NEW YORK – Liz Caggiano’s walk-off three-run homer lifted Columbia to a 4-3 victory over Princeton in game one to highlight a split as the team’s began Ivy League South divisional play on Saturday. The Lions (16-16, 5-5) and Tigers (12-19, 4-4) will conclude the series tomorrow, April 13, at 12:30 at the Baker Athletics Complex.
Columbia 4, Princeton 3
Neither team recorded a hit the first time through the batting order, but that all changed in the fourth when Princeton’s Alyssa Schmidt walked and Cara Walden followed with a home run to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead.
Columbia cut the deficit in half without recording a hit in the bottom of the fourth. Kayla Shimoda drew a leadoff walk and was replaced on the base paths by Alix Cook, who reached on a fielder’s choice. Cook took off for second, but wound up on third after a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly by Emily Snodgrass.
Haley HIneman restored the two-run lead for Princeton in the fifth with an RBI single up the middle to make it 3-1 and starting pitcher Shanna Christian, who was working on a no-hitter until the sixth inning, looked like she would make that stand up until the Lions’ late-inning theatrics.
Snodgrass started things off with a leadoff single and Shelby Unger found some real estate in leftfield for another base hit to bring the go-ahead run to the plate with no outs. Christian retired the next two batters with groundouts, but Caggiano took the first pitch she saw to the deepest part of the park for her fourth big fly of the year.
Tonia Wu came in relief to earn her first career win (1-2). Wu pitched 2.2 scoreless innings and struck out two.
Columbia 1, Princeton 6
Worden was in the middle of things again in game two, recording a double to begin the second inning and came around to score after Emily Viggers rifled a single just inside the first base line, giving the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
Princeton sent 10 batters to the dish in the third and tacked on five more runs, scoring two runs on bases loaded walks and another on a wild pitch.
That would be enough for the Tigers’ ace Erica Nori as she allowed just four hits and a Caggiano solo shot in the seventh.
Brooke Darling dropped to 7-7 after surrendering six runs in 2.1 innings. Once again, the Lions received a strong performance from their bullpen. Kayla Maloney tossed 4.2 innings without giving up a hit or run.