Softball splits with Rider, returns home to finish season against Penn

The Columbia softball team split its second consecutive nonconference doubleheader when it took on Rider on Thursday. The Light Blue (14-30, 3-13 Ivy) won the first game 5-1 and the Broncs took the second 3-1.

Columbia pitcher Maggie Johnson earned the win in the first contest, pitching seven innings of one-run ball in the complete game effort. Johnson notched six strikeouts and gave up just five hits and two walks.

While the Lions got on the board early, thanks to an RBI single by Jackie Ecker, they did not score the go-ahead runs until the top of the seventh. The Light Blue had an explosive final inning, scoring four runs on two hits. Karen Tulig and Keli Leong lead the team with two RBI and two hits, respectively.

Erica Clauss took the loss in game two after giving up three runs (two earned) in two and one-third innings. Clauss gave up four hits and one walk while picking up a strikeout. Jessica Rakonza pitched three and two-thirds innings of relief, holding Rider to only one hit.
Even though Rakonza was able to stop the bleeding, the Lions could not mount a comeback. Rider’s Rachael Matreale threw a complete game and held the Light Blue to just one run on seven hits, a walk, and six strikeouts. Columbia’s lone run came off Kayla Lechler’s RBI single in the top of the sixth.

The Lions will play their final series this weekend against Southern Division rival Penn (12-17, 7-9 Ivy). The first doubleheader will be played at Baker Athletics Complex on Saturday, while Penn will host the second pair of games at Warren Field on Sunday.

Penn was swept by Drexel in a doubleheader on Wednesday, losing the first game 6-5 and the second 5-3. The Quakers got on the board first in the opening game of the series when left fielder Sarah Patrick hit a solo shot to left field, but the Dragons stormed back quickly, taking a 6-1 lead in the bottom of the third. Though the Quakers would threaten, scoring three in the fourth and another in the seventh, they could not complete the comeback.

In game two, Drexel jumped out to an early lead, putting all five of their runs on the board in the bottom of the first. Patrick led Penn’s offense with two hits and two runs.

Last season, the Quakers took all four games from the Lions, outscoring them 42-12.

Both doubleheaders this weekend are slated to start at 12:30 p.m.

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