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Big Innings Stifle Leopards at Columbia

March 19, 2014

Photo Gallery  | Game 1 Boxscore | Game 2 Boxscore

NEW YORK - Lafayette softball finished its last series before opening Patriot League play this weekend, dropping both ends of a Wednesday doubleheader at Columbia, 9-1 and 12-4.

The Leopards manufactured their only run of game one in the top of the third inning. Freshman shortstop Jenna Orlando saw seven pitches before drawing a one-out walk. She stole second and Kelly Lallis followed with an infield single to advance Orlando to third. Kristen Berger did the rest of the work, driving in Orlando with a single to center.

Columbia took control of the game with five runs in the bottom of the fourth. Alyssa Rodia connected on Melissa Robinson's first offering for a three-run home run to left field. The Lions added two more as Mackensy Lakian (2-for-3, 3 RBI) singled through the right side.

In the fifth, Columbia tacked on four more runs. Macy Shrum doubled down the line to score a pair and Nicole Borchard (sac fly) and Lakian (single) also plated a run apiece for the eight-run final.

Robinson (1-5) was the pitcher of record for the Leopards, allowing nine runs (6 earned) on 10 hits with a pair of walks. Brooke Darling struck out seven in five innings, giving up one run on five hits.

In game two, Lafayette took a 4-2 lead into the sixth before Columbia pulled away with 10 runs in the inning in a 12-4 final.

The Leopards were on the scoreboard first. Stephanie Schreiber and Robinson reached with one-out walks in the second inning. Schreiber was cut down at third on a fielder's choice. Bryn Gornick came through with a run-scoring single to plate Robinson for the 1-0 advantage.

The Lions evened the score in the home half of the inning. Borchard doubled to lead off the inning and later scored on an infield single.

Columbia took its first lead of the game, 2-1, in the third inning following a two-out Emily Snodgrass RBI-double.

Lafayette broke out for three runs in the fifth inning. Orlando doubled and later scored on Berger's single up the middle. The hit chased Columbia starter Tonia Wu from the game with the game tied at 2-2. Lallis kept the inning going with an infield single to put runners on the corners.

Leopard head coach Jexx Varner looked to put some pressure on the Columbia defense, starting Lallis from first which allowed Berger to score from third. The next batter, Kristyn Marinelli walked, and the successful third and first steal was on again, as Lallis came home for the 4-2 lead.

Lafayette held the two-run advantage into the bottom of the sixth when Columbia erupted for 10 runs. Shrum got things going with three-run homer off Marinelli as Columbia led 5-4. Two errors in the inning proved costly.

Lindsey Cherry came on in relief of Marinelli after Borchard struck out but reached base on a dropped third strike. With two runners on, Cherry loaded the bases loaded with a walk and then walked in two more runners as Columbia extended its lead to 9-4. The Lions (4-8) added runs on an infield error and a pair of RBI-singles to end the game in six innings.

Marinelli (0-2) took the loss, allowing nine runs (seven earned) on nine hits in 5.1 innings. She walked six and struck out four. Tessa Kroll collected the win, tossing 1.2 innings while surrendering a run on one hit with a walk and three strikeouts.

"We out played them for nine of the 11 innings today, Varner said. "But, once their offense started we couldn't stop them. We have to accept responsibility that we have to be better than 'but that one inning'."

Lafayette opens Patriot League play by hosting Holy Cross in a doubleheader on Saturday at noon. A single game on Sunday at noon will finish off the three-game series.