An amazing run came to a quick end last night as the softball team (30-16, 11-3 Ivy) fell to Syracuse in both games of its double header, 4-1 and 2-0. The Orangewomen entered the game 15-22 on the season, having split games with Penn State on Tuesday. This sweep is the first by a Red opponent since Fairfield beat the team twice in March.
Missing from the Red’s line up was its superb hitting. What had become a Red trademark failed to make the trip north with the team.
Head coach Dick Blood acknowledged the team’s troubles at the plate.
“We didn’t hit, we didn’t hit anything,” he commented.
Erin Sweeny opened the scoring in game one with a first inning blast giving the Red a 1-0 lead. This, however, was the only time the Red would see the lead for the remainder of the opener.
Senior Captain Charlotte Brombach noted the team’s troubles.
“It was pretty tough,” she said. “Erin Sweeny hit a homerun, [and] then after that we couldn’t produce.”
The night cap saw senior Nicole Zitarelli pitching what Blood called a brilliant five innings. However an error with two outs and two runners on in the fifth gave the Orangewomen the only runs it would need for the win.
After allowing a single to Shanna Newell and a free pass to Tara DiMaggio, both with two outs, Zitarelli seemingly escaped the jam by fielding Cortney Nickerson’s comeback grounder. An error by Zitarelli on her throw to first, however, let the two runners cross the plate for a 2-0 lead.
The team tried to battle back but was not able to produce.
“We threatened once in each game,” commented Blood. “But their pitchers were very tough.”
Despite the outcome, Brombach remained positive stating that “the loses were disappointing but good preparation for this weekend.”
This preparation Brombach mentioned is for a double header tomorrow at Albany (18-17). Despite just skimming above a .500 record, the Danes are a tough ball club. Last year the squad posted a 28-7 record earning an ECAC bid. The team’s strength lies in its defense, especially its hurlers. On the mound, Albany has two very solid pitchers that will be looking to shut down the Red’s offense.
Of this weekend, Blood is very upbeat.
“We are looking forward to those games as a tune up for NCAAs or the playoffs if necessary.” He later added that he is “looking forward to the games this weekend to get back on track.”
Getting back on track will be very important in order to keep its momentum for the postseason. The Red’s postseason destiny is actually out of the team’s control right now. Its fate will be decided on Saturday as Dartmouth and Harvard compete in a double header. A sweep by either team will find the Red in a playoff for the automatic NCAA bid. However, a split will give Cornell the outright league title and the automatic bid.
Archived article by Kristen Haunss