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Sophomore Third Baseman Emily Snodgrass
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Mike McLaughlin

Softball Starts A Dozen On The Road With Twinbill At Marist

Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics
          Release: 04/03/2012
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NEW YORK – The Columbia softball team begins a 12-game roadswing on Wednesday when it heads up to Poughkeepsie, N.Y., for an afternoon doubleheader against Marist starting at 3 p.m.

The game will feature live video coverage available through SideLION Pass here for a fee. A day pass is $11.95 and a one-month pass is $12.95. The video stream will begin at 2 p.m. Free live statistics will also be available through www.goredfoxes.com.

Columbia (7-18, 1-3 Ivy League) is coming off a hard-fought 6-5 loss to Brown in the back half of Sunday’s doubleheader at Columbia Softball Field. Kayla Shimoda and Alison Lam each legged out RBI singles and Morgan Cook hammered a two-out two-RBI single up the middle in the Lions’ four-run seventh.

Marist (12-17, 0-0 MAAC) is coming off a pair of road wins over Hartford. The Red Foxes took a 6-5 win over the Hawks in the first game and a 3-1 decision in the second game. First-year pitcher Melanie White tossed a three-hit complete game in the second game and first baseman Nicole DiVirgilio was 5-of-8 at the plate in the series sweep.

Columbia leads the all-time series between the two teams, 6-5. The Lions and Red Foxes last squared off in a doubleheader on April 6, 2010. Columbia took both games, run-ruling Marist, 10-2, in six frames in the first contest and taking a 5-2 win in the second. Marist last defeated Columbia on March 25, 2006, in a 13-8 decision.

DARLING NAMED ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
First-year pitcher Brooke Darling garnered Ivy League Rookie of the Week Honors for the week of March 26-April 1. Darling (4-9) went 2-1 on the week, throwing complete games against Rider, Yale and Brown. Over 21.0 innings of work, Darling had a 2.33 ERA, striking out 11 batters and limiting opponent to a .231 batting average. She also fielded her position well, totaling two putouts and seven assists from the circle.

Sophomore first baseman Morgan Cook was named to the Ivy League Weekly Honor Roll after she hit .353 (6-of-17) with two doubles, eight RBI and four walks last week.

Darling is Columbia’s second Rookie of the Week this season. First-year catcher Liz Caggiano was named the conference’s first Rookie of the Week for 2012 on March 6 after she hit .455 over four games at the 13th MSU Bulldog Classic.

DOUBLE TAKE: SNODGRASS TIED FOR SECOND IN NATION
Sophomore Emily Snodgrass ranks as one of the best doubles hitters in the nation this season. The third baseman is tied for second among all NCAA Division I players with a 0.43 doubles-per-game average after hitting 10 doubles in 23 games. She hit one double against Rider and one against Yale last week, but really boosted her numbers back on March 24 when she clubbed three two-baggers at Saint Peter’s.

Snodgrass’ 10 doubles this season is twice as many as she had through the 46 games she played as a rookie in 2011.

LIGHT SABERMETRICS
After hitting .381 (8-of-21) with one double two RBI and five runs scored last week, junior outfielder Alison Lam has emerged as Columbia’s top run-creator. Lam has a team-best 4.75 runs-create-per-seven-innings average and her .766 OPS (.404 on-base percentage, .362 slugging percentage) also leads the team.

Lam is also at her best with runners on base, hitting a team-best .412 (7-of-17) in those situations.

Morgan Cook remains the Lions’ best hitter with runners in scoring position, hitting .524 (11-of-21) in those scenarios.

SCOUTING MARIST
The Red Foxes are 12-17 on the season and 1-1 at home. They have won three of their last five. All three of the wins were by two runs or less.

Marist has a balanced attack with solid hitting and two competitive pitchers. The Red Foxes are hitting .249 as a team, but they are coming off a series in which they combined for 25 hits and batted .403 as a team.

Junior Danielle Koltz is the Red Foxes’ top hitter with a .313 batting average, five home runs, four doubles, one triples, 20 RBI and 11 runs scored. Senior Nicole DiVirgilio (.287 BA, two HRs, five 2Bs, 17 RBI, 10 runs) is a solid run producer. Alyssa Zahka (.279 BA, seven 2Bs, nine RBI, 22 runs, 15 walks) is a productive top-to-middle-of-the-lineup hitter.

Marist’s 1-2 punch in the circle of first-year righties Melanie White and Janine Lalli has been effective. White has a team-low 3.09 ERA but just a 2-6 record with 39 strikeouts over 65.2 innings of work. White has tended to give up big hits as 22 of the 67 hits she has allowed have been for extra bases. Lalli is 6-1 with a 3.25 ERA and has held opponents to a .260 batting average. Junior righty Emily Osterhaus is struggling this year after a breakout 2011 campaign in which she went 15-10 with a 3.14 ERA. This year, Osterhaus is 3-5 with a 6.65 ERA. Former 15-win pitcher Paige Lewis is also struggling this season with a 1-5 record and a 9.27 ERA.

Marist went 33-22 in 2011 and tied for second in the MAAC with a 12-4 conference record.

UP NEXT
The Lions return to Ivy League play on Friday when they head to Cambridge, Mass., for a doubleheader at Harvard. On Saturday, Columbia takes on Dartmouth for a twinbill in Hanover, N.H.

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