DELAND, Fla. — The Columbia softball team suffered a five-inning loss, 9-1, to Manhattan on Sunday morning at the Stetson Westin Invitational. The Lions were scheduled to play Colgate in the afternoon, but the game was cancelled due to rain and thunderstorms.
Junior Olivia Parker went 3 for 3 in the loss, upping her batting average to .583 (7 for 12). She scored Columbia’s (3-8) only run of the game on a sac fly from first-year Sommer Grzybek in the first. Junior Madison Gott went 1 for 3 with a double.
Manhattan’s offense struck early and often, chasing rookie starter Madison Canby (0-2) after 1-3 of an inning. The Jaspers (5-7) hit four home runs before all was said and done, including two off the bat of Lauren Pitney.
The first two batters of the game reached base for Manhattan and Christine Gebhardt hit sac fly to center to plate the opening run. Manhattan’s starting pitcher, Briana Matazinsky, kept the inning going with an RBI single, before Pitney deposited a two-run homer to center to put the Jaspers on top 4-0. Columbia senior Tonia Wu relieved Canby following the homer.
The Lions got one run back in the bottom half. Olivia Parker got things going with the first of her three singles and Madison Gott followed with a double to left-center, putting two in scoring position for Sommer Grzybek. The first-year from Cooper City, Florida, was able to get one deep enough to left, sacrificing Parker home.
It was the only run the Lions mustered. Manhattan struck for three runs on two hits and a homer in the second to increase to lead to 7-1. Back-to-back home runs by Pitney and Jenn Vazquez to begin the third chased Wu from the circle. Junior Maura Lynch came in and settled things down, allowing just one hit through the final three innings and sitting down the last nine batters she faced.
With Lynch keeping the Jaspers off the scoreboard, Columbia had opportunities to get back in the game, but could not deliver. The Lions put two on in the third for the heart of the lineup, but Gott struck out and Grzybek grounded out to end the threat. Matazinsky (3-3) went on to earn the complete-game victory, striking out four through five innings.
The Lions head to Jacksonville for the remainder of their spring break trip. Columbia takes the field Tuesday for a doubleheader at North Florida, beginning at 4 p.m.