KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The Columbia softball team split a pair of games on day three of the Rebel Spring Games on Sunday, earning an 11-3 win over Rider in five innings before Green Bay snapped the Lions’ five-game winning streak by a 3-1 count.
The five consecutive victories was the longest streak for the program since they claimed six-straight in 2011.
The Lions have Monday off before taking on the Broncs and Phoenix on Tuesday, March 19 at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. as the Rebel Spring Games continue.
Columbia 11, Rider 3 (5 Inn.)
Columbia scored two runs in each of the first two innings to race out to a 4-0 lead they would never relinquish. In the bottom of the first, Emily Caruthers and Emily Snodgrass each recorded hits to start the game and Kayla Shimoda’s squeeze bunt put the Lions on top, 1-0.
In the second, Snodgrass belted her second long ball of the tournament, a two-run shot that scored Alyssa Swearingen. However, Rider cut its deficit in half in the top of the third.
With a runner on second and one out, Dana Sensi hit a pop up to the first base side of the diamond. First baseman Morgan Cook tripped on Sensi’s bat and the ball went off Cook’s head in fair play and rolled to the dugout for a lucky double. Kim Valdes followed with a slow chopper to short that Macy Shrum could not handle. The ball wound up in the outfield and allowed both runners to score to make it a 4-2 ballgame.
Columbia responded swiftly in the bottom half of the frame, loading the bases on a Shimoda double, Borchard single and a Morgan Cook walk. Shrum was inches away from a grand slam, but Kehli Washington made the catch at the wall. However, it was deep enough to plate Shimoda and bring the lead back up to three.
Liz Caggiano followed with a knock up the middle to match the Broncs’ run total from the top of the frame, and Swearingen added an RBI ground out to extend the margin to 7-2.
Rider scored its final run in the fifth, capitalizing on a throwing error by Caggiano on a first and third double-steal try, but the Lions put the game away during their next turn of at-bats.
Shrum reached first on a fielder’s choice and Caggiano singled off the wall in left for Swearingen, who drove in her second run of the game with a sacrifice fly. An error by the Broncs’ second baseman prolonged the inning and put Emily Caruthers on base and Snodgrass notched a hit to load the bases with Lions.
Caggiano scored on a wild pitch to put the game-ending run in scoring position. Needing a hit to extend her on-base streak to 12 games, Alix Cook delivered the walk-off single to enforce the eight-run rule.
Kalli Schultea gave up three unearned runs in five innings to pick up the win (1-1). The sophomore pitcher allowed six hits and struck out two.
Snodgrass was 3-for-4 and came around to score three times. Caggiano went 3-for-3 from the dish.
Columbia 1, Green Bay 3
Columbia continued to swing its bats well against the Phoenix, putting a runner on base in each inning, but stranded nine as they fell by the 3-1 count.
The Lions took a 1-0 lead in the second on an RBI single by Swearingen to score pinch-runner Summer Secrest.
Green Bay erased its deficit with one swing of the bat in the top of the third on a two-run home run by cleanup hitter Shannon Butts, ending an impressive string of 28.1 innings off unearned runs allowed by Columbia pitching.
The heart of the Phoenix order did more damage in the fifth when their No. 3 batter, Marissa Michalkiewicz, singled and moved to second on a ground out, leading to an RBI single up the gut for Hailey Mohrfield.
The Lions had one more chance in the bottom of the seventh, putting two runners on with one out, but Green Bay starting pitcher Ashley Nannemann got the next two batters to fly out to end the contest.
Cook extended her streak to 13 with a 2-for-4 performance, while Borchard picked up a pair of hits.
Brooke Darling went the distance and took the loss (4-2), giving up the three earned runs on nine hits with four strikeouts.