While many members of the Cornell community are heading to warmer skies in the form of the Bahamas or Cancun, the softball team is escaping Ithaca’s random weather and heading to a warmer climate as well. However, the most sand the team may get a chance to walk in will be the dirt of a softball diamond. The team couldn’t be more excited though, as it prepares to face some regular season foes and possibly extend its six-game winning streak. The Red (6-0) will put this unblemished record to the test in Florida at the Rebel Games beginning Monday.
In the five-day tournament, three games in particular will be good determinants for the upcoming season. On Wednesday, the Red will take on Ivy League rival Dartmouth. The Big Green finished last year 23-19 and was an ECAC finalist. With three strong pitchers, junior Christine Quattorichi, and sophomores Lisa Caruso and Danica Giugliano, Dartmouth will be a good match for the Red’s strong hitters.
After battling the Green, Cornell must turn around and face Colgate. The Raiders will be at a disadvantage when it takes on the Red, as it starts playing today against Quinnipiac in Florida. Experience could prove to be a key factor in the game. Colgate, which finished 30-26 last year, is ranked second in the Patriot League this season, just edging out Army. The team returns four all-Patriot League players, first baseman Melissa Rawson, second baseman Amanda Brickell, third baseman Amanda Paolucci, and outfielder Emily Wright.
Another important match up will be Thursday against Columbia. Entering its second season of Ivy League play, the Lions will be looking to improve on last season’s 26-25 record. With junior catcher Courtney Ryan, a transfer from the University of Texas, Columbia could provide some good competition for the Red.
Cornell, which has been unstoppable thus far, will look to continue its winning ways and keep its bats swinging. The depth all over the Red roster will prove to be its main ally in Florida. Another factor is the trusty pitching tandem of sophomores Sarah Sterman and Nicole LePera. If the Red continues to field as well as it has, the team has the potential to play very well.
Cornell will also play two games not related to the tournament over break. The first game will take place this coming Sunday against Stetson and then it will play one after the conclusion of the tournament against Bethune Cookman.
Playing two games a day, Cornell will have more than enough experience before its home opener against Colgate on Wednesday March 27 at Niemand-Robison Field.
Archived article by Kristen Haunss