Softball Wins Seventh Straight With 7-5 Victory Over Princeton; Drops Nightcap to Tigers, 5-2
PRINCETON, N.J. -- The Columbia softball team tied a program record with its seventh consecutive victory, a 7-5 triumph over Princeton in the first half of an Ivy League doubleheader on Tuesday afternoon. The Lions scored all seven of their runs with two outs in a pivotal fourth inning.
Senior Karen Tulig started the scoring with a bases-loaded, two-run single and closed the contest with a pair of hits.
In game two, the Tigers broke a 2-2 tie with three runs in the bottom of the sixth en route to a 5-2 win.
The only other time that Columbia's softball team won seven in a row came in 2005, when the Lions swept doubleheaders against iona, Dartmouth and St. Francis (N.Y.) after winning the second half of a twinbill against Brown (April 17-28).
Princeton took an early 1-0 lead in the first, as a double down the left-field line from Alex Peyton scored Kelsey VandeBergh, who had extended the inning with two outs by reaching on an error.
The score would remain the same until the top of the fourth, as the Lions scored seven runs in the frame - all with two out. Senior Anne Marie Skylis reached on a one-out double to the gap in left-center, and classmate Maggie Johnson and sophomore Christie Taylor were both hit by pitches to load the bases with two out.
Tulig came to the plate and ripped a two-run single to right-center field to erase the one-run deficit and give Columbia a 2-1 lead. The visiting team was not content with just taking the lead, however, as first-year Emily Caruthers followed with a run-scoring single of her own to make it 3-1.
After an error loaded the bases again, first-year Morgan Cook drew a walk to force home another run and sophomore Jennifer Bergeron kept the rally rolling with a two-RBI single the opposite way to put the score at 6-1.
After a pitching change, Skylis hit for the second time in the inning and singled to left field to score Cook and up the Lions' lead to 7-1.
The Tigers would claw their way back into the game in the bottom of the inning, as Lizzy Pierce led off with a solo home run and Nicole Ontiveros scored two more on a double to left. Princeton added a run in the fifth that cut Columbia's advantage to just two at 7-5.
But Johnson would come in out of the bullpen and shut down the Tigers' attack, limiting them to just a two-out single from Pierce to record her first save of the season.
First-year Prophet Gaspard picked up her 12th win of the season, going five innings and allowing five runs (four earned). Skylis, Tulig, Bergeron and Caruthers all had two hits for Columbia offensively.
After Columbia stranded a pair of runners in each of the first two innings, Princeton got on the board in the bottom of the second thanks to the long ball. Pierce hit her second home run in as many games, this time a two-run shot, to give the home club a 2-0 cushion.
The Lions would fight right back to tie the game their next time up, as Johnson drove home Bergeron with a double to center and later scored on a single up the middle by Taylor.
The contest would remain knotted until the bottom of the sixth, when Princeton loaded the bases with nobody out. The Tigers would score their first run on an error by Columbia, then a groundout and single scored two more to put the score at 5-2.
Princeton's Alex Peyton kept the Lions off the board in the top of the seventh to close out the win. Peyton retired the final 10 batters she faced en route to the complete-game victory. Johnson suffered the loss in the circle for Columbia, striking out six in six innings of work.
Columbia will return to action on Thursday, April 28 for a non-conference doubleheader against Fairleigh Dickinson. First pitch from Baker Athletics Complex is scheduled for 3 p.m.