Softball Drops Ivy Doubleheader at Columbia

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Despite a gutsy pitching performance by junior Jessica Cherness (Torrance, Calif.) in the opener, the Brown softball team dropped both ends of its Ivy League opening doubleheader at Columbia, 3-1 and 3-0, on Friday.

Cherness tossed 6.0 innings for Brown (2-15) and tied her season-high with eight strikeouts in game one. Sophomore Janet Leung (Mississauga, Ontario) batted 2-for-3 with a double in the opener and freshman Christina Andrews (Southlake, Texas) added an RBI two-bagger, while freshman Casey Fisher (Oro Valley, Az.), senior Kelsey Williams (Greenwood, Ind.) and senior Jen Kries (Mission Viejo, Calif.) each singled in the nightcap.

The Bears carried a 1-0 lead into the sixth inning of game one but Shelby Unger and Kerry Cook slugged home runs to spark a three-run rally in the eventual 3-1 final score. Cherness battled through the complete game loss, allowing just three hits through the first five innings. For the Lions, Emily Kenyon hurled all seven frames and surrendered a run on three hits with three walks and four Ks.

Brown went hitless through three innings until Leung led off the top of the fourth with a double to right field. Andrews followed with a two-bagger that plated the game's first run and moved to third on the throw home, but found herself stranded after two groundouts and a comebacker to Kenyon ended the inning.

Columbia threatened in the bottom of the fourth as Nicole Borchard singled to lead off and two walks loaded the bases with two away. With pressure mounting, Cherness reached back and punched out Mackensy Laklan swinging to retire the side.

Leung's leadoff single in the top of the sixth would be the last hit for the Bears, who entered the home half of the sixth with a one-run lead. Unger promptly tied the game with a one-out solo shot to right, and following a two-out base hit to left center, Cook cracked a pinch-hit two-run bomb to left to launch the Lions in front, 3-1. Kenyon retired the Bears in order in the seventh to seal the complete game victory.

In game two, Columbia's Brooke Darling spun a complete game four-hit shutout, compiling 7.0 scoreless innings on just 74 pitches. Andrew suffered the loss for Brown over 3.0 frames, while Cherness threw 3.0 innings of two-hit, no-run relief.

The only runs of the game all crossed the plate in the bottom of the first as the Lions pushed three across on back-to-back doubles by Alyssa Rodia and Unger. Kries snapped the no-hitter with a leadoff single in the top of the third, Williams knocked a leadoff base hit in the fifth and Cherness got the sixth started with a single through the left side, but all three leadoff runners were stranded as Darling silenced the Bears.

Brown, originally scheduled to play an Ivy League doubleheader at Penn on Saturday, will now face the Quakers on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. The games were moved in anticipation of tomorrow's inclement weather.