NEW YORK – Reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Week, Shelby Unger, delivered a walk-off single in the seventh inning to give Columbia a 5-4 win in game one of a doubleheader against Manhattan on Tuesday. However, the Jaspers (8-15) claimed game two, 12-8, in a slugfest to snap the Lions’ (14-10) 10-game winning streak.
Columbia returns to Ivy League play this weekend, beginning with a doubleheader at Dartmouth on Friday, Apr. 4. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m.
Columbia 5, Manhattan 4
Meredith Bryant gave Manhattan a 1-0 lead in the top of the third with a solo shot, her second of the year. In the fifth, Bryant started another rally with a one-out double and scored after Elena Bowman found the gap in left center. Amanda Paxson notched the third two-bagger of the inning to plate Bowman to extend the margin to 3-0.
The Jaspers added an insurance run in the sixth after aggressive baserunning. After a leadoff walk, pinch runner Emily Cutler raced from first to third on a sacrifice bunt attempt and scored after an errant throw from Kayla Shimoda, who was covering first base.
Unger broke up Manhattan pitcher Kate Bowen’s shutout bid, dropping a double down the leftfield line in the bottom half of the sixth and Columbia took the momentum into the bottom of the seventh.
The Lions loaded up the bases on a single by Kerry Cook, a bean ball to Liz Caggiano and a base hit by Kayla Shimoda. Alix Cook followed with a bases clearing triple down the rightfield line to set up Unger’s heroics.
Brooke Darling picked up the win (7-4) in relief, tossing 2.1 innings out of the bullpen.
Alix Cook finished 2-for-4 from the dish in the opener and is now riding an eight-game hitting streak.
Unger picked up where she left off in game one, delivering a two-run blast to give Columbia a 2-0 lead after one inning of play.
The Jaspers answered in the top of the second, plating five runs on five hits to take a 5-2 cushion. Manhattan erupted for five more in the third, making it an eight run ball game after two and a half innings.
Columbia rallied in its half of the third, putting two runners on and scoring its third run of the game on a fielder’s choice hit by Macy Shrum. Kerry Cook followed with a two-run double to trim the deficit to six and Nicole Borchard delivered a pinch-hit three-run homer to pull the Lions within 10-7.
In the fifth, Columbia continued to chip away, filling the bases with one away and scoring a run on another force play. The Lions re-loaded the bases after a Mackensy Lakian drew a base on balls, but relief pitcher Amy Bright induced a ground ball to get out of the jam.
The momentum shifted back into the Jaspers favor in the top of the sixth after a hit, error and base hit loaded the bases with no outs for Bryant, who continued her strong offensive day with a single to right. A bases loaded walk brought the margin back up to 12-8.
It looked like the Lions were going to make another comeback bid in the sixth after Bright issued a walk and a hit by pitch to kick things off, forcing Manhattan to go to the bullpen. Anna Crowley came in and got Unger to foul out and caught a break when Alyssa Rodia hit a hard grounder to third to force an inning-ending double play.
Kerry Cook and Borchard each led the charge with two hits.
Tessa Kroll took the loss (2-1) after starting and pitching two innings.