NEW YORK –Junior Kayla Shimoda delivered a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the seventh to carry the Columbia softball team past Iona, 12-9, in game one of a double header. The Lions (7-9) capped a sweep of the Gaels with a 7-0 victory on the strength of a two-hit shutout by Emily Kenyon.
Columbia 12, Iona 9
Columbia loaded the bases with no outs on a leadoff walk by Emily Snodgrass and singles by Nicole Borchard and Alyssa Rodia. The Lions scored two runs to pull within 9-8 on walks before Shimoda's heroics.
Macy Shrum put Columbia on top 2-0 with a two-run blast, her third of the season, in the bottom of the second inning. However, Iona’s starting pitcher Carly Argyle helped her own cause with a three-run homer to put her team on top, 3-2, in the top of the third.
In the bottom of the fourth, Iona committed three errors to open the floodgates for the Lions. Alyssa Rodia reached after a throwing error by the Gaels’ third baseman and Shelby Unger followed with a double to put two runners in scoring position.
One batter later, Tonia Wu notched a seeing-eye single up the middle to even the score and Unger came around after a botched rundown by Iona on a squeeze play. With two down, Alix Cook ripped a single to right, bringing in Wu, to make it 5-3. The Lions added an insurance run after a wild pitch plated Mackensy Lakian to push the margin to three.
The Gaels answered in the top of the fifth with two runs and nearly tied the game. With a runner on second base, Kelsey Long singled up the middle. Katie Jansson made the turn home and beat the throw, but Shimoda blocked the plate, forcing her to slide around home plate and laid on a tag to end the inning.
Iona continued to apply the pressure in its next turn at bats, tying the game, 6-6, after a looping double to leftfield by Ashlyn Morris to bring in Katie Newton. In the top of the seventh, the Gaels completed the comeback after Long belted a three-run shot over the wall in leftfield.
Brooke Darling earned the win (4-4) after throwing three innings out of the bullpen.
Columbia 7, Iona 0
Shrum kicked off the scoring for the Lions in the second, driving in Nicole Borchard on a sac fly. Liz Caggiano got in on the home run fun with an opposite field shot to rightfield to extend the lead to 3-0.
The Lions broke the game open in the bottom of the fourth after a single by Unger and a double by Caggiano set the table for Shimoda, who took a mighty hack and sent a 1-0 pitch behind the wall in leftfield to make it 6-0.
An Unger double in the sixth capped Columbia’s offensive outburst with a double that scored Rodia.
Shimoda finished the night cap 3-for-4, while Rodia, Unger and Caggiano picked up two hits apiece.
Kenyon improves to 1-2 on the year and five batters.