Columbia Cougars Down Glen Ridge in Walk-Off Fashion
Tuesday, May 1, 2012 • 10:40am
MAPLEWOOD, NJ – Phoebe Labat broke a 2-2 tie with a single in the bottom of the seventh inning as the Columbia varsity softball team defeated Glen Ridge 3-2 on Monday afternoon.
The victory improves the Cougars to 8-9, while Glen Ridge falls to 7-8.
“The first time we played those guys, they beat us,” assistant coach Jacquie Cammarata said. “It was a real nice win for us.”
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fifth inning, when Columbia broke through for two runs against Glen Ridge sophomore pitcher Tara Kelly. After senior Kyrsten VanNatta laced a double to left field, freshman Zoe Labat followed with a single to put two runners on. The Cougars then used a bunt and three stolen bases in the inning to give themselves a 2-0 lead.
Glen Ridge responded with a run in the top of the sixth inning, cutting the deficit to one. Columbia, however, was unable to build upon their lead in the bottom of the inning.
In the seventh inning, Kelly, who had just missed a home run earlier in the game, deposited one over the left field wall to tie the game up at two runs apiece.
It didn’t take long, however, for the Cougars to respond in the bottom half of the seventh. Junior Ryan Glynn led off the inning with a single and advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by freshman Siobhan Nolet. With one out, Labat stepped up, and after working the count, hit a walk-off single to center field, scoring Glynn from second.
Sophomore Lienne Harrington, who worked in and out of trouble all afternoon, pitched all seven innings to record her second win of the season.
“Lienne did a great job,” Cammarata said. “She fell behind in some of the counts, but she was able to battle back and fight, and that’s all we can ask of her.”
Harrington also got plenty of help defensively. In the top of the fifth inning, Glen Ridge was threatening with runners on first and third and only one out. Harrington induced a blooper to short right field and after sophomore Sarah Casiano made a running catch; she was able to double off the runner at first to end the inning.
“That play was a game changer,” Cammarata said. “If that ball falls, they’re easily scoring two runs on it and the game would have been different.”
The Columbia softball team will be in action again on Tuesday when it hosts Montclair.
John Valentovic is a journalism major at Seton Hall University.