Lions look to get back on track against Manhattan

The Columbia softball team will look to rebound from a four-game sweep at the hands of Princeton when it takes on Manhattan this afternoon. The Lions will also use this doubleheader to tune up for Cornell, their next Southern Division opponent.
The Light Blue (12-24, 2-10 Ivy) is currently mired in a five-game losing streak. The four losses to Princeton were tightly contested—all were decided by two runs or fewer—indicating Columbia’s troubles winning close games. Over the course of the series, the Lions left 28 runners on base.
Columbia lost the first pair of games by scores of 4-2 and 6-5. On day two, the Tigers took the first game 6-5 and the second 5-4.
Manhattan (8-22), which has lost six games row, will also be looking to reverse a losing trend. On Tuesday, the Jaspers were swept by Albany in a doubleheader, dropping the first game 2-1 and the second 3-0.
Despite strong pitching performances from Ashley Rampino and Melissa Donnelly, Manhattan was unable to take the first contest of the series. Only Kara Cokeley and Amanda Genovese had hits for the Jaspers. Manhattan only managed five total baserunners.
The second game carried a similar storyline—strong pitching and weak hitting. This time it was Erika Sullivan who posted a strong start for the Jaspers, giving up three runs in four innings. Rampino came on in relief, allowing only one hit and no runs in two innings of work. But Manhattan was once again held to two hits, both off the bat of Monica Evangelista.
Columbia played Manhattan twice last season, winning both decisions. In the first meeting, the Lions came out with a 5-1 victory. Maggie Johnson earned the win after pitching seven innings of three-hit ball. She also contributed offensively with two hits, three RBI, and a run.
In the second meeting, the Light Blue took the victory by a score of 6-3. Erica Clauss got the start and Aimee Kemp earned the win. Clauss pitched four innings of three-hit ball and gave up just one run before Kemp came on and yielded two runs on four hits in three innings of relief.
Dani Pineda led the Columbia offense, going 4-for-4 with a hit and an RBI.
The first game of today’s doubleheader is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Baker Athletics Complex.

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