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Madeleine Larson / Staff Photographer

First-year infielder Madison Gott led the Lions with four hits and four RBIs this week.

Softball will face Princeton in the first divisional games of the season. Columbia (11-17, 5-3 Ivy) leads the Ivy South pack, while Princeton (10-18, 2-4) sits in third. Princeton leads the all-time series 31-13, but Columbia has four chances this weekend to close the gap.
 
The Lions are coming of af midweek, nonconference play against Manhattan and Fairleigh Dickinson in which they took three of four. Combined with last weekend's sweeps of Brown and Yale, the team has won seven of its last eight games.

The Tigers most recently were in action on Wednesday, falling to Rutgers in a 6-2 loss. In their previous weekend of Ivy play, they suffered two losses each to both Harvard and Dartmouth. The Tigers were unable to score a single run against the Big Green, and was only able to muster just two runs total against the Crimson.
 
In their wins over Fairleigh Dickinson on Wednesday, the Lions enjoyed stellar pitching performances from sophomores Kayla Maloney and Tonia Wu. Wu leads the Lions with five wins and a 2.23 ERA. Comparatively, Princeton's top pitcher, Shanna Christian, has two wins and a 2.67 ERA.
 
On the other side of the plate, the Lions continue to focus on improving their sluggish offensive starts.
 
“What I want to challenge our kids to do is to get our offense going a little sooner in the game,” head coach Jennifer Teague said following last week's Ivy wins. “Once they all start it, it's just so contagious, it's really fun to watch.”
 
The teams are roughly equal in overall batting average, with Columbia a bit ahead of Princeton—.229 to .225. First-year Madison Gott has been on a hot streak, leading the Lions with four hits and four RBIs in their midweek contests. Overall, sophomore Kerry Cook has been the offensive anchor, batting .341 with 30 hits on the season so far.
 
Games take place Saturday and Sunday at 12:30 and 2 p.m., respectively.

madeleine.steinberg@columbiaspectator.com | @mstein166

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