NEW YORK -- The Columbia softball team will look to avoid the terrible weather that has been prevelant in the Northeast recently, and has also wiped out the squad's last two mid-week doubleheaders, on Thursday, April 21 when it travels to Rider for a non-conference twinbill. The Lions have had two-game sets with both Lehigh and Fairfield canceled due to rain over the last two weeks. First pitch from Lawrenceville, N.J. is scheduled for 3 p.m.
Columbia enters the doubleheader having won its last two contests, both against Ivy League South-Division-leading Cornell over the weekend. The Lions won the final game of Sunday's twinbill, 6-0, then came from behind on two occasions to take a 6-4 decision over the Big Red in a makeup game on Monday.
First-year Prophet Gaspard picked up Ivy League Pitcher of the Week honors after holding Cornell to a .119 batting average over 17.2 innings pitched. The righthander allowed just one earned run over the span, and retired the final 20 batters she faced as she sported a 0.40 ERA over three appearances.
Offensively, the Lions hit .346 over four games and had seven different players hit at least .300. Senior Maggie Johnson led the group with five hits in her eight official plate appearances (.625 average), and had five walks for a .769 on-base percentage. Of Johnson's five hits, three were home runs to up her team-leading total to five on the year. The Danville, Calif. native now has 18 on her career, a Columbia record.
Rider enters Thursday with a 6-25 record, and has lost seven straight games dating back to April 9. Rachael Matreale is the team's top pitcher as she maintains a 2.75 ERA over 116.1 innings pitched. The Broncs have hit just two home runs over 31 contests this season, with both of the round-trippers coming from Brittany Eckett. Alyssa Paul has a team-best .333 batting average at the plate.