Softball Rides Hot Offense to Doubleheader Sweep of Broncs
LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. -- First-years Emily Snodgrass and Emily Caruthers combined to go 9-for-15 at the plate with five runs batted in as the Columbia softball team picked up a dominant doubleheader sweep of Rider on Thursday afternoon. The Lions took home a 9-1 win in six innings in game one, then erupted for seven runs in the third inning en route to a 10-1 victory in the second game of the twinbill.
In addition to the first-year successes, seniors Stephanie Yagi, Maggie Johnson and Anne Marie Skylis all had multiple-hit days, with Yagi driving in a team-best four runs. Skylis was on base all afternoon and scored five runs, while Johnson took the victory in the circle in game two. First-year Prophet Gaspard pitched the first game of the day and won her 10th game of the season, a complete-game effort. Johnson and Gaspard allowed just two runs, both unearned, over 12 innings of work.
The Lions got on the board in the first with a pair of runs, as Snodgrass singled to lead off the game. After moving to second on a sacrifice, a pair of walks with two outs loaded the bases for Yagi.
The Sacramento native came through with an infield single, scoring Snodgrass to put the Lions up 1-0. Sophomore Christie Taylor was the next to the plate and was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, forcing home another run to make the score 2-0.
In the third, Columbia added to its lead as Yagi executed a squeeze play to drive in classmate Skylis, who had walked and moved to third on a single by Johnson
Rider came back with an unearned run in the bottom half. Jen Steward led off with a single, and moved all the way to third on a bunt single by Kehli Washington and an error by the Lions' defense.
On the play, Washington moved to second to put a pair in scoring position with nobody out. But Gaspard limited the Broncs to just one run in the inning, which came on a sacrifice fly from Amanda Centeno.
Columbia got the run back its next time to bat, as Snodgrass collected her third hit of the day - an RBI single to right center - that scored senior Karen Tulig to put the score at 4-1. The Lions threatened to add to their lead, loading the bases with only one out but could not cash in on the opportunity.
The top of the sixth saw Columbia break open the contest with five runs, as Taylor and first-year Morgan Cook each had two-run singles in the frame. Yagi opened the scoring in the inning by driving home sophomore Jennifer Bergeron on a fielder's choice.
With a 9-1 lead and the run rule in effect, Gaspard set Rider in order in the bottom of the sixth to claim the abbreviated complete-game triumph.
In the second game of the doubleheader, the Lions and Broncs played two scoreless frames before Columbia put together a seven-run third to wrestle control of the contest.
Caruthers led off with a triple to right and, after Snodgrass reached on a fielder's choice, Cook squeezed her classmate home and reached on the play to make the score 1-0.
A single from Skylis would drive home Snodgrass to double the Lions' lead, with both Skylis and Cook moving into scoring position due to an error. Another error, this time a dropped fly ball by the Rider left fielder, scored Cook to put the score at 3-0.
Yagi then singled down the left-field line to up the Columbia lead by one, Caruthers legged out an infield single - her second hit of the inning - to drive in another and Snodgrass stayed hot with a two-run single to left which gave the Lions a 7-0 lead.
A pair of Columbia errors led to the Broncs run in the bottom of the third, as Jen Steward reached on a defensive miscue and scored on the second flub to pull the Broncs to within 7-1.
The Lions tacked on one in the fifth, as Yagi belted a one-out double and was driven in by a single from Caruthers. Caruthers stole second the following batter, to tie Columbia's single-season record of 10 set twice before.
In the sixth, Skylis and Johnson both came through with RBI singles to up the Lions' advantage to 10-1. Rider put a pair on to start the bottom half of the inning but Johnson, who started game two in the circle, got the next three batters to close out the contest.
Johnson picked up the pitching victory, scattering six hits and allowing just an unearned run while striking out five.
Columbia returns to Ivy League play on Saturday, April 23 with a doubleheader at Princeton.