NEW YORK – The Columbia softball team (2-6) will play 11 games over the course of nine days in the state of Florida, beginning Saturday and Sunday with four games at the Stetson Westin Invitational. The Lions will take on North Dakota State and tournament host Stetson in a Saturday doubleheader at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, the Lions face off against Manhattan and Colgate.
Fans can track all four of Columbia’s games on Twitter by following @CULionsSoftball. Live stats will be available courtesy of GoHatters.com. Saturday’s game against Stetson will be streamed online courtesy of Hatter Vision. All of the live stat and video links are available at the Stetson Westin Invitational home page.
Wu tossed 13 2-3 innings at last weekend’s Patriot Classic, going 1-1 with a 1.54 ERA. The senior struck out eight while walking only one, and retired 17 consecutive batters between the first and second games of Sunday’s doubleheader. She took the win against George Mason by going 4 1-3 shutout innings, earning the combined shutout with Canby.
Gott hit .538 (7 for 13) and slugged 1.077 through last weekend’s four games. She launched two home runs, including a two-out, two-run bomb to deep center that propelled Columbia to its 3-0 shutout of George Mason. The junior drove in four runs on the weekend and had three extra-base hits.
Canby took the combined shutout with Wu against the Patriots, entering in the bottom of the fifth and escaping a two-on, one-out jam to get out of the inning. The rookie went the final 2 2-3 innings, retiring eight of the nine batters she faced to earn her first collegiate save. Canby pitched to a 3.23 ERA on the weekend, striking out three.
Columbia sits atop the Ivy League in home runs with seven through its first eight games of the season. Junior Madison Gott leads the league individually with three, ranking among the top-25 nationally in home runs per game (0.38) and just outside the top-50 in slugging percentage (.800). Junior Taylor Troutt, rookie Sommer Grzybek and sophomores Jordan Townsend and Bonnie Schipper each own one long ball. Columbia averages 0.88 home runs per game, which ranks just outside the top-50 in the NCAA.
MAKE ‘EM EARN IT
Columbia’s pitching staff enters the weekend with a 3.10 team ERA, which ranks No. 2 in the Ivy League. The Lions have allowed just 22 earned runs this season, but have also allowed 15 unearned runs to cross the plate, accounting for over 40 percent of their total runs allowed.
YET TO STRIKE OUT
First-year Amber Swinarski is one of 45 players listed by the NCAA that has yet to strike out. In order to meet the statistical qualifications, a player must play in 75 percent of their team’s games and average a minimum of 2.0 at bats per game.
FIRST HIT HOMER
First-year Sommer Grzybek picked up her first collegiate hit in style with a solo home against Albany on Feb. 24 in Columbia’s season-opening tournament, the EMU Madeira Beach Invitational. Grzybek’s homer came in the third inning and put the Lions on top 3-1.
SCOUTING THE WEEKEND OPPONENTS
North Dakota State (6-13)
The Bison went 2-3 at last weekend’s Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Invitational, earning a 7-0 victory over Alcorn State and splitting two games against Texas A&M Corpus Christi. NDSU faced off against nationally ranked Louisiana twice, falling by scores of 8-2 and 15-0. Zoe Stavrou leads the offense with a .264 batting average, four home runs and eight RBIs. Vanessa Anders is hitting .222 and shares the RBI lead with Stavrou. The Bison are hitting .181 as a team. The pitching staff holds a 2.55 ERA.
Stetson rides a seven-game winning streak into its home invitational. The streak began with an undefeated 4-0 weekend at the Hatter Classic, earning victories over Bethune-Cookman, South Dakota, Cornell and LIU Brooklyn. The Hatters swept a doubleheader over Providence on Tuesday by scores of 5-4 and 5-3, and made it seven straight wins on Wednesday by downing Mount St. Mary’s, 5-4. Stetson’s three losses have come against Kansas, Ole Miss and then-nationally ranked South Florida. Kelsey Waters leads the Hatters and ranks No. 19 nationally with a .500 batting average. Blake Crews is fifth nationally with 27 RBIs.
The Jaspers ended a four-game losing streak with a doubleheader sweep over Hartford, 9-2 and 3-2, on Tuesday. They opened the season two weeks ago with Columbia down at the EMU Madeira Beach Invitational, earning a 1-0 win over Harvard, but falling in their final four games to Stony Brook, Georgetown, Loyola Chicago and Kent State. Christine Gebhardt leads the team with a .292 batting average and four RBIs. Jenn Vazquez has also driven in four. Stephanie Reinhardt owns the team’s only home run of the season. The pitching staff owns a 2.89 ERA, led by Briana Matazinsky’s 1.88 ERA in 22 1-3 innings pitched.
The Raiders earned a season-opening 9-3 victory over Georgetown on Feb. 17 down in Greenville, South Carolina at the USC Upstate/Furman Classic. However, they have lost all seven games since, including a nine-inning affair at Furman and four straight losses at the Hatter Invitational (Feb. 24-25). This will be Colgate’s second trip to DeLand in three weeks, not having played since Feb. 25. Holly Geranen leads Colgate with a .348 batting average and five RBIs. Katie Bushee has also driven in five and shares the team lead in home runs with Pami White (2). Colgate’s team ERA is 7.74.