbia softball team played its final two home games against Ivy League South Division leaders Penn and earned a hard-fought split. The Lions (22-24, 8-10) claimed game one, 8-6, before falling in game two by a 6-2 count.
Columbia will finish up the series and season at Penn on Saturday, April 27, for a doubleheader beginning at 12:30 p.m.
Columbia 8, Penn 6
First-year Macy Shrum belted a solo homer in the bottom of the second only to see the Quakers (28-17, 14-4) even things up in the top of the third.
A leadoff walk and a sacrifice bunt moved pinch-runner Kanani Datan into scoring position to turn over the batting over for leadoff hitter Sydney Turchin. Turchin snuck a single through the left side of the infield to make it 1-1.
The Lions went right back to work in the bottom of the third with Alyssa Swearingen and Emily Caruthers starting things off with singles. Emily Snodgrass followed with a double that glanced off the wall in leftfield to put Columbia back on top, 3-1. With two outs and Snodgrass on third, Shrum hit a ball with a check swing that stayed just fair along the third base line for an RBI hit to extend the margin to three.
Penn recorded one run in the top of the fourth, but the Lions kept their foot on the gas to take a 6-2 lead in the bottom of the frame. Swearingen started another rally with a base-hit, stole second and came around after Caruthers poked one up the middle. Caruthers stole her second base of the game to move herself into scoring position and scored after a throwing error on the Quakers.
In the sixth, Jess Melendez went deep to pull Penn within three, but Columbia had an answer once again when it was their turn to bat.
Sophomore Liz Caggiano hit her first long-ball of the year to begin the inning and the Lions were just getting started. After Caruthers reached on an error, Snodgrass singled and Alix Cook notched a hit to bring the lead to 8-3.
However, Penn refused to go quietly in the top of the seventh. Kayla Dahlerbruch belted a three-run homer to pull the Quakers with two outs, and Melendez singled to bring the tying run to the plate. Sophomore Brooke Darling finally put an end to the doubt by getting a groundout to end the ballgame.
First-year Emily Kenyon earned her 10th win of the season, allowing three runs with six strikeouts in 5.1 innings. Darling recorded the final five outs to earn the save after entering the contest with the score, 6-3.
Caruthers was 2-for-4 with two steals and three runs. Snodgrass, Swearingen and Shrum all notched two hits in the game as well.
Columbia 2, Penn 6
Game two was scoreless until the fourth inning when Dahlerbruch and Georgia Guttaduaro each posted RBI singles for Penn.
In the bottom of the fourth, Nicole Borchard reached via a single and later scored on an RBI double by Morgan Cook. Caggiano then picked up where she left off in the opener, driving in Cook with a single to tie the game, 2-2.
A pair of errors by the Lions proved costly in the sixth inning, allowing the go-ahead run to score. Guttadauro put the finishing touches on the win with a three-run shot in the seventh to extend the lead to 6-2.
Morgan Cook and Caggiano were both 2-for-3 in the nightcap. Borchard was 2-for-4 from the dish.
Darling took the decision (10-10), tossing seven innings and giving up five earned runs with four strikeouts.